Wild Weather

The skies are gray and the wind is howling. Torrential rain/snow/sleet/hail is expected to fall. Trees might topple. Power lines will be downed. Roads will close.

But your character has to go somewhere. It could be to work, to the mall, to an appointment. What does she do? Does she cancel/call in/change plans? Sit at home with a cup of coffee and a good book? Or does she go outside and risk being caught in the storm?

Taking off work might not be an option. Many people do not get days off due to wild weather. They have to risk the elements or possibly lose their job. Is your character one of them?

Your task is to write a weather-related scene in which your protagonist is forced into making serious decisions. It would make a great story if the character goes outside and is subjected to the weather. Think of all the possible things that might happen! The list is endless.

Have fun with this one.

Do-over

Our characters are not perfect. Just like us, they make mistakes.

Sometimes the mistakes are little, like forgetting to buy corn at the store. Sometimes the mistakes are huge, like accidentally saying something insulting about the boss just as she’s walking through the door.

These are the things that our character might want to replay. Next time he goes to the store he’ll make a list. The next time she is angry with the boss, she’ll keep her thoughts to herself.

Your task is to make a list of things that your character would like to do over. Go beyond the trivial. Trivial things are important, but they usually don’t alter lives. Huge mistakes, however, can cost a job, get a person kicked out of an apartment or cause serious injury to someone when distracted while driving.

Try to come up with five major things that are plausible for your character.

Narrow your list down to the top two. Next to each, write what your character would do differently in order to change the outcome. Maybe the outcome isn’t changed; maybe it’s what the character does to make amends.

Finally your task is to write a scene to an existing story in which your character reflects on an action then does something to change the eventual outcome.

Have fun with this one.

Financial Hardship

 

There are times in our lives when money is in short supply. We might be in between jobs or at the end of the payday and so have almost no money in our pocket. We have to choose between putting gas in the car in order to go to work or buying milk for the kids to drink.

How we handle those difficult times says a lot about who we are. We have to make decisions that affect not just ourselves but anyone living with us.

Our characters must also face difficult times for them to be real.

First of all, consider your character. Who is she? What job does she have and how well does it pay? Where does she live and what is the cost of rent? Food? Gas?

Does he live alone or share and apartment? Does he party on Friday nights or come home and cook a TV dinner?

What are your character’s priorities? Does she think of others first or put her own needs at the forefront? Does he buy new tennis shoes or do his laundry?

All of these choices say something about our protagonist.

Your task is to write a scene in which your character is suffering. There is limited money and choices have to be made. You can include dialogue or keep it all in your character’s head. The important thing is to show how your character makes decisions.

Have fun with this one.