Story Starter: Roadster

Heads down for this week’s Story Starter from our Fiction Editor Shirley. 

Ooh, car envy! Can’t you just imagine yourself zipping along a switchback road on the French Riviera, or a California highway…? Glamorous sunglasses. Silk scarf keeping your expensive coiffure in place. A handsome hero beside you? Sigh….

This beautiful vintage Porsche caught my eye in a showroom in Berlin.

Oh yes, never mind the “real” sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie… Everybody does them. Oh no, we visited the Audi showroom, the Volkswagen showroom, the Tesla showroom….You don’t get the same crowds, at least.

And it has its compensations, like encountering this little beauty.

Isn’t it gorgeous? The classic simple design, not all flash and chrome. That soft blue grey like a cloud. The red leather upholstery. The lifestyle it represents. I’m not envious of the lifestyle, as such; more the mood that it captures. Carefree. Holidays. Travel. Exotic. Adventure. Romance. Thrills.

What kind of story are you thinking?

Is it a love story? Like Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier? A thriller? A spy thriller a la James Bond?

Is the story contemporary to the car’s time, or is the car a vintage car in 2018?  Are you as astonished as I was to learn that the car dates to 1948? That’s a period rich with its own stories, isn’t it? Post war with the very different experience that would have meant for different people and different countries.

Maybe the story’s not about the car itself but obsession. Interests. Hobbies. Collections. Romance. My thoughts do keep circling back to that word no matter where I think they’re heading.

So, I’ve tossed a few ideas out there. I have no doubt you’ll have a million more. I’ll leave you to mull, while I go back to gazing in admiration at the simple genius of this design.


Which makes me think one more thought – today’s writing tip: sometimes less is more….


Make it clear whose point of view we are following with this week’s Writing Tools 


Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.