Too Busy

Recall one of your busiest weeks. What all was on your calendar? How much did you actually accomplish? How were you feeling at the time?

Bring to mind one of your characters.

Your task is to create a week filled with too many obligations and not enough time to complete them all.

Begin by making a list that matches your character’s profile. Include at least one item for each day of the week.

Do not eliminate anything! Instead write the story of that week, being sure to include the character’s feelings as each day begins and ends, as each event approaches, as she prepares for the event, as the event is taking place.

Let us see inside the mind of the character. We want to feel what she feels, walk inside her along the way.

This will not be easy. It can also result in what appears to be a laundry list of activity.

When you are finished, edit the story down to the most exciting and interesting activities, the ones where feelings shine forth.

Have fun with this one.

Natural Disasters

Some believe in a Mother Nature who clearly has a mind of her own. If often feels that way when unforeseen things happen causing great devastation.

For example, yesterday on the news I saw footage of a huge landslide that oozed down a mountain, blocking a major freeway going up the coast of California. I also saw videos of tornadoes and flooding that destroyed countless homes. Then there are the massive fires in Florida.

We could also consider the effects of hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes, to name just a few more.

Imagine your character faced with one of these disasters. What would she do? Think? Feel? Would she tremble and cower or take action, stuffing family possessions into the car and bolting away? Would she hide in the bathroom and pray or run down the street, begging for help?

How your character reacts tells us a lot about his personality.

Your task is to first make a list of possible disasters. I would stick to ones you have either experienced firsthand or know a lot about. Try to get at least five things on that list.

Next, narrow it down to the top two that you feel most comfortable writing about. In your mind, place your character in the midst of these two disasters. In which one would her reactions be most viable? Which would allow you to create the most dramatic story?

Once you’ve figured out the disaster, come up with the story line. Where is your character and what is he doing when the disaster is about to hit? What steps does she take when she knows it is coming?

What does he do right before it hits, while it is going on, and then immediately after it ends?

This is the story you will write. When you are finished, reread, looking for places where you can strengthen emotional reactions. Where the setting needs spicing up. Then edit.

Have fun with this one.