A few weeks ago, Coupland says, he snagged a fingernail going through security, leaving him with a half-torn nail and nowhere – for obvious reasons – to buy a nail file or small pair of scissors.
So he shared his situation with one of the airport screeners, who pulled out a tub of seized nail clippers, fished out a reasonably clean one and handed it to him.
“What do you do with (a story like) that?” Coupland laughs, before answering his own question: “You put it on Twitter.”
This sent my mind in two different directions.
1) What size story are you writing? Quite often, when people start working privately with me, it’s obvious that they are writing a story that is bigger or smaller than they think. Should their novel be a film? Should a short story really be a novella? As an exercise, take a moment to consider what story size you are writing. Would your story work better as a feature, a short, an episode, a novel or maybe it’s just right for a Twitter post.
2) What do you keep in your pockets? What about your character? If your character was faced with airport security, what would they have to put in the tray? A cell phone, tweezers, liquids, a gun? You might be surprised what you find out about your character when you decide what they carry with them.