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How to write fiction | Characters and places

Vintage Darlo

I took this photograph yesterday afternoon and edited out some of the modern things; a couple of cars and a sign. Now it looks quite Dickensian and could inspire a story. It is actually part of a town hall, but it could just as well be a Victorian workhouse or Ebenezer Scrooge’s offices. Some effort has been taken to keep the town’s Victorian look as you can see from the period lamp post. I did edit a modern one out however. It might be difficult writing a story set in the Victorian era, but maybe one that begins with a Victorian idea and then continues into the present day? Maybe the great grandfather of our protagonist had his office in this building and that could be the beginning.

Stories have to be interesting to compel and tease the reader to read on, page after page; chapter after chapter. Last week I used a picture of a very modern building, the local hospital as my inspiration for the clone stories. You don’t have to use photos for inspiration, everything you come across in life can inspire a story; even television.

Michael, my clone, who lives in the basement of the hospital doesn’t have a bad life. He might be experimented on, but he is waited on hand and foot by a small army of young nurses 24 hours a day. The fact that he is going through puberty and has hormones rushing through his veins does pose problems. He’s taken an interest in fashion now and so I have to take him new clothes. He never leaves the hospital, but has begun getting dressed every morning and wandering around the hospital a little. He takes an interest in the other patients now; especially the young ladies. We are so much alike…

The hospital has a new restaurant for patients, visitors and staff and Michael loves to go there for a meal. Taking an eight year old for a meal when he looks like a sixteen year old isn’t easy. He orders weird meals like burgers and chips, refusing to eat vegetables and then wants ice cream for dessert. The restaurant is partly self service and so I have to watch him  like a hawk or he would help himself to everything that’s going.

I don’t know what happened with the new student nurse, Lindsey in the shower room, but she is refusing to take him for a shower anymore. That’s a shame, he seemed to like her…

What do you think of the snippets of this story? What could Michael get up to next? You are putting yourself in the place of a protagonist and have to imagine what he is like. I know what he’s like, just like me! You also have to imagine the setting for the story, the futuristic hospital, with it’s ultra clean environment and glaring fluorescent lighting. Nurses in pristine uniforms, who look like they have been scrubbed clean. The long corridors of the hospital would be part of Michael’s world. The regimented time table of meals and even morning and afternoon tea would be at the same time every day. All this planned life style would make him feel secure, but would it make him want something new? It is supposed to be a comedy too and those raging hormones he is experiencing at puberty could provide a few laughs. Do you have any ideas? Please comment and tell me where you think the story could go next.

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