Finding Ideas Everywhere

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Musings | Tags: , , |

It can get a little excessive when you end up coming up with ideas in the middle of nowhere. Granted, the ideas I have are dealing more and more with stuff like murder mysteries and conspiracies than fantasy worlds and heavy-handed governments. It’s odd, but I enjoy it.

I’m debating about writing and posting a short story here. It’s a murder mystery that just popped into my head today. I’ll give a short summary, but for now I’m working through the details.

It’s a series of murders that takes place based on a group that visits a local coffee shop one evening. None of the people involved really knows each other, and of the original eight people in the coffee shop, by the end of the first day, only four are left.

Of course, no one knows why these people have been murdered. There are no clues, and though police believe it has to be one of the four left, there are clues that prove it’s not. One girl’s mother dies when she tries to escape the murderer by moving in with friends. One man loses his girlfriend’s pet cat only to find it dead later.

The murderer sends taunting letters not only to the intended victims but also to the police. And there seems to be nothing those who are left can do since the murderer seems to know where their families live and how to get to them. So they’re left in terror while the city watches in fear as the news reports the updates.

When only three are left, they band together in the hopes they can withstand the violence of this killer. Of course, that might be just what he wants. And as they make their stand in the coffee shop, hoping to draw out the killer, it becomes a desperate situation. Is one of them the killer? Or is it someone no one could have expected?

Anyway, that’s just an idea I came up with today. I thought of it after going to Starbucks last night. One of the victims in my story would be a woman with an odd background who no one really knows but who shows up weekly to play her guitar and sing while guests at the coffee shop studiously ignore her.

And, yes, this is what happened last night. She attempted to sing “Rocky Top,” which would be fine considering I’m in East Tennessee (home of the Vols – yay), but she had a horrible voice. Apparently she also didn’t really know “Rocky Top” either (very few people who live here actually know the verses to begin with), so she switched to “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which was admittedly worse.

Ironic, isn’t it, where inspiration strikes? I’ve got more to the story than I outlined, including a title, characters, and a few other odds and ends. Not to mention a killer. But I haven’t written on it yet. Anyone interested in seeing how it would turn out? It would be a short story – perhaps a few chapters because I’m not interested in writing a full blown murder mystery, not to mention I don’t really know how.

What about you? Is inspiration striking in odd places? It’s fun, but it can also be overwhelming at times when there are too many ideas for you to write them all down. Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to let me know!



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2 Responses to “Finding Ideas Everywhere”

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Okay. So I think I’m officially a crazy cat lady. You mention the woman’s mother dying, and I don’t blink. Then when it’s the girlfriend’s cat, I’m suddenly horrified. Hmm.

Sounds interesting. And very creepy. So novella length? It seems like it’d be difficult to do a mystery in the span of a short story.

Yeah, probably around novella length. Though when I was in high school I managed to write a murder mystery short story that still works to this day. (Granted it would require massive rewrites and whatnot since it’s so poorly written, but it gets the job done.)

Anyway, yes, it would be several chapters in length but nothing too long. I thought it would be fun to attempt.

You’re the crazy cat lady? Heh – I only threw in a cat cause I’m a dog person, and my first inclination was to throw in a dog instead, but it reminded me of another author too much, so I nixed that idea.

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