This week, G, H, and I receive the short story treatment:
G is for grotto: For many of us, the idea of a grotto conjures up a rosy cheeked Father Christmas sitting in his grotto, waiting to greet children and agree to their dreams of the latest toy or gadget. Now is the perfect time to write and send your Christmas story; many publications work months ahead and will be planning their Christmas issues soon. So your story could be about the person in the Father Christmas outfit. Perhaps he hates his job and children! One of the children could be particularly awkward and that’s only the start of his bad day! This could make for a humorous story. Or perhaps he loves his role but it makes him think about his grandchildren in Australia and how he’s missing seeing them growing up. Whether he gets to see them or not is your decision. Alternatively, the story could be about one of the children. She could be terminally ill and have one last Christmas wish. This would make an emotional story.
A grotto also refers to a cave. What secrets are hidden in the cave? Is there treasure? A prehistoric monster? Perhaps someone gets stuck in the cave and the water is rising so it’s a story about a race against time.
H is for hospital: All sorts of characters enter a hospital. You could write a story about an elderly patient who’s psychic and tells all the other patients their futures. You could add humour. She may not be a real psychic but think she is and ‘predict’ all sorts of hilarous futures. Or it could be serious and emotional. Perhaps there are some hard times ahead for some of the patients. Your story could feature two visitors. One could be going to see her mother and the other, his son. There is potential for a love story here. On the other hand, the pair could have had an altercation in the car park and carry it on into the hospital. The possibilities are endless.
I is for isolation: Who is isolated and in what context is up to you. It could mean a child isolated at school for misbehaving, or he could be being bullied and feel isolated that way. Another idea is for a story centred around the family. An older member of the family could be the black sheep but suddenly turn up after years away. Maybe his ‘dark deed’ isn’t what everyone thought and he’s welcomed back into the fold.
Think about each word carefully, then let your mind take over and the ideas will come.