Story Starter: Doll

Odd picture, isn’t it? Let me explain why it’s there…..

I’ve read a vast stack of our unsolicited manuscripts this week, and reading them in bulk like that highlighted one main reason for those that weren’t successful being returned. Story after story easily 95% of them was a grandma story. Now, yes, our readers like a warm grandma story, but not exclusively, please. The stories that stood out tried something new and different, and kept me reading and guessing from beginning to end.

Unfortunately it also happened that many of those submissions were 1200 or 1300 words, which is just a matter of bad timing that we happen to be inundated at the moment with that short easy-to-write length and are having to return the majority of them.

So, my new idea is to post a picture here every month that I hope will inspire some fresh ideas for you. Sometimes the picture might be kind of odd like today’s. We’ll see how it goes; it depends on what I see when I’m out and about. I spotted this doll yesterday, abandoned on one of the benches overlooking the stony beach near the harbour in our seaside resort of Broughty Ferry. No child or family in sight.

It’s a bit freaky, but is there also something forlorn about it? Is it a mystery? A family story? Funny or poignant? Something a bit spooky?

One request: it’s not a grandma story!

If you want to send me the story that results, I’ll be happy to consider it, but this is where it’ll pay to try something different, because if you all write the most obvious story, well, I can’t publish them all, can I?