Last week I wrote about putting the little things in real life adventures (trips) into stories. I’m back to tell a little more, and hopefully this will entertain you.
One thing I wrote about is how large my dogs are and the fact that they needed help getting into my Jeep. Sugar is large and she has hip problems. Murphy is bigger. He weighs almost as much as I do, and he really doesn’t like riding in a car. I have a ramp that they can climb, but neither one of them would use it on the trip. So, getting in and out of the Jeep involved placing their front paws on the rear bumper and simultaneously lifting their rear ends, and a lot of laughter. When you consider their size, this was no easy task. They required a number of potty breaks, so that made it even more interesting.
Now, imagine you’re on a long trip with a friend. You’ve been driving all day and the sun has disappeared, leaving you in the dark. You’re extremely tired and hungry. Ah! You spot a drive-thru burger joint. Just the ticket, right? You enter the lot and pull in behind the last car in line at the drive-thru. You wait. And you wait. The line isn’t moving. You’re so tired and hungry, and you can’t figure out why the line isn’t moving. You know there’s a burger in the joint with your name on it.
You’ve reached a point where you want to yell at the cars in front of you, or anyone, just to get things moving. Patience isn’t a virtue in this case. You have none.
And then it strikes you. You didn’t pull up to a moving line. You pulled up behind a parked car. One of the employees is watching you out the window, apparently trying to figure out what you’re doing. You laugh until you cry, while your passenger sits and watches you like you’ve lost your mind.
Another adventure, or at least that’s the way I’ll remember it.
Do you want a more exciting adventure? How about looking in the rearview mirror and seeing headlights coming at you at a rate of at least twenty miles an hour over the speed limit. You can’t change lanes because of traffic. Uh oh. Eeeeekkkkk!!!!!!!!! (I’m still here, so it worked out.)
So far, everything could go in a book with a few good twists.
Maybe you need to stop at the Rest Stop, but you find it’s closed. The dogs can get out, but you’re up a creek. On to the next Rest Stop which, unfortunately, is also closed. You make one more try at a service station. You may bounce from foot to foot while you read an Out of Order sign.
See? You can use almost anything as a scene in a story. The character’s reaction to the rest stops and service station could be a good cry, a temper tantrum, or whatever you want it to be. I’m thinking in terms of a female. The outcome might be very different with a male.
Right now I’m working on a time travel mystery. My character will travel back in time. As I write, I have to stop to think what we have now that they didn’t have back in the day. How would I react with no radio, no television, no cell phone, or no car? How would my character react? What about other things, like an electric can opener or an electric mixer? Many of the things that we take for granted would make a huge difference in a different era.
Rest stops? There weren’t any. Service stations? Maybe they don’t exist during that time period. A drive-thru burger stand would be unheard of around the turn of the century. Can you picture a horse and buggy pulling up behind another horse and buggy and “parking” while an historical character waits for food to go?
When you write a book, there’s so much to think of, and to research.
Remember, the little things often make the difference.
Until next week, let some of the little things in life make your day. If you can, laugh at them.
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