I killed my husband with my bare hands.
Those are the opening words to a story I want to write.
These days I find it easier to start writing with the first few words rather than a title or the entire plot in mind. Changes are welcome along the way.
Then there is the struggle with characterization. The art of making each character memorable and sympathetic.
So, I have been thinking of writing a story birthed from a think thank. I supply the skeletal plot and y’all get to help flesh it out 🙂
Returning back to the opening words: “I killed my husband with my bare hands”.
A murder has just taken place. A man is pronounced dead by the paramedics in his home and his wife is the prime suspect.
No, this is not your NCIS LA, blood and guts murder. The husband dies after eating a meal.
The paramedics rule for food poisoning, but that isn’t the cause actually. Well, nothing deliberate.
This couple are newly married and absolutely in love. “Who cares if my wife can’t cook?” The husband often says.
Let’s just say her in-laws did not take this well and accused the wife of starving their son.
She enrolls in a combination of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school (her choice) and Iya Basira’s kitchen (in-laws’ choice).
This is the story of the ill-fated dish that became her husband’s last meal.
Where do you come in?
Characters: Let’s build her husband. What is his age? His profession, temperament, physical appearance, and any additional detail that would matter. The same goes for the wife. What is her educational background? Profession? Do these play a role in her inability to deliver in the kitchen? What kind of culture is this newly married couple part of? Does the go-and-marry syndrome reflect here. Then the cantankerous in-laws.
Elements: It’s already been established that this story doesn’t have a happy ending, so comic relief along the way is needed. Think of catastrophic recipes and what can go wrong in the learning how to cook process.
Plot: Is more action needed? Even if the “murder” gets the story started, is it enough to sustain the plot and its characters through to the end.
Let’s get our imaginations and keypads clicking here. There is a story to be written.