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. lol well this sounds a lot like the start of my camping trip with friends on the labour day long weekend 😛 minus the rock and the tent being cramped (1. we had lots of room 2. it was too much room-we were freezing cold and the boys had to join us the next night for extra body heat :P)
    never set up in the dark….it’s not fun but we managed 😛 (ahaha we even got lost too and had car trouble a bit :P)

    anywho, e) the end is near……the end.

  2. “Ths place is plagued by midges.”

    Change midges to Ichneumonidae wasps and then you have a nightmare for a story.

  3. e) if you’re reading this, IT’S TOO LATE TO TURN BACK. come join the rest of us… MWAHAHA!
    although @10, the wasps are a great idea.

  4. f) This won’t make sense now, but in the future it will all happen. When you finish put the note back a day before now. “Iron Is In It”

  5. you guys are coming up with really great stuff. 🙂 i was reading it and thinking “wow scott-la, what a childish prompt” but you all are taking it in really cool directions. i thought i was a pretty imaginative writer, but i guess i was wrong.

  6. i just got some other ideas:
    e) turn around. now. i know you want to!
    or e) when i found this note, my flashlight went out. yours will too in 3… 2… 1… CLICK!

  7. e) To the Dark Lord, I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more. R.A.B

  8. e) meet me at the lake to go boarding they have new rails to ride (b sure no 1follows and at midnight on the ..

  9. My cousin and I came up with a scary tune for the note lol
    E) 1,2 They’re coming for you
    3,4 They’re looking at you
    5,6 They’re inside with you
    7,8 You better be afraid
    9,10 It’s already too late
    Hahaha this brought out our halloween spirits out and we can just imagine it being said by a little girl or boy in a scary voice in the middle of the night as they casualy dismiss the note XD
    Hope this is good 🙂

  10. d): “The slightly-overcooked pizza turned me into a super-hero bird!” (sort-of Spongebob reference.) or “This place is overfilling with midgets! They’re coming! Oh, wait, they’re dwarves. Dwarves with laser blasters and sousaphones! What sort of place is this?” 😉 My prompts are more silly than spooky. Original, I suppose.

  11. everyone likes SpongeBob references! yay! btw, @24, i’ve never heard that version of the song before. how did you get it? here’s the one i know, it’s a bit more classic horror movie, i guess:
    1,2, They’re coming for you
    3,4, They’re at your door
    5,6, Bones will snap like sticks,
    7,8, You’re too late
    9,10, You’ll never breathe again
    11,12, – *SHRIIIEEEEK!*

  12. @7, dang it. I was gonna say that! lol. All these ideas are so cool! Sorry, I can’t think of anything. :/

  13. “Effugere ? periculum”
    It means “flee from (the) danger.” And no, I am not the only person in the world who’s learning the ancient, dead language of the Romans.

  14. @26 We had been watching a lot of scary shows lately and while having dinner, I began to read it out loud to the story to him, he asked me what else and I just told him that we can pick the following options or come up with one so we began to think of something until the old classic movie Carrier, popped in my. The scene that had created our little take on was when the little girls outside are jumping jump rope. So we just thought, what if people died out while campaign and one by one the teens were taken and every time someone was taken a little girl or boy could be heard singing? So that’s where we started throwing back to each other sentences to see what we thought and bam, our on Carrie version popped up 😀

  15. Emmiline, you just made my day. XD

    e.) You shouldn’t have moved that rock.

    Heh, I’m not very original with these. ^^;

  16. @28, i know, right? i mean, who’s going to actually use Latin in life? seriously, no one goes around talking to other people in Latin. at least Latin teachers can sometimes be…interesting, though.

  17. @28- Effugere is the infinitive form. It means “To flee”. What you want is “Effuge!” which is the imperative form.

  18. e) I’ll steal you, Johana….

    (Or, if you’re in a comedic mood: I peel you, banana….XD I just saw that movie. I thought it was a barking comedy!)

  19. “E) At 12’oclock on the full moon, the 13th hour shall begin and Tartarus will rise under the green night sky. Note: Be wary of the shadows.”

    Guess the reference.

  20. Cool Comment 19 🙂

    e) I hope you read this in time, I can hear the giant wasps coming and I think I’ll have just enough time to hide this message before they catch up to me. I’m headed for the cave. Hope you make it. M.B.

    That’s kind of random . . but, giant killer wasps!

  21. e) If you can read this, you have just picked up the stone. That stone is pure emerald and I found it first, I have just gone back to get the car but PUT IT BACK RIGHT NOW COS ITS MINE NOT YOURS, OKAY? Leave it! I’m warning you . .


  22. Ha ha ‘I hate Hunger Games” ! Awesome. Anyway:

    e) If you’re reading this, I have to warn you, that stone had this massive spiders nest under it (I picked it up then screamed put it back down) so I put this warning under it to warn anyone. Not like it’ll help, the spider’ll probably eat it but whatever . . I hope nobody decides to camp here. Just warning you: basically every stone under here is a spider hot spot! Don’t stay more than 5 seconds or you’ll literally be swarmed!

  23. Oh and by the way Scott WHERE IS THE BONUS STUFF?? You know, like on the Bonus Stuff page? There’s nothing there except the Leviathan cover! I’ve been waiting years for more . . :'(

  24. “Go away, leave this place.
    on a side note if you ignore me this will be the greatest adventure of your life. i mean call me crazy but I wouldn’t listen to me either.”

  25. oh or “put that rock back or you’ll unleash a deadly…scucca… whoops just realized its too late for you… sorry guys.”

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