Thursday, August 14, 2008

Plot twist

Not so's you could tell, but I sometimes read about how to write. Not sayin' I understand it at all; in fact, most of the time I'm hoping that simply staring at the words on the screen might effect some sort of subconscious change that will, someday, transform me into someone who can write.

I know. Hey, I can dream.

Lately I've been very focussed on plotting, mainly because I have not even the faintest idea for a plot. And I have this uneasy sense that might be an issue if I ever try to write a story.

But never fear -- everything can be found on the interwebs, right?

Yesterday I found a cool post on Lynn Viehl's Paperback Writer blog where she describes her Story by Name Game. Here's my quick-n-dirty single-player version:
Pick a random listing in the phone book for a couple and write down their first names. Add a random last name, also from the phone book. Choose a random life-changing event, then a primary conflict, related or not. Add a complication, one that ties the major event to the primary conflict. Finally, decide on a resolution for the story that uses the major event, primary conflict and complication.

Shall we?
Meet Martin & Lisa Donis. Lisa, a hot-shot fashion designer, is newly pregnant. Martin, a cake decorator at the local WMart, freaks out about facing fatherhood and decides to pursue his dream of dancing on Broadway. He packs his dance belt and a tube of chapstick and takes off for Manhattan. He reassures Lisa he'll send for her when he hits it big. Problem: Martin is 5'8", 250 lbs.

Lisa abandons Martin and his delusions, walks away from her big show in Italy, and goes 'off the grid' to live off the land. She sets up housekeeping in a hollowed out giant redwood tree, where she births and raises her child with a wacky cast of anthropomorphic animal friends as her sole support system.

Well? Whaddya think??

...::«crickets chirping»::...

You're right. I ought to stick to tech support.

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