A fun way to develop plot ideas.

Published by architectus in the blog architectus's blog. Views: 472

There are many ways to develop a plot idea, but this one is fun. At least, I enjoy it. You can do it in outline form to save time. Okay, I'm getting on with it already.

1. Think of an everyday situation.
2. Think of bad things that can happen.
3. Give the character a motivation to reach a goal.
4. Make clear the consequences if she fails to reach that goal.
5. Keep thinking of the next worst thing that could happen.

I will start. Sara is driving to work. Her motivation is she can't be late again or she will get fired. So her goal is to get to work on time.

I need to think of things that can go wrong. She gets stuck at a traffic light. While waiting for the light to turn green, a dead body slams on her hood and windshield, shattering it. Panicked she gets out of the car to check the person's pulse. She's going to be late for sure now. New goal is to call the police.

I need to think of another bad thing that can happen. She looks up to see where the person fell from and spots a broken window on the side of an old building. A man stares down at her. He's holding a gun. He points and yells, "Get her."

New goal. Get the hell out of there. Motivation is survival.

This could have gone so many ways. If I keep thinking of bad things that can happen to deter her from reaching her goal, I eventually start to develop a story. The plot starts coming to me. I need to figure out why the man killed the person. Who the person was. Maybe the person turns out to be the Mayor. The police want to question Sarah now because she ran from a crime scene, and it was her car the Mayor plopped on.

You get the idea. It's a fun exercise.
  • karalissa
  • architectus
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