A Plot Development Writing Exercise
Grab Your Red Pen
Pick a scene or passage you've written that you feel dissatisfied with. Take a short time - maybe 10 or 20 minutes - to read the passage as though it were someone else's work. Take a red pen and make notes in the margins. If you didn't know anything else about the story, where else could this scene go? Try to get a feel for how malleable the words and the story can be.
Respond to this exercise
Feel inspired? Share your story below.
Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.
Come up with three thought provoking questions. Such as:
- Who is Sara?
- Why is she running down the street?
- What is she holding?
- Who is knocking at the door?
- Do you know them?
- What do they want?
Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So began Seth Grahame-Smith's book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which (you guessed it) re-imagined Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in a world with zombies. Sometimes one big twist is all it takes to get you thinking about a story in a different way. How would the introduction of zombies shake things up in your world? How would it affect the relationships between your characters? How would it change priorities? Which parts of your world would stay the same, and which parts would be different? Detail this in a short story of 1,000-2,000 words.
There's one powerful motivator that led your reader to your book - curiosity. Our brain doesn't stop asking questions because it knows that's how it learns and evolves. Questions raise uncertainty. Unknowns. And if there's an unknown, then humans want to make it known. There will be a big question that drives your story, so take a couple of minutes to consider the mother-question that propels your book from beginning to end.Your manuscript also needs to be powered by lots of little questions. Your book will need a variety of whos, whens, whys, and wheres to keep your reader engaged. In fact, every scene in your book needs to have a question define it. It's what will keep your reader turning those pages. Review each of your scenes and identify the question/s hanging over it, because once you nail that, their mind will be asking the most important question of all - what happens next?
If you're working on a novel or short story, write a pivotal scene from an outside observer's perspective who has no role in the story.
A New Chapter
Pick up one of your favorite novels. Open it to a random page. Whatever chapter you land on, rewrite it your own way. Take it in a totally different direction than how it actually plays out in the book.