Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Four Fiction Writing Prompts for Plot

If you’re currently working on a story outline, first draft, or even in revision mode, and are experiencing that dreaded plot drought, check out these four writing prompts. I hope they inspire you to shake up your story a bit and keep on writing.

Introduce a new character
If you’re a bit tired of exploring the stories, conflicts, and moral dilemmas of your current characters, why not introduce a new villain or unsung hero? This might help alter a plot point that needs some revitalizing.

Put your character in a new world
Get your character out of their comfort zone and immerse them in foreign experiences and obstacles. This could be as major as another spiritual world or as simple as relocating to another town, city, or country.

Create the ultimate competition
Have two characters fight over a coveted prize, whether it’s something tangible like land or abstract like vengeance. Who is fighting and what are they fighting for? What’s at stake in this competition? What can be gained or lost?

Initiate a disaster
Inflict a disaster for the characters in your story. Have them face a town flood, a murder in the family, a mysterious illness that has killed thousands…
When you create disaster, your character must go through psychological stages including fear, anger, and acceptance. This is a great prompt for both thickening your plot and for exploring the internal mind of your character and how they react to disaster and tragedy.