Hello everybody, I’m Richard Burns and I’ll be filling in for Mark Casigh today, and I can’t thank him and you enough for this opportunity. I’m the author of “Sweet Chocolate’s First Taste,” and a couple of stories coming out soon.
Originally, I was going to focus on “Anticipation,” as my theme, but I’ve since decided to talk about “Springboards for Writing,” instead. I use these A LOT! Not typically once I already have a story started, but just getting the initial ball rolling.
I’m going to cite a few examples here and then ask some questions, and then ask you to post in the comments section, in which direction would you take this story?
Some of these springboards are longer than others and have different effects. For example: “You are standing in line at the grocery store and the person in front of you, a very attractive and fairly well dressed (if you’re a woman, it’s a man, if you’re a man, it’s a woman), turns to you and says…?”
Now we’re writers. We’re looking to create a story here, preferably an interesting one! So don’t just tell, the woman turns to me and says, “I can’t believe I forgot the milk, can you hold my place in line?”
It’s okay that she says that, but don’t just leave it there. Tell us about the wedding ring she is wearing. About the food in her cart, obviously buying for a family with children?
Okay, now she’s loading her groceries in her mini-van, coincidentally, her car is parked very close to yours, one of her bags splits and the contents spill onto the pavement… What’s your response? When do you see her next? How do you see her next? Pick up the ball and run with it!!!
Now for simplicity sake, let’s just stick with the male Point of View (POV), since I am one and I don’t want to have to keep stipulating male/female, he/she, etc.
Let’s try another, and this has really happened to me. A couple of times actually, but you are standing at a bus stop, just because I’m from there, let’s say it’s Chicago. A very attractive woman/man is standing close, also waiting on the bus. There’s a restaurant behind the bus stop, and the music playing on the sound system can be heard easily in the Plexiglas shelter. Macy Gray flows over the speakers, her throaty blue notes just seem to resonate with you that day. You find your head is subtly bobbing up and down with the music, your foot barely taps to the beat, and as the sound of her voice floats through the air, you find yourself gently swaying to the music. But still, no one certainly would call dancing.
But you lift your eyes, to see that very attractive person next to you, closer now, doing the exact same thing. Now, nobody would think that the two of you were together, because you’re not.
Now, she raises her eyes and notices that you too, are doing the same thing, and he or she smiles at you. NOW, you could be together. Neither of you stops. You allow the music to hold you and keep you. If she catches your gaze again, and holds it, you are now, “together,” while at the same time your not. But it’s the eye contact that establishes that intimacy.
Furthermore, it also establishes a relationship, of sorts. She knows it and you know it too. You caught each other, not dancing. And certainly not dancing together. You were both alone, together. Then at the end of the three and half minutes, the bus arrives and you both board.
A). Do you talk to her?
B). Do you Introduce yourself?
C). Do you allow her to fade away into the crowded bus?
The next day, same time catching the same bus. She’s there again. It’s an off hour commute, so the crowd isn’t too bad at all. Again, another song comes on, you’ve heard it before, but it’s never sounded quite so good as it does right now.
A). Do you extend your hand to her in a silent offer to dance, on the street?
B). Do you maintain the anonymity?
You extend your hand to her as an offer to dance and she accepts. It’s a slow tune so the two of you can speak.
A). Do you? And if so, what do you say?
B). You don’t speak. Keep things anonymous.
The whole point to these exercises is to get your imagination engaged and your fingers moving over the keyboard.
If you think you can use either one or both of these scenarios, HELP YOURSELF! Take them and make them your own. Make yourself a Chicago Violent Crimes Detective and your next call you find yourself standing over the woman’s body… Or her husband’s body… The first interview you must do is… Her!
Okay, post your responses below, and I’ll look at them throughout the day and perhaps throw a few more questions out there, to get the creative juices flowing.
Now, as a bit of a Promo… NO! A SHAMLESS, advertising of my works… COMPLETELY SHAMELSS!!!
Here is an excerpt to my Erotic Romance, “Sweet Chocolate’s First Taste.”
Click cover for more info & buy link
Sweet Chocolate’s First Taste
Columbus, Georgia: April 1979
I was training as an Infantryman in the U.S. Army at North Harmony Church, Fort Benning, Georgia. I was just seventeen years old and regrettably at the time, still a virgin. We were two weeks from graduation, and my buddies, Ed Bristol and Juan Garcia, took a weekend pass to visit Columbus, Georgia. A typical GI town of the late ‘70’s, Columbus offered an endless collection of strip joints, tattoo parlors, and pawn shops. They catered to young inexperienced soldiers, like me, from Tinytown, Kansas; Nowhere, Oklahoma; and Jerkwater, Nevada.
We checked into a cheap, dreary motel near the cornucopia of strip joints, eager for our weekend of fun and freedom. Juan left “for supplies,” while Ed and I unpacked. It was a dump on Victory Drive. Threadbare carpets, thin walls, thin drapes, and even thinner towels that felt as comfortable against your skin as twenty grit sandpaper. I would say it was clean, but the roaches would probably take offense. We were watching one of those pathetic ‘70’s sitcoms when Juan abruptly returned. Grinning, he immediately began unbuttoning his shirt. Following Juan was a surprisingly beautiful black woman. I was caught completely off guard.
She closed the door behind her. I watched intently, as her breasts swayed and jiggled slightly, ever so delicately. Her eyes were downcast as if she was embarrassed. She followed Juan into the room. At the sight of us her eyes went wide and she gave a shrug of her shoulders and a tip of her head, as if to say, “Oh well…” To me, it all said: bashful.
Instantly, I was captivated, and a little intimidated by both her age, almost thirty, and her luscious beauty. The woman—and she was a real woman, not a kid—had a pleasant round face with high cheek bones that gave it depth. She was tall, but still several inches shorter than my six feet, but I was struck by her very dark, coffee brown complexion, which seemed at odds with her flowing, shiny curls of gorgeous shoulder-length hair.
My palms were sweaty at the thought of getting them on her beautiful, perfectly proportioned breasts. Those breasts seemed to call to me, with each sway and bounce. Her soft white cotton dress fit her form sensationally, hugging her upper body alluringly, accentuating the breadth of her torso before tapering down to her narrow waist, then loosely flowing over the graceful, but sweeping curve of her hips.
My arms wanted to encircle that narrow waist, to lay my hand atop that scrumptious, perfectly developed ass, and then just pull her body to mine. To press our chests and hips together, to meld into a single being; to feel her softness pressed against my hardness. To feel the slope and curve of her back as those glorious breasts pressed against my chest. She was perhaps the most beautiful black woman I had ever met. All of these thoughts vanished quickly with my growing anxiety at my impending moment…
Okay, that’s it. The story is only 4K words and I don’t want to give away the goods. Lets see what you’ve decided to do with the person at the bus stop…