The most common question I’ve been asked over the year is where my stories come from. The short answer is, “it depends.” But the more thorough response is that my stories usually begin with a single thought or scenario or character or concept. In truth, I don’t always remember the original nugget after the story has been written. Especially in the case of longer works, that original concept or idea is often so buried under later developments as to be invisible.
But one of my favorite of my own stories — The Crush — has that nugget right up front. It is the first sentence of the piece:
What would you do if your wife told you she had a crush on another man and that she wanted to act on it?
That is all the story began with. But then I asked myself, well, what kind of woman would say this? And why? What sort of relationship is this where she would say it? And the characters and story just grew out of those questions.
Btw, Annie, the main character in the Crush stories is one of my favorite of my slutty wives, especially in her version of the story (one of the few I’ve written from the female POV).
At some point I want to check back in with Annie…