I might be thinking that way because my story, One More Minute, is in the Tick Tock: A Stitch in Time Anthology. Time was a necessary element in our stories. Still, as I think about the next contest theme, and prompt, my mind goes to the timeline. The story I want to tell will probably take place in less than week, maybe even a weekend.
Do you think about time when you write? A writing instructor talked to us about how important time is in a story. How do you feel when a character is constantly checking her watch? Do you feel tension when the character in your story is late for an appointment? What if someone is rushing into something, a building, a relationship, a decision?
|perfect setting for a murder??|
I dropped my rusty, old minivan off at a junkyard. My friend was on her way to pick me up, but I got delayed in the “office” (i.e. an RV parked at the entrance of the junkyard) and couldn’t go out to meet her. She started to worry about me, so she called my cellphone. I heard it ringing but couldn’t pick up because I was talking to the owner about the van and getting signatures on the title. It was past the time I said I’d be done. She called again. I quickly picked up and said, “I’m in the office,” and hung up.
When I finally came out of the RV/office, she had her hand on the phone ready to call 9-1-1. She said, “I didn’t know where you were.” I said, “I was in the office.”
“That wasn’t helpful,” she said. “The office could have been anywhere. I looked out over that field of old cars and thought, there’s a lot of evidence out there for murders.”
Now, that’s a great set-up for a mystery. A fictional one. I’m happy to say that I came out alive. We had a good laugh about it on our way to the gym, and I kept thinking:
Timing is everything in a story.
Mary Aalgaard writes theater reviews and supports the arts through her blog Play off the Page. She teaches youth theater workshops in the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota, writes articles for regional magazines, and works with both seniors and youth in multi-generational programs to enhance quality of life and build community.
Mary is also a freelance writer and blogger. Her words stretch across the globe through her blogs and articles. Her writing extends to plays as she works with both children and adults to create original dramas. She gives private piano, and writing lessons, and theatre workshops for kids at Central Lakes College.
Go. Create. Inspire!