Take these three lines:
“If you’re going to shoot someone you don’t have to check his Outlook calendar first.”
“I have a knife but I’ll just leave it in the car unless I need it.”
“I was just out walking my dog, and boom, a dead body.”
What would you think? Most people might think they should call 9-1-1. Some might chalk it up to eccentric conversation and keep moving. Others would sidle away from the speaker, perhaps questioning their character.
I’ve actually heard all three of those lines in the past two weeks. I’ve scribbled them away for future use (don’t anyone steal them!). Letting my imagination bubble away.
There’s a story to all three of those snippets of conversation. I know there is. I can imagine my deputy coroner, Tom Burns, saying the first one. I just don’t know the story. Yet. Are they mysteries, thrillers, something else? (I’m betting on mystery. I can’t seem to write anything except my middle-grade stories without a dead body cropping up – but you never know).
That’s where imagination comes in. James Scott Bell (I think – pretty sure) calls it “the boys in the basement.” I’ve tossed down three prompts. Not even full ideas.
Now it’s up to the boys. They’ll let me know when they’re ready.
Mary Sutton | @mary_sutton73