Friday, May 17th, 2013

Writing Prompt – Unexpected Discoveries

So the Husband-of-Awesome™ and I set about to grill chicken for dinner the other night.

Mr. Awesome went out to the grill and opened it up to find this:

Five Little Birdies in the Grill

Here’s a close-up. Turns out there were five little birdies plus mama nesting in the grill.

Five Little Birdies in the Grill

The really fortunate thing about the matter is that Mr. Awesome broke with habit when he found the birds. Usually, he fires up the grill willy-nilly without peeking inside, so that it’s pleasantly pre-heated before we cook.

(Don’t blame him, I do it, too.)

Imagine if he hadn’t broken his normal habit. Those birds don’t know how lucky they had it.

And us, too.

And so this unexpected discovery put paid to the grilling endeavor, not just for Wednesday night, but until the little guys decide to vacate the grill.

Here’s Your Prompt

  • Write a scene in which either your protagonist or antagonist is unexpectedly surprised by something nice and cheerful which messes up their plans. Note: it’s got to cause your characters some consternation, because a story isn’t a good story without some drama!
  • It could be argued that Mr. Awesome’s break with habit was due to ‘divine intervention’ of some sort*. Write a scene in which a similar serendipitous event wreaks havoc with your characters’ plans.
  • Journal about a time when something strange happened (divine intervention?) — in the nick of time — to save you or a family member from peril.

Good Luck!

* Or maybe he just saw some straw sticking out of the bottom of the grill.

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Create Space to Stimulate Story Ideas

Cindy Lou WhoIt looks a little like Cindy Lou Who’s house around here tonight.


The Husband of Awesome™ and I gave up our couch and loveseat a few weeks ago and have been sitting on lawn furniture ever since. Not the most comfortable arrangement.

But it had to be done.

I knew that if we didn’t get rid of the couches, it would be months — perhaps a year or more — before we actually shopped for replacements. Furniture shopping: not one of my favorite things.

By getting rid of the couches, we forced our own hands, so to speak. We had to go shopping immediately, or be resigned to sittting on lawn furniture for eternity.

But before there was lawn furniture, there was emptiness, and that space allowed us to consider all kinds of possibilities to fill it.

Inevitably, this got me to thinking about writing. (What doesn’t get me to think about writing?)

Is your writing stalled? Is there something just not working in your story?

What if you examine your work in progress for scenes which aren’t doing the best job they could be doing? Are your scenes advancing the story? Are they growing the tension? Even if they’re adding to the tale, are they written in such a way that they’re not killing the pace?

What would happen if you excised that scene entirely?

What could you fill the space with? Consider your options. If you remove a scene — or even an entire plot line — what kind of possibilities does that open up?