I’m doing the “Couch to 80k” – a writing bootcamp from writer and poet Tim Clare. For more information go here: http://www.timclarepoet.co.uk/couchto80kwritingbootcamp/
Write a list of problems or scenarios a character might face. Doesn’t have to be specific but it helps. Can be serious or have an element of fantasy.
- The key has broken off in a door and now they’re locked in a room and need to get out to pee.
- They have an important interview but the iron is broken and the shirt is very creased.
- They receive a letter from a person they haven’t spoken to in years but can’t bring themselves to open it.*
- They have been kidnapped by space pirates.*
- They have been shrunken by an insane wizard and need to get to normal size before a certain time of they’ll stay that way forever.*
- They are lost in the Rockies with nothing but a diary and a pickle fork.
- They are on a plane filled with people and the cabin crew have just asked “can anyone fly a plane?”**
- They have lied on their CV and have now has been asked to do the task they specifically said they can do.
- They have to wrap an important gift but only have baking paper and no sellotape.
- They have a USB key filled with secrets and are being chased by spies. They need to get the key to a specific place.
- They have found themselves in an Avengers Team Meeting and now everyone assumes they have superpowers.
- They are in prison for something they didn’t do and need to prove their innocence.
- They need to get from A to B but only have a bike with no pedals.
- They are desperately hungry and have a tin of beans but no tin opener.
- They already have two dogs but are desperate for a third.***
- They are lost with no SatNav
- Their best friend is coming round for a visit and they’ve only just remembered it’s the best friends birthday and there is no gift for them.
- Their hearing aid batteries run out while in hospital and they hospital doesn’t carry replacements.****
*An actual plot point in one of my started books!
**I’d love this to happen to me so I can say “Yes! I can!”
***May be an actual issue I”m facing now!
****Actually happened to me!
I found this exercise a lot of fun. I got to include some of the scenarios my characters are currently facing in the books I”m attempting to write but I also added more and it gave me some thoughts around adding those as plot points. I’m already merging some of them and seeing how they’ll fit.