Story Starter

A pre-nanowrimo warmup for you . . .

At the last minute on a Friday afternoon, you and a few friends decide to go camping in the nearby lake district. You throw together a few sleeping bags, one tent, some food, and a few extra clothes. Sure, you’re not the most experienced campers, but you’re going to have fun anyway.

The drive is longer than you think, thanks to some bad navigation and car trouble, so it’s almost midnight when you arrive at the campsite. You eat a cold meal, erect a somewhat shambolic tent, and then all crawl in together for a good night’s sleep. Not a brilliant start to your mini-vacation, but tomorrow is going to be awesome.

The problem is, you’ve managed to pitch your tent right over a rather large rock, which you somehow didn’t notice in the darkness. And now it’s in the middle of your back. The tent’s a bit too crowded to avoid this rock. So finally you climb out, ignoring the protests of your friends, and reach beneath the tent to retrieve it.

And here’s the weird thing: trapped beneath the rock was a piece of paper.

You take this paper back into the tent, where you all crowd around it with a flashlight. It’s a hand-scrawled note that says . . .

a) “I’ll be back just after midnight.”

b) “Here lies Rusty, who asked too many questions.”

c) “This place is plagued with midges.”

d) Put your own story-starting note in the comments thread below!

Don’t forget the meet-up over at the Westerforum. I’ll be there to answer all your questions (within human limits).

Here are the details:

October 20, 2012

7PM Eastern US/4PM US West Coast
Sunday morning at 10AM in Sydney

80 thoughts on “Story Starter

  1. OH EVEN BETTER. e) the zombies are closing in. I don’t have much time. my research has concluded that the fifth element, the Philosophers Stone, the White Stone by the River, may cure them but we are running out of time. soon we will be outnumbered and overwhelmed.

  2. the note should either say what B says or

    “You have only ten minutes of life left if you do not move-FAST

  3. @38, yeah. well, sort of. nothing bad happened, just a drink started shaking, then that was it. lasted 10-ish seconds total. kind of random: my little sis was rocking the table a bit, so we blamed her, and then -News Flash!- earthquake data is released. we had to apologize…

  4. @55- I thought it was my brother stomping around upstairs. Alas no… not everything turns out to be his fault.

  5. comment 1
    I just asking for intrest, has anyone actually heard of the band beirut.
    I like there songs but can’t find anybody else that knows about them.

  6. @60 i’ve heard of them, but not actually listened to their songs.. what kind of music do they play? rock? heavy metal? pop?

  7. e) 34°40?00?N 119°45?04?W

    The Mother’s range, a lone grouping of th
    past the overhang, straight for three m
    jump the river, four along the ba
    caves, you’ll have to

    move qui

    …Scott never said it had to be a whole piece of paper. Why not a ripped off section of vague directions?

  8. Aw, man. Fitzroy has an official name?
    Because, you know, all evil characters are name Sebastian. Can it at least be his middle name? Or vice versa?
    And plus, I have a friend whose name is Robert, and we call him Singe, which is really confusing because in my fanfic that’s Newkirk’s nickname. So, yeah.

  9. e) The Undertaker is holding you hostage and will only let him go if you make him laugh. BE WARNED: Using Sebastian does NOT count….


  11. e)Under the willow,
    And through the stream,
    The haunted path shall take you,
    Hurry on, quickly now,
    Before it too late

    yeah im not feeling very original right now…

  12. @65: I knew you’d respond to Fitzroy’s official name. In a negative way. 😉 But isn’t that in the next post?

  13. I want Fitzroy to be named Sebastian too!!! Also, Sebastian is the name of the hot-demon-butler in Black Butler.

  14. Hey how come right at the start of Leviathan Alek says his 16th birthday is almost here but he never has a party in the books or anything?????!!!!!

  15. Either a message to a long-dead penpal containing a spell that will open a portal to a magical dimension and solve a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries.

    Or my other personal favorite of d) AAAAAAARRRGggghhhhhhhhhhh

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