Story Outlines to Help Get Your Groove Back.

Story 1: Where Has My Daddy Gone? Genre: Drama, adventure

Danny’s parents split up before he was born.  He’s never seen or heard anything from his father—until now.  After finding an old letter, dated shortly after he was born, Danny realizes how much he wants a dad.  He tries to ignore it, tries to forget it, but the thought keeps prodding at his mind: Who is my father?  All attempts to squeeze his mother for information on the man fail, leaving Danny with one choice: He needs to find his father.

On the first day of summer vacation, after his mother goes to work, Danny packs a bag with clothes, money and food and sets out to find his father.  His only guide: a single letter with a 14 year old address.

On the way, Danny meets a homeless boy named Alex, who Danny shares a meal with as a bribe to get Alex to bring him to the address on the letter.  It takes some doing, but Alex agrees, provided that Danny keeps his belly full.  The house is a bust.  The only clue to his existence is a neighbour, to whom his father owes $500.  The neighbour tells him that his father moved with his girlfriend to Chicago more than six years ago.

Alex decides to stay with Danny.  Not for the meal ticket, but because Alex wants to see how everything ends.  However, while waiting for a bus to Chicago, someone steals their money and bus tickets, forcing Danny to depend on the resources of an experienced street kid.  Alex, unfortunately, isn’t experienced.  He attempts to hotwire a car but can’t and ends up stealing someone’s keys right from the table inside a diner.

The two then run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and have no luck with hitchhiking, so they try to walk the rest of the way to Chicago—still more than 300 miles away.  They manage to find shelter the first two nights, but as the distance between towns greatens increases they soon have to camp out.

After several days of walking, the two run out of food and need to find a way to make money.  After all other attempts fail, Alex suggests prostitution as a joke, but Danny takes him seriously.  They stood out in the cold for three hours before someone finally stopped to pick up Danny, whom had drawn the short straw.  As the two pull away, Alex follows on bike that he had ‘found’, chained up in an alley.

Danny can’t go through with it and tries to back out, but the man won’t let him leave and overpowers him.  Fortunately, Alex come to the rescue and beats the man over the head with rusted pipe, takes his keys, car and money, and the two drive away, leaving the man bleeding in a dark alley.

Danny freaks.  He fears that they had killed the man and that they’d both go to jail.  As his guilt boils, Danny tries to turn himself in, but Alex manages to stop him.  He tells him that the man was alive, that he saw him getting up when before they turned the corner.  Although Danny knows he’s lying, he takes comfort in Alex’s attempt to make him feel better.

When they make it to Chicago, Alex sees the face of the man from the ally on the front page of a newspaper.  Instead of reading it, Alex hides it from Danny, as well as every other paper they come across.

The two find a phone book and start visiting every house listed under the name “Samuel Garrett”.   Eventually finding the right house, Danny discovers that he has a brother and two sisters… and his father was in the hospital, dying from lung cancer.

Not more than one block from the hospital, Alex and Danny get stopped by the police.  When they realize what the police want them for, the two try to run.  But when Alex realizes that Danny’s not going to make it, he sacrifices himself so that Danny could see his father.

Danny attempts to go see his father, but he can’t.  Not without Alex.  Not after all they had been through together.  So instead he turns himself in by attempting to break Alex out of the police station.  He finds out that the man wasn’t murdered but badly concussed, and they were able to find them by a picture that had fallen out of Danny’s pocket in the alley.

The boys spend the next 48 hours in a detention centre, until Danny’s mother arrives with a lawyer and the two are released due to insufficient evidence.  The man wasn’t able to properly identify them and the photo wasn’t enough to keep them.

Danny’s mother wants to take him home and send Alex back on a bus, but Danny refuses to leave until both he and Alex had done what they came to do.  Reluctantly, she takes them to the hospital.

The man in the bed is without a doubt in his last days, and he’s so struck with guilt when he sees his forgotten son that he offers Danny part of the settlement money.  But Danny refuses and, overwhelmed with emotion, storms out.

Meeting his father wasn’t anything like Danny had thought it would be.  The man was a stranger.   But he was grateful for meeting Alex.  His only fear now was that he’d never see him again.  So the night before leaving with his mom to go back home, Danny returns for a visit with his father.  He tells him about Alex and asks the man to give Alex the money instead…

And the very ending, you’ll have to figure out for yourself.

 

Use this outline however you see fit.  You can write the story completely, take only the parts that you liked, rearrange it, or just use it as inspiration or a guideline for your own outline.

Published February 1, 2013

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