When one tries to come up with a short story, preferably a happy short story, but doesn't know what to write about, one comes up with different ideas. For example, I could easily write about the craziness of going shopping with my sister, but I don't remember all the details. For one as memory challenged as myself, family outings (unless something drastic occurs) do not stick, entirely in ones mind. I remember specific funny sayings, but never entire conversations. "That's what chat windows are for," my brain whispers naughtily.
I could write about my latest crush and imagine a scenario where he rescues me, exclaims his profound love for me, asks me to marry him and we gallop off into the sunset, forever happy. But then I decide (with my better judgment whispering suggestions in my ear) that if I did this, even substituting our names for other names more suitable for heroes and heroines, he'd probably recognize it and my crush would be out in the open; a thing that would not be good for either of us, emotionally and physically as well. Besides, I want something that is not cliché. "Isn't all love cliché?" half my mind wonders. The other half, (my more disillusioned half) whispers back, "Not all clichés are that bad."
My next option in the spectrum of writing a short story would be to write something unbearably sad. Sadness has it's place as long as it has a happy ending in my mind, but half of me is afraid that I won't want a happy ending and that I'll be left feeling Poe-ish. Poe, as excellent a writer as he is, gives me a sick feeling. "I can't kill off my characters just after I've fallen in love with them," I argue. "But what if something good comes from the loss of one character?" Myself argues back. Me decides to pop in and adds, "or several characters!" I sigh. Multiple personality arguments can be tiring and I decide to leave Me and Myself arguing and more on to the next possibility.
Making a fairy tale would be ok, but many fairy tales are cliché as well. The princess gets in distress and the prince comes to save her and woo her at the same time. Or the princess refuses to marry, and the King, deciding that he wants some grandkids, offers his daughter to the first person to take all three golden apples, or make her laugh, or find out why she's got holes in her brand new shoes every morning. This puts the kingdom's bachelors in a dither and they hurry about trying to catch the illusive princess. Then there's the rags-to-riches fairy tale where the poor girl, because of her goodness and beauty, is just right for the nearest prince. No fairy tales as much fun as they are to read, are not for me.
"What if I were to mix fairy tales? Would that work?" Myself decides to pop in from his sad story discussion and ask. I ponder this. However I quickly come to the conclusion that I've done this before, and after 15 fairy tales and other stories, one kind of runs out of plot and character material and it becomes boring. No, mixing fairy tales won't work either.
"You could create a story that's entirely made up of puns." Me suggests, now having completely forgotten about the sad story debate. "But that would be to exhausting mentally. My brain would be weak and puny by the time I finished it!" Myself complains. He's the one who does all the punny thinking for the trio. "It was just a suggestion!" Me exclaims offended. I sigh again, and walk away from that discussion as well. "Besides," I argue silently, "what kind of plot would you have with a punny short story?"
My last option that I can think of is to go around the house and ask each person to think of some type of story that they would like to hear. Then after getting everyone's opinions (little sister wants princesses, brother wants battles, oldest younger sister wants nothing to do with love but plenty of funny, mom wants mature young men who won't try to kiss the princess until they are married, dad doesn't care) I would place everything together and get an interesting story collaborated from everyone in the family. It could be a collage of sorts. A personality memorial as it were to how everyone thought this year. "The benefits of this," Myself and Me chorus, "is that you can do it year after year and see how they grow and mature." "I like this idea," I think and hurriedly grab a notebook, and pen and rush off to conduct my "what type of story would you like to hear" survey.