Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Okay. Make it worse.

Someone who read yesterday's post about a kid named Toast turning up in my "Let's Make a Story" bit asked for the rest of the exercise. It's pretty simple, really, but we haven't done a No, Seriously. Just Try It moment around here for a while, so...

1. First, think of a character. What's his or her name?

2. Now, tell me: what does this person love to do more than anything else in the entire world?

3. Good. Well, bad news! This morning, when this person woke up, something astonishing had happened. Something terrible. Something that made it so this person can never, ever do that thing he loves again. What happened?

4. Well, what's he gonna do about it?

5. That fails miserably. Why?

6. Okay, now, make it worse.

7. Ooh, that's bad. Now, make it worse again.

8. Ugh, poor guy. What's he gonna do now?!

9. Yeah, that didn't work either. Now things are even worse. How?

10. Right about now, things are as horrible as they can possibly get. Oh, wait. Turns out they can get even worse. What happens?

Etc. etc. etc. At Jefferson, the kids decided Toast loves making toast (of course). He loves it so much that he dreams of opening a restaurant called Toast, where all they serve is stuff on toast. But he wakes up one morning and an evil genius* has stolen all the toast. What's worse, the cops think Toast stole it. So he runs to his grandma's, because who can you trust if not Grandma. But she's talking to the cops! Toast tries to escape the whole town and go in search of toast elsewhere, but toast everywhere is gone. And now the peanut butter and jelly is missing too. And the local peanut butter and jelly mob is sure Toast stole it, so they're after him too. To make it worse, Toast falls down and knocks out all his teeth, so now he can't even eat toast! Etc. etc. etc.

So, who's your character? And what does he love? No, seriously. Just try it.

* The kid who thought of this part gave the evil genius his own name, which I loved.

6 comments:

deborahfreedman said...

This is great. I love that Toast is toast.

Next, will you please show us how to resolve the story and make a smashing ending? Because I want to know what happens next!

Susanne Drazic said...

I really like following your blog. It always keeps me smiling. Thanks for sharing.

cath c said...

poor Toast.

so that's the secret to writing a good novel!!!


just keep making things worse.

thank you, jacqui!

Jacqui said...

Ah, yes, of course, Debbie. The "here's exactly how to make a smashing ending" post will be, um, tomorrow. Followed by the "Making your middle so gripping they'll read it in one sitting post." Naturally.

Thanks so much Susanne!

cath, sadly, it appears that in MY novel, the biggest thing getting worse is my writing. :)

C.R. Evers said...

This kid is an evil genius! Obviously destined to be a writer. The best writers live to torture their characters and readers. :0) mwaaha ha ha ha!

Jacqui said...

Christy, we're all terrible, aren't we?