June 9, 2016

Writing a What If about The Greatest and The King

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

As a member of a writer's group, each year, we write a short story and are published in an anthology book. It's a great opportunity to be published annually. The writer's group has covered a number of different topics. Our last published book was a fictional dinner with a historical figure entitled, Dinner with Destiny.

Our new anthology book subject is "What If." Take a true fact and write a "What if" this happened instead of what did happen and write 1800 words. It sounded easy at the time we voted on the subject of the book, but we have a deadline to email the editor on our specific scenario. The purpose is to commit to your topic so there is no duplication of facts. With the deadline looming, I've been wracking my mind as to what fact to use. This is hard. What fact would you use?

Frankly, I was stumped. I had written and rejected several ideas as too complicated to explain within a word count of 1800 words. Then, I found inspiration via an article in our local paper, The Commercial Appeal. I get a lot of story ideas from reading the daily paper. With the recent death of Muhammad Ali, numerous articles were everywhere about his humble beginnings, controversial stands, talent for the sport of boxing, self-proclamation of being "The Greatest," etc. 

However, not one article connected Muhammad Ali (The Greatest) with Elvis Presley (The King) until I read Geoff Calkins column in Sunday's paper. Half way through the article I knew I had my "What If" story idea for my fictional piece. I'm writing a story about Ali and Elvis with an interesting spin. 

What inspires your writing? Do you keep an inspiration file? Do you log what inspires your published work? 

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