Prairie“The land lay empty around them, lonely and still.”

While last week’s opening line revealed character, this one draws us into the setting first. I immediately pictured a desolate prairie or desert or arctic wasteland without any trees, homes, or mountains in sight. Perhaps it’s been abandoned and neglected … or perhaps it hasn’t been discovered yet.

Yet the “them” means there are people there. What kind of people are they? Are they introverted hermits wanting to be left alone, outcasts from society, or adventurers on an expedition? Are they here by choice or forced to be here by the decisions of others? What do they think about the land they are standing on?

I have a feeling the land won’t be empty or still for long. After all, it’s a story and something has to happen. But what is coming? A thunderstorm or prairie fire? A buffalo stampede or row of creaking tanks? A Bedouin caravan of camels or a

(By the way, this opening line is from Conagher, a 1969 western by Louis L’Amour selected at random after a stroll through my local library.)

What about you? What kind of setting did you picture? What do you think would happen next?

Story Starters – 4
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