Observation is my number one method of finding play ideas. If you’re ever at a loss for coming up with something to write about, start logging observations. I write down observations on a daily basis and on Thursdays, I’m going to share one with you what I’ve seen and then you could do with it.
TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION
Observation: A guy gets out of a van in a rest stop parking lot. We have just pulled in and we’re also getting out of our car at the same time. The guy looks at us and says “Are you good at finding baby mice?” We say no and move on. This is one of the stranger questions I think I’ve ever been asked by a stranger. I don’t know why this guy needed baby mice, or if there were baby mice on the lose in his van, or if that was his way of breaking the ice with another human being. But it made my day as writer because I got to write down the awesome line – Are you good at finding baby mice?
How can you use it? Use it as the first line in a scene. A guy goes up to a girl and asks “Are you good at finding baby mice?” What happens next? How can you make the girl not want to run away screaming (if she does, it’s a short scene.) Now change the character who says the first line – make it a girl who asks the question of a guy. How does the scenario change? You can change it up again by making the question come from a child. Change it up again by giving the first line to a grandmother. Same first line with a vast number of possibilities…. have fun with it, it’s a great way to start a scene.