Free is great, right? Who doesn’t love free? It’s especially fabulous when you are gearing up to write your first (or next) story. Settings, characters, and other story elements are free for the taking – in unlimited quantities! So forget about TP, grab your cart, and let’s shop ‘till we drop!
Your Genre’ Aisle
This may be an aisle you’re already familiar with. You may have already written a story here, you’re continuing a series, or it may be a genre’ that you want to explore. The shelves are full to overflowing with favorite or enticing items. Let’s assume you’re going to write a story in the folklore genre’. As you stroll up and down the aisle, you can fill your cart with songs, stories, myths, and proverbs that have been handed down through song or word of mouth. You’ll pluck gypsies, wanderers, or minstrels from the shelves and give them a role to play in your story. Free listings of popular names of the time are free for the taking. There’s also a bin full of costumes and fabrics and a glass display case brimming with an array of mouth-watering, time period appropriate food and drink.
Shop Every Aisle
Fantasy not your thing? Perhaps not, but don’t pass it by. Although the world, costumes, and characters may be centuries beyond the time setting of your story, there’s always something to be gained by checking it out. There may be a relationship, conflict, or journey a character needs to embark on that transcends the boundaries of time and would be a good fit in your story. Toss it into your cart – you can always alter it to fit your needs when you get home.
Make sure you shop every sensory aisle: sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. They make the world of your story come alive and give your reader a place to settle in and believe in the tale you’re about to tell. Make sure there is plenty of room in your cart for something from every aisle; perhaps multiples in a variety of each are a good idea.
The Research aisle is a must, whether you’re in the past, present, or future. The world you create has to be believable, whether or not it actually exists. Gather up such items as climate, customs, and conflicts to weave into the fabric of your story. Perhaps there’s a template or two you can tuck into your cart to help you corral all of those details you’ll need to keep straight in your story.
Don’t forget the clearance aisle! There could be a lot of great stuff here (free for the taking), but hurry before time runs out! Is the plague about to end? Grab one if the dates work in your story plot. Reigning monarch about to be killed or dethroned? You might need him/her before their time runs out. Earth about to be destroyed? Grab your planet of choice before that large, red DESTROY button is pushed.
The great news is that the story shoppe is open 24/7, everything is free, and you can shop with multiple carts. Returns are guaranteed, no questions asked, and if you change your mind, you can pop that item you didn’t think you wanted/needed back into your cart. It’s a storyteller’s dream come true. Oh yeah – there’s a Dream aisle, too!