Friday, May 24, 2013

Real-Life Writing Prompt: Carpool to Roswell

I mentioned in my last two posts that I attended the Kindling Words West retreat in Taos, New Mexico last week. I flew into Albuquerque with my buddy Crystal Allen, and we carpooled from there with Pam Bachorz since that would be more fun than the shuttle and it would allow us to stop at Trader Joe's for chocolate almonds and beverages.

While Crystal and I were waiting for Pam in the lobby of the car rental place, a woman approached us and asked if we were on our way to Roswell. If we were, she'd pay for half the car rental fee in exchange for a ride. She was visibly upset, like a chest-clutching, fighting back tears upset. Although that isn't where we were headed, of course we were intrigued. How does one just show up at a car rental lobby, suitcase in hand, looking to hitch a ride to Roswell? Apparently there's some giant new car rental tax the woman didn't know about, and her car for the week would cost more than her plane ticket had, and she was on her way to visit her mom. (No one else was flipping out about this tax, and ours wasn't that bad, so maybe it's something assessed if you don't reserve the car ahead of time. I'm not sure what the deal was with that).

Anyway, we started thinking about how this could be a fun story beginning. I know if we told thirty writers, "Strangers meet at a car rental desk and carpool to Roswell--go!" we'd get thirty completely different novels. Mine would a contemporary young adult novel with five different characters, each with a different reason they just had to get to Roswell, and their subplots would all become entwined somehow. Crystal was thinking of something more paranormal, in which the nice elderly couple offering a teenager a ride actually turns out to be aliens going to a reunion.

So, who would be in your carpool to Roswell, and why are they all going there? Why'd they show up at the same place without much of a plan?

Who knows, we might start a trend here. And in a few years we'll hear editors saying, "The market is saturated with novels in the Roswell sub-genre...".


  1. Hmm, I'd have to go with...a girl who needs to get to a Star Trek convention in Roswell as she's the daughter of a vendor that sells alien memorabilia- and her Dad went missing after talking about mysterious lights, leaving behind only a note that says: Spock knows.