Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Inspiration for Day 94

I was recently asked what inspired me to write the story Day 94. I had to chuckle because this is actually kind of funny. It's amazing how a small thought can trigger such a detailed plot. So this is the story of my great epiphany.

I was at home emptying the dishwasher thinking feverishly about another story I was working on. I'd reached a point where I needed to come up with the next big dilemma or twist to keep the story interesting. I stopped removing the dishes, leaned back against my kitchen counter, and stared out the skylight that rests within my kitchen ceiling. It was beautiful. The bright Colorado sunshine drifted through the plastic covering down into the kitchen, basking me in its warm glow. In that second I thought to myself, "Wow, I wonder what it would be like if that one ray of light through the skylight was my only link with the outside word?" And that's what started the idea for this story.

I started considering different scenarios that could force people to stay within their homes. I finally decided on an airborne disease, thinking this was the most realistic idea. From there the story took on a life of it's own. The characters weren't hard to create or envision, I just used my own family and what we'd be doing if we were in this situation. I was always instructed to write about what I know, and I know about being a wife and a mother. This developed the underlying theme of the story.

From there, each new predicament that the characters got into had a domino affect on the rest of the story. A little at a time, the plot got thicker. In my first draft the story ended at day 94, when Grant returned to the house. The ending was left up to the reader to decide. But eventually I finished it off. And that's how the plot of Day 94 was developed - based upon a glimpse out my skylight while doing dishes. Kind of funny now, looking back :)

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