In August, I will focus on plot in our writing. And my prompts will borrow from an activity we did at an ACFW chapter meeting. We each brought a food for lunch. The writing exercise after lunch was to work a randomly selected food and genre into a story. I had to write a thriller with a casserole being a major plot point.
So for the sparks this month, I’ll provide a photo and a genre, and you can provide the first few lines. Use the photo above in a thriller. Here’s my opening lines:
“As I hid the thumb drive in the hollow heel of my boot, I caught a flash of movement in the tail of my eye. Jerking out my gun, I crouched below the window and peered out.
A toddler? Yes, a toddler was tromping through the weeds in the backyard of the empty house.
I scanned the surrounding woods. No one else in sight. What was a toddler doing out here?”
As I prepared the heading for this post, my youngest read it and ask if it meant you felt like it was a movie shouldn’t have watched. I explained that a person felt guilty for liking some movies because they aren’t considered “good”, or they are so strange or off-beat that not many people like them. As a classic movie fan, most of my movie-viewing might be considered guilty-pleasure. But in an effort to give others the courage to admit that they like movies critics and/or audiences have rejected, I am listing a few of my guilty-pleasure movies.
Abbott & Costello Movies
On Sunday mornings, when I was growing up, a TV station out of Pittsburgh would run the movies from the 1940’s and 1950’s starring the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. If for some reason I didn’t go to church, I could watch one of their movies. The team cranked out a lot of film, and some of it is unwatchable, even for a dedicated fan. But some are still sidesplittingly funny. My favorites are Hold That Ghost, The Time of Their Lives, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, in which Bud and Lou don’t meet the scientist but the monster,
Many agree that Meet Frankenstein is Bud and Lou’s funniest movie. It’s as if Universal Pictures took their usual horror script and told all the other actors to play it like a straight movie. But Bud and Lou react and make comments that the audience has been thinking, sending up the conventions of the genre. For example, when Lou figures out Dracula is a genuine threat, he wants to clear out because, as a fat guy, he figures he’s got more blood and will attract the vampire’s attention.
The Incredibles and Incredibles 2
Is it okay for an adult to like kids’ movies? I recently watched The Incrediblesand Incredibles 2with my youngest, and we both thoroughly enjoyed them. That’s part of the reason I like them, because I got to share it with my kid. But I find the super-parents’ dilemma with their kids hilarious.
May’s theme is all about characters, my favorite aspect of writing. All my stories are character-driven. Once I know my main characters, I can run with my plots and settings. Reading about characters who touch me or with whom I identify inspires me to develop my own.
I have lots of favorites, but these are some of the characters I visit over and over again.
Where do you find inspiration for poetry? Nature ignites my creative spark as well as holidays and season. Also, things that annoy me. My poem for July was born from the way extreme summer weather seems to exist just to test humans.
If you find you are running out of inspiration, check these ideas in a post from Almost an Author. Two ideas that snagged my attention are describing a color — one of my favorite books on poetry is Red Sings from the Treetops, which describes the season in color — and personifying a disease. I can picture a cold as a guest who drops in unexpectedly and won’t leave.