Just off the top of your head, how many road trip stories do you have. Two? Three? My freshman college roommate said, “If you mention go, Lynn has her bags packed,” so my list is more like the roaring road tip twenties. Great stories can spring from road trips, any journey over roads.
The road trip normally involves a car. But it can also involve bicycles, motorcycles, buses or, if you’re a backpacker like Peter Jenkins, feet. The road trip is ripe for adventure because it involves traveling over new ground or regular roads at a new time, with a new combination of people or for a different reason. Even if you’ve made the trip numerous times before, each new road trip is new paint colors on your story canvas because it’s a new day with different stops, weather, vehicle, companions, food and experiences.
Road trips can mean “mega-lifetime gross” gold as seen with films including Wild Hogs, Dumb and Dumber, Sideways, The Blues Brothers, Little Miss Sunshine and The Wizard of Oz. The basic formula in a nutshell can be seen in a story blurb for the recently released We’re the Millers explains the road trip gold equation in a nutshell: “So what could go wrong?”
On a road trip undoubtedly something is bound to go askew. Askew equals a new kaleidoscope of comedy. Things that go wrong in Little Miss Sunshine include major car trouble, repeated squashing of dreams and the ultimate story twist, death!
What went wrong on your journey? Did you get lost in a bad part of town? Did you get in some kind of trouble with locals because your house crashed down from the sky and killed a witch?
Another great generic road trip story tip we can glean is the more the merrier. Packed into the Hoover family Volkswagen van are father Richard, his wife Sheryl, their kids Olive and Paul, Sheryl’s suicidal brother Frank and Richard’s father who was recently evicted from his retirement home for herion use. While we can’t add folks who weren’t there to a true story, we can make the most of those present, even the quieter ones like Paul Hoover. Or like Dorothy we can add folks you meet along the way.
Be sure to expose the flaws or needs of those involve. Each member or the Hoover family and Dorothy’s entourage has some sort of psychological problem or need like a brain, heart or courage. Flaws give a flavorful taste of personality and enhance events.
Is there a sense of “we’re in this together?” Both Dorothy and friends and the Hoover’s unite behind Dorothy and Olive, respectively, to fight against wicked witches, one green and one a pageant-running queen.
Got storytellers’ block? Plan a road trip today. Maybe, just maybe, something will go askew for you, too!