Idea mill #7

We haven’t had an Idea Mill post in quite a while. I save interesting articles that sparked my imagination, then I post the links for everyone. I’ll add a bit about where my mind takes me, and you can add ideas in the comments.

The first one is about the plant, wolfsbane. In this article, a gardener handled the plant, and died from the exposure. This looks like an awesome possibility for a cozy mystery. I don’t particularly believe the story, but it would make an interesting witchcraft story too. Miss Marples could have a lot of fun here.

This article discusses secret military bases, and the conspiratorial projects they might be working on. There seems to be no end to conspiracy theories, but a story can be so much better if it’s based upon one that’s popular. There is a wealth of possibility here. If testing biological weapons on the citizens of San Francisco doesn’t have a story in it, nothing does.

This story is about a dog. Who doesn’t like a dog story? Essentially, this adorable pit bull was dog napped. The good people in Massachusets identified him from a microchip and returned him to his owner. The cool part is that the dog made a trek from Florida to Salem. Of all places on Earth, the dog went to Salem. With its history of witchcraft, there has to be a story in there somewhere.

Take one, or more, of these articles and ask yourself “what if.” What if a secret military installation was creating a biological weapon using wolfsbane? What if an intern found out, but instead of blowing the whistle, she sent her familiar to Salem to recruit help from more powerful family members?

Can you find your next story in these articles? Tell me about it in the comments.


Filed under The Idea Mill, Writing

18 responses to “Idea mill #7

  1. Ali Isaac

    Ooooh… I’m liking the way your mind is working Craig! I used to love this sort of thing. I remember in school how all my classmates would groan when our English teacher gave us the first line of what was to be our next story in creative writing… my imagination was always sparked. I’m liking the wolfsbane idea, but I just dont ever seem to have time these days to just sit and let my imagination run away with me. Which makes me feel sad. I might be a might prolific writer if I did. I used to be able to turn anything into a story.


  2. Oh, man, that is so cool, Craig! I just read up on wolfsbane. I’ve never heard of it being so toxic. You’re right, it’s a great nugget to conjure a story around. Thanks for the idea!


  3. Actually, the dog made it to Salem, New Hampshire, not Massachusetts. No witches there. LOL I live in New Hampshire and the story was all over the news for days! But now he’s home and safe– love a happy ending.


  4. Very inspiring, Craig. I wish I had more time right now. I might remix these three bits one day…


  5. Thanks for these tips–you’ve already got me thinking 🙂


  6. Great prompts for stories. I have expanded several prompts into published works in the past. One of my current WIP’s is a culmination of 3 real life news articles that merged into a story.


  7. The dog story is especially sweet! And I love your Salem spin on it. Perhaps the people who helped transport Cooper home could have some sort of thing going on, as well as the people at the house that found him. 🙂


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