Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Playing Games

Mindy here. I've recently started playing a new game with my characters. It's probably one many of you have played for long time but, for me, it's kind of changing my approach to plotting.

Most of us have taken a newspaper article, news story, movie, book, song, etc. and thought, "what if?" Using that same premise, I looked at my story, the part where it really starts to get intense, and asked myself "But what if?" I wrote down whatever came to mind. Next, I asked "then what?" What chain of events would that event set off. I wrote until I ran out of things to write. Then I started all over again.

It's helped me think outside the box. Instead of immediately telling myself I couldn't allow something to happen to my characters, I allowed myself to dwell on the possibilities. Kind of like brainstorming with myself, I suppose.

So far, it's been fun. I've stopped discounting those forks in the the road, the ones that weren't on the map, and taken some detours. And I think my story will end up stronger for it.

Do you play games with your characters? Whether you're a plotter or a pantser, what questions do you ask yourself that add those unexpected twists and turns to your story?


  1. I don't know. I haven't asked any questions of myself. I've asked questions when brainstorming with someone. I like this idea of asking myself "what if" for my characters and then writing down the possibilities. It gets your mind working, I guess!

  2. I just asked this yesterday morning while I was writing. I'll see how it comes out. I'm thinking I maybe should have used the other what if.