Listen for story ideas

Karalee’s Post #81

Last Friday my husband and I had dinner with two couples that we had first “met” online. It wasn’t with the intention of increasing our social circle, but rather we connected through doing what we enjoy doing.

Dick and Marian (sitting on the right), got in touch with us through our common interest in boating, especially since all our children wanted other kids to hang out with. Initially we found each other through a Vancouver club newsletter and then kept in touch through a new technology back then called email.

At the time Dick and Marian were living in Saudi Arabia where they raised their children while Dick worked with an oil company, and David and I were on a two year homeschooling and sailing adventure with our three children in the Mediterranean. That was a dozen years ago and our families met on our sailboats in Turkey.

It is easier to get together in person now that Dick and Marian have retired and moved back to Vancouver. We do cool stuff together, like trek in Nepal (Marian guides the treks) or around the local mountains. Especially in the winter we play the board game Settlers of Catan after dinner and visiting.

The second couple (on the left above) is Alison and Don. If you follow this blog and glance at people that like our posts, you will frequently see Alison and Don. They are a very adventurous couple that sold their material wealth (and let go of their fear of letting it all go) to embrace traveling and discovering the world. They started their own blog Adventures in Wonderland and somehow found the 5Writer’s blog.

And, by some great alignment of what is meant to be, Alison and Don are from Vancouver too, and are back for a few months. Certainly the invitation for us to meet in person was not to be missed.

The six of us had a wonderful evening and were never short of stories to tell. We could have continued for days I’m sure.

Which brings up the point that most of us have stories to tell. Listen to the ones that your family and friends go on and on about. In general they have a beginning, a middle and an end, and probably a whole lot of back story. Are they worth writing about? Some are, absolutely.

Here’s the fun in listening to what’s happened in other people’s lives:

  • any one of their stories can ignite the fuse to a story idea for writers. Then in fiction writing, it is up to us to develop characters with goals and conflicts that can carry the premise idea through a myriad of connecting plot points to a great conclusion!
  • being around other storytellers feeds a writer’s soul and not only fills the void of loneliness (writing is a lonely business) it also encourages more writing that in some way doesn’t seem as lonely since there are real persons at the source of our ideas.
  • making friends and being present with other people is one of life’s true joys and it takes eating and drinking to a whole new level.

So, as Paula encourages writers to go forth and ask experts questions in order to allow our writing to sound authentic regarding the subject we are writing about, I also say go forth and listen to friends and family and strangers in the park or in coffee shops and discover some of their stories.

Take some notes too. We all know that some truths are far stranger than any fiction story we can ever imagine. Who knows what you will discover!

Happy writing!


2 thoughts on “Listen for story ideas

  1. Smiling. Thanks for sharing this snippet of your story, and Dick and Marian’s story, and our story. I think you’re right – we all could have talked on for hours sharing all the stories of our adventures. It was wonderful to meet you all, and to finally meet a 5writer in person. Hoping to meet the rest of you before the summer’s out. Great photo!
    Cheers, Alison

  2. So true, Karalee. Stories come from anywhere, everywhere, everyone. Your dinner sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to meet my heroes Alison and Don in person.

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