Have You Ever Seen a Story?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Have you?

Have you ever been out and about in the real world (writers can leave said real world at will, you know ;-P ) and seen something that just makes you stop, stare, and think "There has to be a story there" ?

Imagine, if you will, the most stereotypical biker you can. A big guy in leathers with a black motorcycle jacket covered in patches. Long brown hair, tattoos over every piece of skin not covered by his clothes, two days worth of beard and an etched in granite "Don't *** * with me" look on his face.

Got that image? Good.

Now, picture the passenger on the back of his bike... I promise you can't do it on your own.

Think of a little girl. A pink princess, maybe 6 years old with sparkly sandals and a pink dress, complete with a fluffy backpack on her back. She's so small her legs hang barely past the seat, and there she is, hanging onto Mr. Hell's Angels' vest with her little hands and wearing what has to be his helmet on her head. (It's big enough that it covers her head and neck, resting on her shoulders.)

This was the scene I saw as this guy peeled out of the local Elementary school. And I was certain that there was a story there.

Maybe it's because writers are semi-self-trained to be better observers, but the details of something like that stick with you even from only a few seconds notice.

Obviously, this guy hadn't expected to pick up a little girl from school, as evidenced by the borrowed helmet and the dress (no one who has ever ridden a bike would put a kid on the back in shorts or a skirt - take it from someone who was short enough that her leg fell directly on the hottest parts of the bike below the seat..ouch) Yet, Mr. H.A. did it.

Maybe he was her dad or uncle or older brother, he could have been the nicest guy in the world who lived next door and did Mom a favor, or there could have been an emergency and he was the only available to pick the kid up -- who knows -- but that's the sort of "what happened" question that creates the first parts of a forming story.

The point of this seemingly pointless ramble, is that sometimes you don't have to go looking for inspiration. Sometimes it darts out of an alley in a 1954 Lincoln and almost takes off your bumper. And sometimes it's as shocking as a kid with a poodle backpack on the back of a Harley.

3 Chiming In:

Jen said...


I love this post! The description of the little girl in pink is just wonderful. I now have that Sesame Street song stuck in my head: One of these things is not like the other...

Lydia Sharp said...

Yes, I see stories EVERYWHERE. Makes me feel like quite the psycho-case at times.

Great post. :)

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great post! I see stories everywhere, too; it's overwhelming. I scribble in my little pad constantly. But I love it - it's like the world giving you a gift when you see something like that.

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