Last weekend I partook in a writing workshop that was organised by the fantastically sweary procrastination-busters, Writer's HQ - 'Write A Novel In An Hour - For Adults'. Paper, pens, glitter, glue, googly eyes and a box of character inspiration cut from magazines were provided, but actual story ideas had to come from your own brain. In between a whistle-stop tour of The Hero's Journey, character tropes and story arcs, this is what I managed to come up with in about forty minutes...
The Queen of Apples
Here is my protagonist, Bob. He is fourteen and three quarters. He likes online gaming, heavy metal music and piercings. He dislikes fruit and veg, getting up early and cheerful people. He lives in suburbia, and is still at school. In his pocket, he has a key, a piece of broken mirror and chewing gum (pocket contents ended up not being used in the story.)
One day, Bob's Dad tells Bob it's time for him to start helping out on his fruit and veg stall. This is going to mean very early mornings, dealing with cheerful people - and worst of all - loads of fruit and veg.
Bob runs away into the woods...
Where he trips over a tree root.
Bob looks up, and finds himself confronted by the Queen of Apples.
Bob falls in love with the Queen of Apples. She tells him that he has been chosen to further the cause of fruit and vegetables. In order to do this, he must put her into a smoothie.
'Please do it,' she says, 'for the sake of my brothers and sisters - the fruit and the vegetables.'
Bob does the deed...
He drinks the elixir...
...and it's delicious. (Couldn't remember how to spell delicious here).
Bob finds the Queen of Apple's crown in his pocket. He feels motivated to advance the cause of fruit and vegetables in her memory.
Bob's new outlook on fruit, vegetable and life, helps him to resolve his relationship with his Dad.
And together, Bob and his Dad advance the cause of fruit and vegetables.
So there you have it! Bear in mind we were encouraged not to worry about coming up with an incredible idea, but to just run with whatever came to mind. Working under time-pressure did help to loosen inhibitions, and just 'following my nose' with the story and drawings was definitely a fun exercise.