Tag Archives: practical prompts

Practical Prompt 5-31-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Making things bad for your character is good, but adversity that doesn’t push the plot can exhaust—and then bore—your reader. Look over the bad breaks you’ve given your characters and make sure that each is necessary and drives them further along in the story. Cut any that don’t move the plot.

Practical Prompt 5-24-17

YWriteOwls logo 150 blackou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

A protagonist typically holds a set of values at the beginning of a novel that, by the end of the story, has changed in some way.  The change can be a subtle shift in world view or a more profound moral change. So analyze your story to make sure you’ve incorporated incremental changes throughout. Consider adding a few words of dialogue, inner thoughts, body language or other small actions to show your character’s evolution.

 

Practical Prompt 4-5-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you’re having trouble starting a scene, try writing it from the middle. If you’re struggling to figure out what constitutes “the middle,” pick up the scene mid-conflict. After you’ve written the bulk of the scene, you may realize a beginning wasn’t even needed. Or, you may find that the beginning will become apparent to you as you’re completing the exercise.

 

Practical Prompt 3-22-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

In the beginning of most stories, the protagonist often plays a defensive game, reacting to circumstances driven by the opposition. But at some point, she has to take charge of the story. Write the scene where your main character goes on the offensive and takes control of the story’s direction.

Practical Prompt 3-15-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you have trouble figuring out how to take your characters from one plot point to the next, you might try the “If this, then that,” game. For example, in the story of Cinderella, when the clock struck midnight, Cinderella had two options. She chose to flee the ball before the prince saw her change back into a servant. But she also could have stayed. Brainstorm a list of different actions your protagonist could take given her situation and knowledge base. Then, work up a brief flow chart for each possibility. Ask whether each option stops the story, ends the story, or keeps the story moving forward, perhaps in an unexpected way. Hopefully, this exercise will help you figure out the best path to get your character to the next plot point.