I’ve been involved with an anthology that comes out twice a year and sometimes have used revamped old stories, and occasionally brand new ones. The latter is always difficult to come up with a totally new idea.
I should plan ahead but always seem to get involved in other things then realise I’ve left it to the last again.
One day I wondered where I could source an idea from and remembered where several of my stories had come from in the past – dreams.
The best time to think of a storyline is bedtime. It’s the only time I do doing nothing, I can relax and give,y imagination free rein. The only danger is I don’t get far because I fall asleep. So sometimes it can take awhile!
Not coming up with much, I began to concentrate on my dreams. Mostly they don’t make sense, so it helps to write it down as remembered and then look at it to see if any sense can be made.
I stood by the gate and watched the three men working on the old car in the driveway. The younger of the trio lay on his back under the engine. His older brother, the one I was trying to attract the attention of, was handing him a wrench. Their Dad stood beside them, watching and giving advice.
This was urgent. I needed to speak to the older brother. I had to explain my actions to him he was angry with me.
“Can I have a word?” He gave me an annoyed look and I was well aware it was a bad time. He sighed and got to his feet as the rest of the family looked on.
Moving out of sight, I waited. He gave me a pained look. “What?”
“I just wanted to say sorry.”
He was a good looking lad and today even more so. Wearing dirty jeans and a white oil-stained teeshirt, he was the stereotypical image of a bad boy. And he could be bad! The teeshirt was stretched across his torso emphasising his pecs and biceps. I could only sigh in appreciation. He gave me a sulky expression.
“You are in it,” I said, referring to the book I had written. “Just not the main character.” I was having an internal fight with myself about being truthful. He probably deserved that.
“You know I’ll never read it,” he told me.
I nodded. “The main character, he’s called Steve. I just… just…” This wasn’t about being in my book, this was about something else. I knew the real reason he was mad at me, and it wasn’t about being the male lead, even though we pretended it was. I was always the heroine in my stories, only more beautiful, more confident and sassy than I really was.
No, this was about real life and real relationships. His name wouldn’t conjure up anything to the reader about who he really was or convey the vision of beauty standing in front of me.
The reader, like me, would imagine an old man in a flat cap sitting in a pub with a pint of bitter and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. It wouldn’t have worked. In all the films and all the books, I’ve read, the handsome male lead would look exactly like him. I took a deep breath,
“Having Reg has the main character’s name wouldn’t work as well as having Steve.”
There, I’d said it. I didn’t want to hurt him. Reg was beautiful to look at, but his name? What were his parents thinking of? Reg is that old bloke in the pub nursing his pint of bitter. I’m not sure he’d understand.
Reg shrugged as if he didn’t care because as he said, he wouldn’t read it. He stared at me for a long moment before going back to work.
That was the dream, I will let you know if I come up with something from. In the meantime, tell me your dreams and I’ll put it in my idea book.