Writers, Start with Something Boring

Just Jump In

By Annette Rey

At https://publishingadvisors.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/publishing-advice-column/ it was suggested to start with something boring, write a story about waiting in line and make it interesting. So, I did!

Here is how I met this challenge. I didn’t know the ending until I typed the last words.


It Happened at the DMV

By Annette Rey

It happened when I bowed my head.

I was among the other glazed-eye citizens, waiting at the Department of Motor Vehicles for my small paper number to be called. I debated what to do during the wait – surf the internet, call a friend, talk to the pierced-tattooed person next to me who smelled strangely of days-old cabbage, or complain to the management. I opted for internet knowledge, such as it is, and looked at the daily news page.

I bowed my head over the window of my iPhone and felt a cracking in the back of my neck accompanied by stars sparkling inside my head, behind my tightly squinted eyes. After a period of tension and pain I was able to open my eyes.

Wow! I had fallen through the rabbit hole! I was looking at a flip-side world, the other side of the underside of I don’t know how many feet of soil. A world of wonder and color and order and peace enveloped me. The air was cool. It smelled of aromatic jasmine and hyacinth.

What passed for streets were really avenues of golden, light-reflecting, yellow glass flowing between fully blossomed trees. And the people, glorified, electrified, had pleasant faces and gently touched one another and moved on as if passing blessings. I could sense goodness and fulfillment in them.

Something was holding me from joining them. I struggled to reach them. I pushed so hard my chest began to hurt.

I came to on this side of the soil, on the dirty floor of the DMV. A team of strange faces hovered over me. I tried to cry out, “Let me go! Let me go back!” Something was in my throat and between my teeth. Someone said, “He converted. Stop CPR.”

Faced now with living out my physical life, I calmly wait for my eternal number to be called.


This was a good exercise and I can see how I can enlarge on this storyline if I so choose.

Try your hand at what happens when your character waits in line. Maybe your efforts will lead you to something surprising.


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