Writing Prompt Pit Stop: Plot Your Conflict

Welcome to Writing Stop Pit Stop! Life. Life shapes a person, life can get in the way of a person, life can change a person. Once you’ve lived enough life you’re going to have so many experiences (a.k.a. conflicts) that will make you a better judge of character, make you know you can survive the knocks and the pain, make you strong and will undoubtedly make you protect yourself a little more…making you appear “tame” and reserved to some. It can also cause one to be cynical...not only of love, but of all other opportunities. It all makes for a lot of conflict that can interfere with making good choices, taking chances, and believing everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to in the end.

Conflict sucks in real life, but conflict is wonderful for fiction, storytelling, drama (for the drama queens!) and even poetry…a writer doesn’t want everything to work out perfectly for everyone/everything involved or it’s going to be real yawner for the reader. Obviously, we don’t want over the top conflict/drama in our own lives, but as writers/poets/playwrights we can all draw from our hard life experiences to utilize in our writing. For writing prompt thirty-nine we’ll take some of those experiences and put them to good use:

Roadblocks and Heartbreak

1) In your daybook write out a list of some of your toughest times in life. Maybe it was the loss of a relationship, or a divorce; maybe it was being fired, losing a dream job, flunking out of college, maybe it was being homeless, broke, or just having one of those years that pull the rug out from under you. Maybe it was something so far-fetched that it causes one of those truth is more strange than fiction reactions…write it down!

2) Choose something from your list and write on it for 10 minutes or until you exhaust your subject. Take a look at what you’ve written. Can you develop a character that will take on this particular conflict? Is it something you want to explore in an essay, a play, or a poem? If so, work on that until you have a writing that you’re happy with.

3) Once you’ve revised your piece, don’t hesitate to share it with me in the comments section or at lylanne22@yahoo.com

Here’s wishing you a lot of conflicts for your characters and stories, but a more tranquil life for yourself. 🙂

See you next Wednesday!

Writing Prompt Pit Stop

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! We’re over halfway through November and in the first two weeks I’ve prompted you to write about friends of all kinds, including the furry kind. This week let’s try a different angle of being thankful – thankful for things that didn’t turn out the way we thought they should, or prayed they would.

Have you ever heard the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers?” If you haven’t you should give it a listen…the next time that you want something so bad and it doesn’t work out…it may not be apparent in the moment, but somewhere down the line it will become clear why things didn’t turn out the way we wanted. In the case of the song, it’s a high school love that didn’t last, but it’s discovered later on that how it played out was how it was meant to be – the true love was met because the first one was lost.

Relationships aren’t the only thing that don’t always go our way…but later on we see why. Often times it’s a job, a promotion, a raise, or something on our career paths that we want so bad we can taste it. When we don’t get what we want we’re left asking: Why? Or Why Not Me? (Now I’m hearing The Judds song, and realizing I have a country song theme going I didn’t plan on!) However, maybe not the next day, the next month, or even the next year do we have an answer – but eventually it becomes apparent…when we’re doing some other job we never dreamed of…and are genuinely happy. See how optimistic I’m being?

So with this new-found optimism about why things work out other than how we planned, we’ll be thankful for what we’ve got and how things turned out. So with that idea in mind, here’s the twenty-first prompt:

“Temporarily Un-thankful or Thanks for Nothing…Yet”

1) In your daybook, write down some major disappointments in your life. Then write down what happened in your life because of/in spite of those disappointments. Did you get a different job? Did you find the love of your life? Did you stumble upon a different hobby? A new career path? A sport that you actually excelled in? Were you able to make a move that you wouldn’t have if you’d gotten what you wanted? Continue on with this exercise until you have several interesting things to write about.

2) Now from that list pick one of those disappointments and write all of the things that actually happened (good and bad) because of that setback in your plans. If you want, you can continue down the list and do the same – when done see what connections you can make with your list, or if you see something that you hadn’t even thought of before…that you could be thankful for.

3) With any of the prompts above take your disappointment/optimistic happening and create a poem, an essay, a story, or a play around it. You’ll note that just by the nature of this writing you’ll have some conflict which lends itself well to a good story or a play.

4) When done with Step 3, take your work and revise it – cut anything that’s unneeded in this particular piece. By the same token, add material/images if needed. Then revise, revise, revise!

As with all writing, this “Temporarily Un-thankful…” writing should be fun! And I remind you that if you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.

Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!