As I sat at Waverley Station this evening, a thought occurred to me. You could find so much conflict in a train station, and what is a story without conflict? There are so many people milling about, rushing from point A to point B that it is inevitable that they will run into trouble sooner or later. Even the inanimate objects in a station seem designed to irritate us, the sticky seats, the inoperable touch screens of the ticket machines, the barriers that never take your perfectly flat ticket when you’re in a hurry…
The heart of every story is the conflict. There needs to be something for our characters to consider and resolve for action to move forward. If there is no action, there is no story. It does not necessarily follow that conflict has to be as complicated as an argument. Conflict for a character can be something as simple as trying to find a birthday gift for someone five minutes before the party, but I’ve always found conflict between people far more interesting.
Try this, construct conflict for a person or persons to overcome in a train station. I’ve pulled together some words and phrases to get you started. Pick a couple and see what you can create.
1. The photobooth
2. The drunk guy on the train
3. The left luggage counter
4. Jumping the queue
5. Running for the last train
Writing Prompt: At the Station