Today’s writing challenge response comes from Sterling Davies.
I like to keep my readers, my characters, and even myself guessing and surprised by what happens in a story. This is a fun exercise that I like to use that can work as a writing prompt, or as a quick break for writer’s block! Try these steps: 1 – Place a character or characters in a location where they’re comfortable. Tell us a little about them, such as what they like to do for fun. 2 – Give this character a goal that’s perhaps totally unrelated to what you’ve created so far. Tell us about that goal. Now the fun part! 3 – Have something unexpected and completely different from steps one or two happen – suddenly, if at all possible. Surprise your character, and don’t second guess yourself! Now… what if that unexpected development is the first step on an unlikely path toward that goal?
Earlier in the day, my brother and I had a tennis tournament at our local club. We were there form 8 AM to around 4 PM on a Saturday. Our mom stayed until around 9 AM and then told us she had a meeting at our house, so our nanny stayed with us until we were finished. After that, we started driving down to the house when my mom called me.
“Hi boys, I’m still in my meeting so wait outside in the backyard for me, okay?” My mom told us. That was odd, my mom always lets us stay in our room upstairs.
“How come?” I asked. Maybe something else was going on inside. She answered back with a remark that didn’t sound so truthful. I said okay and hung up.
When we got home, I stepped out of the car and yelled for the dogs but no one came. They always start running to see us. I asked my nanny how come they were not there and she said they were in their cages. I went to go see them when she immediately stopped me and told me to follow her to the back. That was even weirder. So, my brother and I started walking to the backyard when I smelled a barbecue. I saw the smoke rising up and a head pop out from behind the wall. I started to think, “This is weird.” I looked through the window and saw desserts lined up in the living room. My head started spinning. Maybe she’s having some sort of fancy dinner meeting. I opened the fence to the backyard when I saw all my friend and relatives there and they yelled, “SURPRISE!”
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