Saturday, June 7, 2014


Storms make life interesting. It sure has been storming in Missouri this week. Lightning and thunder and buckets of rain and gales of wind have pounded on us. I know I’ve been in a storm and have had enough. Oh, for blue skies, balmy breezes and smooth sailing.

BUT, while we may want such a quiet calm in our own, real lives, a character who experiences only fair weather is a boring character. The boring character is caught up in a world which is equally as yawn inducing in a reader. No storms in a character’s life, means a flatlined, dead plot. The character’s story is DOA.

All work and no play make Jack’s character dull, dull, dull. To give Jack a little bit of play, create a bag of tricks. Gather some small slips of paper and a container (envelope, box, recycled plastic-lidded container). Write something on each slip and place it within the container.

For example:
falls through the floor
loses all his/her money
is held up
has a car wreck
steals a car
kisses his/her boss
is kissed by his/her boss
loses a pet
loses a bet

And so on.

Then when you have a character who is stuck in the doldrums, hang an albatross around his/her neck by plucking out a slip of paper and putting the words into action. The character will be more interesting and the plot starts to sail along under the winds of change.

May your characters always be in trouble and you always have fair weather.

VJ Schultz

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