Character in an Adverse Situation

Life is not filled with happy moments. There are times when we cry. When we are in pain. When we are embarrassed or frustrated or anxious.

Most times we learn nothing from the situation. When it is resolved, we breathe a sigh and return to whatever we were doing or thinking.

Imagine that your character is embroiled in some type of mess. It could be of his own making. It could be something that he stumbled upon. It could be something that someone else triggered.

Instead of writing the story of his demise, let’s put a pleasant spin on the ending. While enmeshed in the situation, an epiphany comes, opening your character’s eyes. He understands and realizes…

Perhaps the realization is that he has a strength about him that he never knew before. Maybe he accepts a talent that he has, but never looked at it in a positive way.

Your task is to write the story. Remember that there must be adversity that creates conflict and tension. Other characters test him, pushing him to his limits. But instead of collapsing, his eyes open.

When finished, edit looking for tension and conflict. Make sure the resolution is satisfying to readers.

Have fun with this one.

 

Vacation Woes

We make the best plans. We coordinate departure dates and times so that someone can get us to the airport. We do the same for when we arrive.

We select the best rental car from the provider that we like, and depend on them to have the vehicle ready when we are.

Our hotel choices vary from location to location. Many of us rely on specific brands, or avoid specific brands, or choose neighborhoods we know are safe. Maybe we select a B & B in an old Victorian home, or now, with AirBNB rent someone’s house, condo or cottage.

Our characters must approach travel with some degree of finesse. Unless, of course, they are novices or nonchalant.

What happens when things go wrong? The flight is cancelled or seriously delayed? There is no rental car waiting, no hotel, no B & B, no safe neighborhood. Think of the stories to be told!

Your task is to write a scene in which your character goes on a trip. In order to make the story interesting, there must be tension, so things have to go wrong. It might be too much to create problems with every part of the plan, so be careful. Enough problems to provide interest, but not too many as that will pull the readers out of the story.

Have fun with this one.

Escape Plans

We’ve all found ourselves in uncomfortable situations. When we do, we have to find a way to extricate ourselves and get away, far away, as fast as possible.

For example, networking in a bar. A young man approaches. He wears jerk across his forehead. He oozes a feeling of superiority. He smirks, winks, opens with a stupid pick-up line. How do you get away?

What if you’re stuck in traffic with only fifteen minutes to go before an important meeting begins? How do you avoid the congestion?

When you are young, being in a classroom can be stifling. You are stuck in a desk for at least an hour, no escape possible until the bell rings. You hate the subject but know you have to do well enough to graduate. How do you stay focused without dreaming about what you’re going to do during break?

Your task is to make a list of possible situations for your character. Each must be appropriate for the character’s age and personality. Try to come up with at least three different ones.

Choose the one that you think you can incorporate into a story. Next make a list of things that your character can do to escape. Again, each must be a viable option.

Once you have narrowed the escape options down to one, then begin writing. When you are finished, reread to make sure that both the situation and the escape plan are realistic.

Have fun with this one.