Writing advice, quotes, critiques, prompts, and more to spark the imagination. Check out the FAQ for more info.
Sep 16 '14
You are going to love some of your characters, because they are you or some facet of you, and you are going to hate some of your characters for the same reason. But no matter what, you are probably going to have to let bad things happen to some of the characters you love or you won’t have much of a story. Bad things happen to good characters, because our actions have consequences, and we do not all behave perfectly all the time.
Write a story that revolves around french fries. Maybe a fast food employee burns them and gets fired, or a bunch of friends order a mountain of fries and challenge each other to finish them. Think of different places and scenarios—use your imagination.
Essentially what you’re doing with character arcs is throwing rocks (story events) at a wall (the character) over a given period of time (the story). The rocks chip the paint. They crack the moulding. They dent the drywall. Eventually, if the rock is big enough or you throw enough little rocks at one spot on the wall, you’ll make a hole. At that point, the wall is changed forever. Even patching the hole won’t be perfect, and a patch can’t ever undo the fact that there was once a hole.
Write about a world in which dreams take place. Maybe monsters roam around sneaking into the dreams of children, or people have the ability to meet up with friends and explore wacky imaginary places. What are some strange things that happen? Be descriptive and adventurous.
In honor of Robin Williams, write about the life and struggles of an influential actor. Describe their early life and their talents. How did they make people feel? What impact did their work have on others? What kind of negative factors did they face? Be honest and real.
Write about a tour bus guide. Do they enjoy repeating the same information all day to new faces, or is it tiring? Why did they apply? How do they get along with the driver and riders? Throw some conflict their way—maybe the bus breaks down or a customer flips out.
We writers are born with something- I don’t know what it is- whether it’s a physical attribute, whether it’s something in the brain, most likely something in the formation of the brain that from early childhood we are unusually observant, we are always taking in what it is to be the other, the other person.
Write about a tollbooth worker. Do they have anybody working with them? Is it on a busy road? Do they ever make conversation with drivers going past? Throw an interesting conflict their way—maybe a car breaking down or a psychotic driver who refuses to pay. Be creative!