People- Stories are about people, their experiences. By talking with others, you hear their stories, and can asked “what if…?’, adding embellishments, or sharing your own personal stories.
Places- Some places inspire stories from me, such as parks or museums. Structures offer potential settings in stories, or lead me to wonder the historical stories behind them. Houses carry so many memories, even personalities. For instance, a townhouse varies from a homestead, or a Victorian era house near a lake. Settings can be just as much a character in a story as a person.
News– The news sparks many stories from conflicts to inspiration. Articles tell stories about heroes or villains all the time, and this can lead to interesting stories. You can change the genre such as a murder mystery set in the future, or take a historical setting with a catastrophic event.
Objects– Yeah, it might seem weird, but you can find stories by everyday objects. If you ever go antiquing or find interesting baubles in your day to day life, start asking about the stories these hold. The antique bed could spark a romance story, or an old necklace provokes a fantasy tale. Your parents might have items that include stories, or something you have, and take for granted, might lead to a new story.
And some unusual sources of stories;
Tattoos– I’m fascinating with the stories behind tattoos. They are like stories on the skin, offering insight in the person. I know a young woman who has Japanese Kanji lettering on her hip; the name of a friend who died in a drunk driving accident. Another woman I know has a small Ladybug tattoo over her heart to remind her that even small things can be the most beautiful.
Family– Talk to relatives, and you can find amazing stories. My grandfather on my father’s side told stories of World War II, while my grandmother told me things about her life in Australia (she was born Tasmanian). The stories passed on from generation to generation not only share entertainment value, but make up the kind of people we are.
Think outside the box, and you find stories surround you all the time, every day, with everything.
Prompt: Think about the mentioned sources of stories and brainstorm potential plots from them. Remember, think outside the box and see where it takes you.