Saturday, April 12, 2014

K IS FOR KEY!


K is for Key (Skim to the underlined genre or style that best suits you.)

Ideas can’t be copyrighted, so these ideas are free for any of you to use.

Who doesn’t love a Romantic guy? Jerome has the key to Ella’s loft, but not to her heart. After trying the old cliché (though a classy one) of sending flowers to her office, taping an announcement of his love for her to her windshield, and dangling in front of her a diamond pendant which she refused, he is going for the gusto. Pretending to be Ella’s cousin, he convinced a semi-friend (a locksmith) to make a key to her front door. Now he’s in, and he’s got his bag of goodies with him. So what’s in the bag?
 
Maybe a couple hundred little golden keys he’ll be dropping like breadcrumbs to her bedroom. To symbolize his wide open heart, little keys might be a better idea than the old rose petal motif he’s seen on TV a million times. If he wants to impress her, he must be unique. Maybe she suggested they swap house keys and he said no? Now he’s saying yes with all his heart. What else is in that bag? Knickknacks to mimic hotspots in Italy, her dream vacation? Groceries so he can cook her favorite meal? And a broken remote control to suggest his TV will be off the next time she stops by. That last one would work on me.

Mystery buffs, you can bet whoever has the briefcase that belongs to that key is the killer. A small key that either fit a diary or a briefcase was found at the scene, and the victim’s case is missing, so it’s not leap to assume the killer took the case. The killer probably doesn’t know he won’t be able to get it open without a screwdriver and a little labor. Your sleuth knows the victim, but that doesn’t mean the sleuth knows the killer. Naturally the sleuth is going to check the calendar and schedule book on the victim’s desk. When he does, he sees the word “keys” circled with red ink on the date of the 24th.
 
Now your sleuth needs to know what events might the victim had been planning for the 24th. Maybe a presentation or a one-on-one meeting with someone–someone who needs whatever was in that briefcase. But why is the word keys circled? Give that some thought and you’re on your way to solving the mystery before you write it. Mysteries are so much easier to write sort of backward, after you already know who did what and why. (At least I find this easier.)

Literary. He locked up the momentos, or rather, the torturous reminders of his past, packed up and moved to a new home. New home, new town, new beginning. But as time wore on, it was as if someone had brought the keys to each of those discarded items he so desperately wanted to forget. They entered his dreams more vividly every night, prompting headaches, fatigue… It was causing problems at his new job. So what were the items, and how will he learn to keep the past in the past and only let memories out as learning tools rather than as punishments?
 
Suppose one stowed-away item is a pair of old running shoes, and another is a high school yearbook, and maybe a third would be a thick, sealed letter-size envelope with his name on the front, along with a few smudges of grease. Tie these items together at some event no one would want to remember, something that happened in his past, and you’ll see your story unfold as your protagonist struggles to stay a step ahead of his nightmares. Peace may come, but you have to decide the cost for it. What is your protagonist learning about himself as he learns about the world?

How would keys fit nicely into a Children’s story? Think about little Lucy, who wants to be a singer someday. The problem is, any one song takes her through more keys than what exists on a keyboard. Some keys no one has ever heard before, nor would want to. Her voice bounces all over the place. People actually cover their ears when she sings, or cringe and walk away. But she is not the kind to give up. She sings in front of the mirror, she sings while taking a bath, she even tried singing while eating dinner, but her mother didn’t like the view of food in her mouth. If you make the plot as interesting as your character is likable, you’ll create a successful children’s story.

Please feel free to add to these ideas or share your own, and don’t be shy about offering up some ideas for sci-fi, horror, historical, or fantasy writers. We all need a little jumpstart now and then.

Happy writing!

 

65 comments:

  1. Wonderful read and post, I enjoy what you write pleased to be a follower.
    Yvonne.

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  2. I want to go out with Jerome - what a romantic! We have the same word today Debi! Great minds and all that :)

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  3. You've got the key Debi! This is so great thank you!

    Garden of Eden Blog

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  4. Then there is the fact that someone evil keyed her car; or she had the apartment wired with a camera video and catches him "In the act" of breaking and entering. Maybe when he breaks into her apartment, her mother is there waiting for him, rolling pin in her hand. Who knows? Perhaps as he is entering her apartment, he drops the key into the grating and is trying to fish it out when the police arrive to arrest him for robbery of the local bank. ??? Ha. Very interesting concept you have presented. Best regards to you. IF you wish, come visit me at # 772 on the challenge list. Blabbin' Grammy. aka Ruby

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    1. I like your input, and I'll be over to your blog in a few.

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  5. Great ideas for the letter K and great overall theme for the A to Z Challenge. I'm gonna have to take some time to check out the letter I've missed.

    LittleCely from LittleCely's Blog

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for popping over here, too.

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    2. When I try to follow your blog, it only allows me the option of following under my real name. How can I sign up as The Silver Fox, my blogging user name?

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    3. It gives a menu slide-down of choices, and whatever it is on, like Google, then it gives the name Google knows you by, probably from Facebook, etc. Scroll down that arrow by the reply box, and choose the one to reply under Name/URL or Open ID or anonymous. Otherwise, subscribe by email. I have done that with some blogs that I couldn't seem to get to take my name, and I have no idea why they wouldn't. I'm not very good at this technical stuff. :-) I had to join some blogs just by selecting "anonymous" and then for some reason, the next day or two days later, I could click into that little blue generic face that was me, and select "options" next to it, and then get it to take the id I wanted. Weird.

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    4. So glad you made it. And I can't believe I managed to explain something sort of "technical" to someone in a way they actually understood. I was hoping to, but ... :-)

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  7. "What is your protagonist learning about himself as he learns about the world?" <-- Excellent question. :)

    The Immarcescible Word

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  8. Like figuring out the mystery as it is key to figuring out who dun it

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    1. That's what I love about mysteries. :-)

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  9. You have such a rich imagination, Deb. Love it. I like the mystery scenerio. Let's say the sleuth also finds out the case could be onened with a secret combination -- two weapons, key and code. Mysteries rock.

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  10. If I understand your romance correctly, Jerome scams a key to Ella's loft to enter and somehow show his love for someone he's not positive loves him? Yikes!! I guess that could end romantically, but that guy would completely freak me out. Perhaps because I had a stalker at one point, that makes your scenario not-so-romantic for me. If I switch this to "mystery" then I'm fine because Ella can murder him. LOL

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  11. Little Lucy has her work cut out for her. Maybe she should try rapping?

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    1. Rapping works. I think it suits her well. Thanks!

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  12. Wow, impressive use of one item in so many different ways! You put a lot of work into this theme. OK, I'll put my two cents in with another genre... Steampunk: where is the key which will wind the clockwork city, recently discovered deep in the jungles of Africa? Who built the city, and why?

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    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I appreciate it. And thanks for the follow.

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  13. Who would have thought the simple word key could be made into so many different novels. The idea for a childen's story sounds interesting. Actually, they all do. Lots of choices. :)

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  14. I love what you did with the Key in all those stories. Wonderful. My own ideas started flowing. What a great writing prompt, too. Just bring in a key and ask the students, "What might this open?" I especially love those old skeleton keys...mmm...got me thinking.
    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you do get a chance to visit the Kaiserhoff in New Ulm. The key is to bring a BIG appetite!
    Play off the Page

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    1. The big appetite will be a problem, because of bring my husband. Whatever I don't eat, he will, plus a couple extra plates. :-)

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  15. Wonderful ideas! I particularly liked Lucy's dilemma of wanting to sing but singing in so many different keys she is hard to listen to.

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  16. That was me as Primo ArtSpa. I forgot that I was signed in under that blog. Have a great day!
    Mary

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  17. I don't know what it is about keys, but they are so magical. I have an old fashioned key that unlocked my first classroom door. My favorite moment in The Secret Garden is when the robin digs up the key. Maybe it's the potential the "key" holds to unlocking everything. Thanks for this image today!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. Wow! You're a great writer. I'm a follower now too.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

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    1. Thanks for the compliment and for the follow!

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  19. Key was my K word too! Because it's, er, key to the plot of both The K-Pro and now Ms. Fortune.

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    1. Yeah, I ran into a few blogs boasting a key. :-)

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  20. I love keys! Keys are very important in my novels. They unlock the most mysterious, fantastic, and dangerous things.

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    1. Yeah, I love what can be done with keys in a story. :-)

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  21. The key is always a winner! It works well in all the scenarios.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. I agree. It really gets the imagination pumping.

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  22. I've only just found your blog, following your visit to mine (for which I thank you, by the way). The key is, indeed, key; but maybe the key is not a physical device, but a code - perhaps a private key that is designed to guarantee on-line security. Hmmm. Thinking now. D'you mind if I follow you?

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    1. Very happy to have you following. I love your idea of the key being a code. Excellent suggestion and my brain is already playing with the idea. Thanks!

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  23. I am so happy we connected through A-Z...your posts are Key to some great writing ideas. Thanks! :)

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  24. I know the whole thing with the getting the locksmith to make the key to the front door is supposed to be romantic, but it totally creeped me out. Thats sounds more like a horror story waiting to happen…. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

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    1. Yeah, I see where it could go that way. But I'm thinking that if SHE had wanted to exchange keys anyway, then she did want him to have one and he is only now acting on it. :-)

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  25. I like the way your are offering your ideas to inspire all other writers.

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    1. I thought it better to share them than waste them. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

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  26. Cool theme for the challenge. I like all the fun ideas geared to the different types of writing. Very creative.

    http://cattitudeandgratitude.blogspot.ca/2014/04/k-is-for-kobie.html

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  27. Keys can always find their ways into stories. Something always needs to be locked up!

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  28. I especially love how symbolic a key can become--by metaphor or as a simple implement.

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    1. Me too. They are so versatile. Thanks for stopping by, Crystal.

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  29. We lived in a house when I was growing up that still used the old-style skeleton key. To this day, I find them quaint and charming and a lovely reminder of that old house. And then there are wonderful songs about keys... like this one. Since you are a new follower, you don't know that the rest of the year I do a HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY post. It is video dedications to various bloggers based upon what they have written that week. If I was doing it this week, I would send this out to you... so HERE'S TO YOU...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC8sBdox1RU

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    1. Thanks so much, Robin. It's a beautiful song. I did find someone as crazy as me, though, and I married him. :-)

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  30. You played beautifully with the key theme. I really liked the one about the little girl who wanted so to sing!

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    1. Thank you. I think that one is fun, too. :-)

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  31. When I thought of key as related to children's stories, I was thinking of a physical key, as in a mystery. I guess there can be crossovers between children's stories and mystery stories.

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