A is for Apricots. (Skim to the underlined genre or style that best suits you.)
Apricots in a Mystery might be a clue. Pound the image into your mind until the picture expands. Maybe the narrator sees a particular character buying a bag of apricots at the grocer. So naturally when the pit of an apricot is clutched in the hand of a murder victim, who was known by the gal who bought the fruit, curiosity will spark in your sleuth’s mind. Ask yourself, how does the sleuth know the victim or the suspect (sleuths must be personally involved in some way). How do the victim and the suspect know each other? Answers to these questions should help get your apricot mystery moving.
If you’re thinking Romance, well those apricot scented candles lit throughout the house and lining the bathtub, which is brimmed with luscious bubbles, will allow you to plant your heroine in the scene easily. Just don’t take too long to get your hero onto the premises. Apricots can also be used another way in a romance. Consider them as a gift. Do you see how unique you would make the hero appear if instead of a bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates, he brought his love a crate of fresh peaches or apricots? Maybe you’ve seen the movie “The American President” with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. When he couldn’t find the specific flower he wanted to give her, he gifted her with a Virginia ham (because she’s from Virginia). He not only stole her heart with the gesture, he stole mine. So ask yourself, or better yet, ask your hero, why he brought his love apricots instead of flowers? The reason can be comical, endearing, or practical, so long as it is unique. (O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou apricots!)
If Literary is your love, think of those apricots being as fresh and tart as Rosalee that first summer the narrator or another character met her. Compare her to the juicy fruit. Consider its center. How would this relate to a character? Once you decide that, this character and what she stands for is a good jumping off point for a story. You can’t shape this person without considering the other people in her life, considering who might have influenced her into becoming who she is. Fast write all those ideas down on paper and let them swim in your mind for a while, shift and twist them this way and that to blossom and expand, then start your story.
Children’s stories. How you include apricots in a story for children will definitely vary depending upon the age of the children you are writing for. In a picture book, you might have a character who does not like apricots and does not want to eat the bowl of sliced apricots in front of him. They’re slimy, too tart, and making him pucker at the mouth. For a middle grader, the characters might have an apricot fight in the kitchen instead of a snowball fight in the yard. Let your imagination soar!
The apricot ideas may not immediately spring into a bestseller, but you can work with them, mold them into something. (Try hard enough and you’ll even smell the tangy fruit.) Rummage through a number of images in your mind, and see which inspires you the most.
P.S. Ideas can’t be copyrighted, so the ideas I will be posting Monday through Saturday during April are free for any of you to use.