Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lunchmeat, Tampons, and a Lawn Chair

Sometimes we can so much time coming up with ways to tap our own creativity that it's nice when some little bits of inspiration fall right into your lap. I'm talking about those items that we come across that are either (a) so out of place that we can't help but spin a yarn to explain them, or (b) a candid look into someone else's life.

Out of Place Items
Have you ever found one mitten lying in a crosswalk? How about a lone shoe on the side of the road? How do those things get there? Kidnappings? Alien Abductions? Perhaps an item fell out of a bag on its way to the local Good Will; if so, why aren't these items needed any more?

And you don't just have to rely on items you find. What if one of you story has a character who finds something unique, like an expensive watch, a brown paper bag containing drugs, or a human head? What happens then? Write it and find out.

A Sneak Peek at Others
The next time you are looking at a screen, trying your best to come up with some kind of interesting character or scene, do this: Go to your local grocery store or supermarket and find a receipt lying in the parking lot. You'd be amazed at the range of things that will all show up on the same receipt, such as lunchmeat, tampons, and a lawn chair. What does that combination tell you about the person who bought them? Well, write it and find out.

If you don't feel like straying too far from the computer, you can still have found things delivered right to from Found Magazine. This site has a wonderful collection of miscellaneous pictures, notes, signs, and other interesting nuggets.

Sometimes, you just get lucky and instead of tapping creativity, creativity taps you.

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