Kathryn Page Camp
Story ideas can pop up anytime, anywhere. You just have to look around you.
I took this photo when visiting the Grand Canyon in 2014. The situation it portrays could be the foundation for anything from a sweet story about a man and his pet raven to a tale of horror centered around a rabid raven loose in a popular tourist spot.
Or maybe you are at a restaurant for a Conference Committee meeting when a drama unfolds outside, which happened on Saturday. I had my back to the window but the reactions of the Committee members sitting across from me told me that something interesting was going on. Later, one of the Committee members described the events occurring in the parking lot—events that started as a pet drama and escalated into a family one. I’ll let her or other Committee members write that story, but it could well be the prompt for a funny or tragic or heart-wrenching one. (No, nobody got shot or injured. Other than that, I’ll let you use your own imagination.)
Then there was the time when my mother and I were returning from a writers’ conference in New Mexico. We had boarded the plane and were waiting for the doors to close when a flight attendant put out a plea for someone to give up his or her seat. My mother and I just wanted to get home, so neither of us was interested, and the airline was only looking for one seat, anyway. The flight attendant kept increasing the incentives as she got more and more desperate. Finally, an older woman jumped up and said, “I’ll take it.” But it was what happened next that made the situation interesting. Apparently she was traveling with two younger women (presumably her daughters), and they argued with her all the way to the door. In the end, she left and they stayed. I went home and wrote a story about a self-sufficient woman who stood up to her over-protective daughters and got to finish the vacation she hadn’t been able to fully enjoy while they were along.
So if you need an idea for a story, just look around you.
The photo at the head of this post is © 2014 by Kathryn Page Camp.
Kathryn Page Camp is a licensed attorney and full-time writer who writes adult non-fiction as Kathryn Page Camp and middle-grade fiction as Kaye Page. Writers in Wonderland: Keeping Your Words Legal was a Kirkus’ Indie Books of the Month Selection for April 2014, and her first middle-grade historical novel, Desert Jewels, was released in August 2017. You can learn more about Kathryn at www.kathrynpagecamp.com.