Your characters are most obliging about bringing you the best story ideas. JK Rowling once said that she was sitting on the train one day and Harry Potter walked right into the carriage, lightning scar and all, and that was where it all began.
I got some help that way in a very different setting. I was hanging about in a lowish rent care home corridor, waiting to help move an enormous television into an elderly acquaintance’s new bedroom. I liked the staff and the friendly women who sat in the corridor chatting, just as if it were a park. Corridor Park.
I asked myself, What if I lived here? What on earth would I do with myself? How do you wake up every morning knowing that people are responsible for you, but you are responsible for nothing but agreeable behaviour towards those around you (there seemed to be some possibilities for rebellion here). We all need a good reason for getting out of bed in the morning. What would that be?
Just then Mrs Stella Ryman entered Corridor Park. I wondered, could watching television get a person through the day? Heavens, no. Complaining about the food? Possibly. But by this point Stella had a better idea. And so she became… (tag line approaching)… an amateur sleuth, trapped a down-at-heel care home.
Stella Ryman. You’d be cranky too.
Stella Ryman and the Case of the Vanishing Resident can be found in Pulp Literature