Looking for inspiration in all the wrong places

I’m wandering through a shopping mall.  Not exactly what you’d expect from a writer looking for ideas.

Not that I came to the mall with that in mind, we have to do some shopping and a visit to the bank.

It’s one of those odd things we writers do, subconsciously looking for characters, character traits, or plots.

One came to me when I saw someone running.  Had they stolen an item and were they running from the store manager?  Were they escaping from a situation?  Perhaps they were just trying to catch up to the rest of their party.

Then, in another corner, not so private from everyone else, a couple are having an argument.  They are young.  There could be any number of subplots going on, were they breaking up?  Had one found out the other was cheating?  Were they married and discovered they were about to have a child they couldn’t afford?

Shopping malls are not exactly places that can be woven into a story unless it’s about teen angst, and there’s a lot of that in the after school hours and k as the night shopping.  I have never understood the need for teens to gather together and wander the halls of a shopping center.  Perhaps it’s just to hang out, whatever that means.

My teens used to gather and go to the cinema.  Years later we discovered they used to get drunk first then go to the cinema and misbehave.  It seemed like one of the ‘passage of rites’ thing for young people.  Not in my day, but times were different for them.  Nowadays it’s all about drugs and rage parties

Is this the sort of angst that finds it’s way into YA novels even though they might have a paranormal and/or fantasy theme.  People are still people no matter what the setting, so are we trying to sort out the problems of youth living in the current perilous times using a mythical background?

So much for finding subplots, now I’m looking at solving the world’s problems. I guess it’s time to go to the bank and solve my own problems and leave the rest to more competent people than myself.

Still, food for thought.  Perhaps a short chat with my 14-year-old granddaughter might make some sense of it.

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