Bad Weather

            Try to recall a time when you wanted to be somewhere, or go somewhere, but a bad storm was coming. You are afraid to leave as you might get caught in it, but you also want to get home as soon as possible. You might pack the car, listen to every weather report, all the while trying to make the right decision.

            Do you stay or do you go? What happens either way can make for an interesting story.

            Your task is to write a story in which your character is facing bad weather that has the potential to affect travel plans.

            Be sure to use lots of dialogue as this is the stuff that can lead to heated arguments. Once the decision is made, bring on the storm and let the emotions play out. Perhaps tornado forces them to hide in the basement, or the snow storm catches them without chains and therefor they slide off the road. Perhaps there are  flight delays that strand them at an airport where tempers flare.

            All kinds of exciting things can happen.

            Have fun with this one.

The Chef

             When someone brags about their cooking, our mouths begin to water. Prime Rib? Yum. Crème Brule? Yummier.             Imagine being invited to their house for dinner. You salivate over the food expected, wondering what marvels the chef will prepare.            What happens if the meal isn’t? What if something seems a bit off? Do you eat the meat anyway, wondering if it was a bit spoiled? Do you grimace at the off-color appearance of the grilled veggies?            Your task is to write the story of the chef who isn’t that great. The beginning is with the bragging, the talk of how wonderful he is, with the invitation to a meal.            Perhaps formal invitations are sent out only to a select few. Guest bring nothing as the meal will be stupendous!            Things go wrong, however. Imagine watching him standing at the barbeque, dropping a piece of chicken on the ground, wiping it off, returning it to the grill. Does his guests eat it? Or shy away?            What if the salads sit in the sun? What if the ice waters down the tea? What if the desert melts?            Many misadventures can arise.            Have fun with this one. 

Writing From Experience

Another technique to use when you can’t think of a story to tell, is to write from a specific incident in your life.

For example, write about the time you were betrayed by another. This could have taken place when you were a child, or when you were in high school, or even as an older adult. You want to choose something that had an impact on who you are today.

If you are not writing about yourself, but rather a character in your story, choose an occurrence in her life that would have a comparable impact.

Your task is to first create a list of events that you might be able to write about. For example:

  1. Your first experience in deep water.
  2. The first time someone asked you out and the date that followed.
  3. Your first pet. This can be your initial reaction to it, your feelings over time, how devastating it was when it died.
  4. The time when you met someone who later became important in your life.

Once you have created your list, or working from the one above, write the story. Try to include as many details as you can, making sure that you tickle the senses. If you are writing about yourself, but you really wanted to use the details in a fictional story, then rewrite those parts that change the point of view.

Have fun with this one.

An Activity for when you are Stuck

Freewriting is an excellent activity when your mind is drawing blanks. Sometimes all you need is a word(s) to stimulate a story or memory.

Your task is to:

  1. Make a list of between ten and fifteen words that may or may not be related.
  2. Word choices might have something to do with sights, sounds, tastes, textures in your known world, or in a world that you want to create.
  3. Narrow the list down to seven to ten words that you feel you can incorporate in your writing.
  4. Write for at least ten minutes, using each word in its own sentence.
  5. When finished, remove all but one word, the one that calls to you.
  6. Write a short narrative that focuses on the feelings and images that your word inspires.

If you now have something that you can expand into a story, well, good luck!

Have fun with this one.