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.
I recently read in Rob Parnell’s book on writing Romance (genre romance, not literary love stories) that you can’t have a protagonist with a disability (which really irritates me). But I don’t think that necessarily means you can’t have a protagonist with a “temporary” disability. Imagine some good looking guy who appears a bit clumsy maneuvering around on crutches, and naturally wearing a hot pink cast, but who will undoubtedly be the perfect match for your heroine by the time his foot heals and his brain smacks around his arrogant side enough to let his romantic side get her attention. After all – what if they met at the hospital? Seems plausible to me. (My daughter’s boyfriend is wearing a hot pink cast right now. It’s her favorite color.)
So put on that neon cast, grab a pair of crutches, and let your characters fall in love.
Now what about in a Mystery? Imagine that outside the window, instead of footprints there are imprints the size of a half dollar. Imprints from the bottom of crutches, and not even one shoe or boot print? How can that be? Surely the guy had to put his weight on his good foot at least once in a while. Or, did somebody use crutches purposely to throw off investigators, to cause confusion or cast doubt on some hobbling but innocent character. Or, if you don’t like the footprints/imprint idea, maybe a receipt was found on the floor, a receipt to a manufacturing company that makes crutches. Was the receipt dropped by the murderer? Possibly, because the victim is not on crutches, has no need to order crutches by bulk or a single pair … unless they’re aluminum crutches and somehow hollow, filled with cocaine or some other weird drug, and then shipped to an unsavory party. It could happen.
Literary? Oh my, my. What a good literary writer couldn’t do with a solid pair of crutches. Or maybe, a not so solid pair. Consider that Constance, already thirty-five years old, hobbled down the aisle full of hope and using a pair of crutches when she finally squeaked out, “I do.” The need for crutches may have been a sign, something she overlooked. Something that has been speaking loudly to her ever since that day. It not only followed her, it somehow shaped her. You can take it from there, you wizard of a writer.
Also consider a character using another character as a crutch. A character not actually a love interest, but one who fears the crutch character may complete him or her in a way he or she “might” not be able to live without. Like an addiction.
Children’s writers. There’s a natural tendency for teasing with children (unfortunate but true) , and crutches can trigger teasing. If the main character is on crutches, imagine the talk on the playground. Imagine that the need for crutches came about the day before a big race (and thus, the character let down teammates). Or, imagine that some creative child wanted to build a fort and used Grandpa’s crutches for supports. That could make some interesting dinner conversation for said child.
What ideas can you pull off the top of your head? If you can offer some ideas in genres I didn’t cover, such as horror, sci-fi, or fantasy, please share! My readers will appreciate it.