Family stories are easy to write, whether there is love or hate driving the relationships.
Think of someone that you care deeply about. What stories could you tell about that relationship? Choose one instance that is more than just giving hugs, something with some depth to it. Using bullet points, create a list of things that happened, things that were said, things that were done, how people felt and reacted. When you are finished, walk away.
After an hour, come back to your list. Using what you’ve got, could you turn the incident into a compelling story? If not, what could you tweak in order to make it more interesting?
Your next task is to choose a relationship that it testy. Pick one that is long-standing, as that will give you more meat with which to work. As before, use bullet points to create your list, the longer, the better. Focus on the triggers, those defining elements that caused an uproar, the juicier the element, the more tantalizing the story will become.
Walk away, as before. When you return and look at your lists, which lead to the more complex story? Which story would be more compelling to a reader?
Your task is to take a character from one of your stories and create lists for that individual. Make sure that you’ve got both positive and negative relationships.
Reread a scene that you’ve written that maybe isn’t working as well as you’d like. Think about your lists. What could you insert into the scene that would add intrigue and depth?
Rewrite adding in just one element.
When you reread this time, has the story been improved? Did the character’s actions and reactions make sense? If not, then edit! Keep working at it until you’ve got the story that holds interest and adds information about your character.
Have fun with this one.