Storystorm is a movement- yeah I think I could call it a movement- created by Tara Lazar in which writers take on the challenge of coming up with a picture book idea a day for the month of January. It’s a month of brainstorming for stories. Hence, Storystorm. The goal is to end the month with 30 new ideas to have in the holster.
Sounds like fun, so I’m going to try it. I don’t imagine I’ll find too many gems here, but I hope to mine for some coal that can be refined over time and polished into diamonds. I don’t know if gems come from coal, but it’s all rocks (are gems even rocks, actually? I could just look it up, but I’m not going to. I’m saving my effort for the actual ideas, not the metaphor about the ideas). And I’m going to share my ideas here, and hopefully turn this into a collaborative experience. I’ll throw out the initial impulse, and hopefully it’ll inspire something in someone else, and inspire something else in someone else and who knows how many different stories can be inspired from one seed. All I ask is you add something to the initial idea in the comments, show how you’re making it your own and taking it somewhere further than it was when you found it. Then I give you my blessing to take it.
So here we go:
Yesterday I was inspired by a quote from the musical Hamilton. That musical has almost single-handedly brought the great achievements done by Alexander Hamilton on behalf of the United States of America. Before the show took off, there was a chance that Hamilton was going to be removed from the ten dollar bill. The man who basically created the monetary system in America was going to be the first removed from his spot on its currency. And now today, the film Hidden Figures came out. A movie about the African American women who worked behind the scenes and helped send men into space. Another story that finally gives the proper due to people who deserve it but didn’t get it for so long. I like these stories.
Now, the obvious approach to a story like this is to find a historical figure and write the non-fiction biography. But what about the fiction avenue? How about a story about the people who do the little things in our lives that don’t get enough appreciation? The teachers who train the people who do the things that do get the recognition and appreciation. Everyday, there are things we need done to be able to go about our everyday lives. From the engineers who build the streets and sewer systems and tunnels beneath our feet to the plowers who clear the snow so we’re not buried in. This is the story of the everyday that never gets told.
Or how about we make something up? A new folk tale about the man who dug every lake. Or about the woman who lit the stars. But what’s the story? Why would they do it? This approach has so many possibilities. It could literally go anywhere.