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.

Give Her Wheels

Our characters move from one place to another. How do they accomplish this?

Sometimes they walk, but not always. Walking only gets you so far, even if she lives in a big city.

At some point she will need to travel further distances. How will she get there?

Usually on wheels. City bus, subway, bicycle, taxi all have some type of wheel.

Our characters need to travel, need to venture outside of the home unless he is agoraphobic, and so at some point must get in a vehicle.

Your task is to think about a character that you are using in a story. Make a list of the means of transportation that he could use. List as many as are plausible.

Next to each mode, write a reason for using that method of transportation. For example, going to the doctor, getting to work, visiting friends.

Narrow down your list to the one that makes the best story. Think in terms of dramatic scene. What could happen while on the bus? Riding in the car? Pedaling a bicycle down a country road?

Now write that scene, keeping in mind that your reader needs to be there with your character, feeling what she feels, seeing what she sees and experiencing everything through that character’s senses.

After you’ve written the scene, reread and edit. What do you think? Does your writing help you to travel next to your character? If not, then go back.

Have fun with this one.