Tag Archives: story ideas

Interviewing the Elderly for Unique Story Ideas & Research

Interviewing the Elderly for Unique Story Ideas and Research

guest post by: Shannon Paley

What the elderly have to offer us in regard to fiction writing is immeasurable for a number of reasons; senior citizens’ musings can be inspirational and stimulate our creativity.  Below are areas in which one might interview the elderly:

  1. Experience.
    Sure, many of us grew up with things that those growing up in the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s did not.  But guess what they have?  Experience.  Many saw significant wars such as World War II and Vietnam (only 2 among many), or at least the effects of them.  They experienced the Great Depression.  They watched technology develop from radios to TVs to computers to cell phones.  They’ve lived under many different presidential terms and experienced monumental elections.  They lived through segregation and desegregation; they may even have heard Martin Luther King Jr.’ s “I Have A Dream” speech as he spoke its words.  They’ve lived through things we’ve only read about in brief summaries in history books.Even if fiction writing isn’t based on actual events or people, great fiction writing is born from experience.  Experience allows you to know how your characters will react to certain situations.  It adds to the authenticity of the scenes and situations you create.  Even though fiction writing isn’t meant to be real, it still needs to be realistic, i.e. logical; and our experiences, as well as the experiences of others, will help our writing be realistic.
  2. Fiction Knowledge.
    The elderly grew up with fables, stories, myths, etc. that we do not know.  Ultimately, whether we know it or not, the stories we grew up on influence what we write.  They determine our views on right and wrong, good and evil, etc.  For instance, I grew up with Disney stories, which shaped the way my generation looks at everything in the world, and ultimately, how we write fiction.  Stories and the like that we don’t know are a great medium for inspiration and character development; and the elderly know stories we do not which offers us a new outlook.  Allowing them to share them with us will improve our writing and creativity.
  3. Creativity.
    Many senior citizens are retired and simply have more time to attend to their imagination.  Think about it; as a child, our minds ran wild.  Part of this was due to our brains not being fully developed.  Another part of this is due to our being care-free.  As we grow into adulthood, responsibilities and worries hinder our imagination; and our imagination is our means to creativity.  Some senior citizens have the time and the means to access their imaginations.  In comparison to children, they also have the attention span to expand on their mind’s creations.  Obviously, I’m not saying to steal a senior citizen’s stories or characters.  What I’m saying is that their creativity can be inspirational to your own.

Have you ever interviewed someone to add depth and details to a fiction story idea?

About the author: Shannon Paley is a guest post and article writer bringing to us her thoughts on what the elderly have to offer fiction writers.  Shannon also writes about nursing home abuse.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. The empty feeling in my stomach spread to my chest and head, threatening to pull me inside out.
  2. How do I say this to you?
  3. On her wrist was a bracelet made from multi-colored paperclips.
  4. His voice crackled through the walkie-talkie, “The Eagle Has Landed.”
  5. Are you ready to do this?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join my tribe—subscribe. Yo!

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 Prompt Friday, Advice, Author Interviews, Believe, books, characters, Commit to 3, contests, Creative Essays, Deadlines, Education, emotion, Events, Fiction, Friday Finds, Fun Stuff, Get Published, Give Aways, goals, Inspiration, Little Things, Lost Things, Markets, NaNoWriMo, Non Fiction, Novels, Organization, Perseverance, Platform/Marketing, procrastination, Queries, Reader Wednesdays, Rest, teaching, Thankful Thursday, The Motherhood Muse, Uncategorized, Voice, writer markets, writers, writers block, writing inspiration, Writing prompts, Writing Space, Young Adults

5 prompt Friday

         Get your pen a-movin’ and a-shakin’!

  1. Wallet? Check! Car keys? Check! Little green man in the passenger seat…?
  2. She blew kisses through the porch screen.
  3. Megan tucked the foiled-wrapped chocolate candy into her front pocket and bowed out of the room.
  4.  Why would anyone want to move into a log cabin?
  5. The blinking light on the answering machine taunted him until he unplugged the thing.

 

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join my tribe—subscribe. Yo!

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 Prompt Friday

5 prompt Friday

         Ready, Set, Write!


  1. Opening night for a new musical.
  2.  Telling a child the story of Santa Claus
  3.  She was all sharp edges and angles, even her knee socks seemed starched.
  4.  My neighbor stood on my stoop with sopping wet hair and a screaming child.
  5.  You are invited to the CEO’s lake house for a dinner party.

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join my tribe—subscribe. Yo!

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 Prompt Friday

5 prompt Friday

         Here we go again…

  1. Think of your top five favorite books. Now put yourself in one of them, walk around, interact with the characters, describe the setting as you see it
  2. Write a personal ad for your main character: they are looking for love, or a dog, or a job…Go!
  3. Think back to Christmases past and reflect on the strangest gift you received. Now have a character receive this gift and write about their reaction.
  4. You open the door to find a mangled package and something inside is moving…
  5. If you were on a busy city street corner and started to pan handle, what would your pitch be?

Have a story or prompt to share? Post it here : ) Happy writing!


~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join my tribe—subscribe. Yo!

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 Prompt Friday

5 Prompt Friday

It’s Friday, yo! And with it, 5 prompts to get your pen a-movin’ and a-shakin’.

Ready, set, go!

  1. The child in the photo winks at you.
  2.  The feel of cool damp soil under bare feet.
  3.  How spring smells just after the last snow has melted.
  4.  Mariachi band playing tonight!
  5.  Something strange found during an Open House with a realtor.

 

I’d love to read what you come up with from one of these prompts – or from one of your own…

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Subscribe! It’s like a party in your inbox ; )

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Prompt Friday