Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A IS FOR APRICOTS


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.

Happy Writing!

  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.

 

 

30 comments:

  1. Oh! Great ideas. I especially love the romance one. I would love to receive a crate of apricots rather than flowers, but we'll blame that on the allergies.

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    1. I'd probably rather have peaches, but I needed an A-word. :-)

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  2. What great ideas you've shared. I never would have thought of so many ways to use a fruit in a story.

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  3. I was finding it hard to read that and be serious, apricots are just something i would never think to write about, i think of peach and peachy bottoms, apricots though, I think of dried up apricots and then revert back to james and the giant peach, yeh apricots are a no no for me, it keeps getting invaded by peachs, maybe the great war of the apricots v peach's?

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    1. That would be an interesting war. I wonder who'd win? Peaches are bigger. :-)

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  4. Apricot scented candles immediately create a scene in my mind's eye. I'll have to see if I remember it later. Even though I don't write romance, per se, everyone needs a love scene now and then. :)
    Great way to start, Deb.

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    1. Yes, love is universal to all other themes in some way or form. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Hi Debi!
    Just checking in from the A-Z Challenge. Thanks for visiting me.
    I love a good mystery.

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    1. Thanks for stopping, Bob. Hope to see you around from time to time. It took me three tries to 'follow' your blog. I'm not sure why, but when I click it kept telling me that page can be found. But I kept trying and then it was working fine. Go figure. I was probably doing something wrong, but all I was trying to do was click the little "join" icon. That shouldn't be too hard, even for me. :-)

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  6. Ooooh, you've got my thinking about apricots now. I could see using them in a scene where a character eats them from the tree. They can be so delicate and have such a short season that they could be used as a symbol for the fleeting nature of youth.
    Great post!

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    1. What a great idea. I hope you stop by more often and add your twist to my prompts. Readers will enjoy them. Thanks!

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  7. I loved your gift of apricots idea! (romance writer, here) And My favorite part of American President is when he sends her the ham. Such great and generous suggestions! :)

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    1. Thank you, and yes, the ham. It was priceless. I've watched the movie too many times to count, and my daughters and I know a lot of the dialogue by heart. :-)

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  8. Just dropping by as a fellow A-Zer. I'm no fiction writer though I love reading! My first thoughts about apricots though is having them in a Moroccan tagine with lamb and lots of spices. Maybe a romance in a riad?
    Jude xx

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    1. Thanks for stopping. You sound like you enjoy cooking. Yum.

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  9. The smell of apricots hung heavy in the humid air, and the only sound was that of a lazy fly dancing around the laden picnic table. ~MPL

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    1. What a beautiful sentence! Thanks for stopping by. Come again.

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  10. I found you because you visited me today. (I was visiting participants near my number.) As a writer, I love 'prompts' to stir my memory and imagination. "Even to this day, the fragrance of apricot lotion reminded her of a time when she was young and smooth to the touch." Working on a 2nd novel..maybe I'll use this!

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    1. Lotion to remember her youth. I'm going to lather up my hands right now. Thanks. :-) I'm glad I follow your blog!

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  11. I think of Apricots and I think of fresh Apricot Jam! Yum! Debbie this was really useful, might use it in near future! Lv

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    1. Thanks so much. Apricot jam would work well in a story too. And you are right –YUM!

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  12. I'd probably go for the mystery scenario...
    The apricot jam would also work well in a kiddies story of how the peanut butter and jam saved the day... it's the yummiest of all the flavours!
    Writer In Transit

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    1. That would be a great story for kids, and it would be fun to write!
      Thanks for stopping by and adding an idea.

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  13. Great little nuggets of inspiration

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  14. Thanks for stopping by my place today. I enjoyed your apricot starters! Good stuff.

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  15. I love your theme for the A-Z, Debi - and I'll definitely be popping back for some more great ideas!

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