Connecting the Dots

Now that we’ve worked on your character a bit, let’s find out where that character is going. Here’s a simple exercise. (We’ll make our character Anna.)

Anna gets on her bike. She needs to get from point A (ex: home) to point B (ex: school)


Flatlining (above) is dead. Something has to happen to bring your character’s story to life.

A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is – full of surprises.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

So let’s add a variable (surprise) – X (Ah! Algebra at work)


X is a problem. Something happens.(There will be several smaller x’s in the path as you progress – also consider what kind of road is it – rural, city, country, suburbs, yellow brick, etc.)

X could be a number of things: 

  • Does Anna get a flat tire on her bike?
  • Does Anna get caught in a rainstorm or tornado?
  • Does Anna stop to help someone stuck on the side of the road and fall in love?
  • Does Anna get help up by a band of gypsies that seduce her into joining their cult?
  • Does  Anna get stopped and held captive by aliens that just landed in a UFO?
  • Does Anna wipe out on a log in the middle of the road and get knocked unconscious?
  • Does Anna get hit by a car or bus?
  • Does Anna take a wrong turn and get lost in some strange mystical place she’s never seen before?

The bigger “X” is, the bigger the story can be (Die Hard)… but it’s not necessary. Simplicity can be just as successful (The Girl Next Door). Think it out. Travel your mind. Connect the dots…



2 thoughts on “Connecting the Dots

  1. Emily opened her eyes. She felt good, more alive than ever before. She didn’t want to sleep anymore. She stood up and gathered her clothes and headed for the shower. The hot water spilling over her head felt wonderful. She put a dollop of the citrus smelling shampoo into her palm and lathered her hair. As she rubbed her fingers on her scalp, she began to think about her future. She was tired of Wyatt’s lack of direction. At first she found it nice, not to have worries. eat and sleep and stay up all night, but it had become tiresome. Her grand plan for her life had been put on the back burner long enough. It was time she pursued her dream.

    Emily rinsed the soap out of her hair and turned off the shower. After drying off, she picked out the artistically put together outfit she would wear to the orientation. In her towel, Emily sat at her makeup table. Today’s presentation had to be grand. She had to show them what she could do. Taking the make up that best matched her mood and outfit, Emily worked on her look. Nearly an hour later, she was ready. She dressed, took one more look in the mirror and headed to the kitchen.

    Emily made herself a bowl of oatmeal and added fresh blueberries. A healthy meal would be the best start to her day, she thought. After brushing her teeth, she gathered her portfolio and walked to the bus station. Sitting on the cool metal bench, waiting for the bus to arrive, Emily’s thoughts concentrated on the events of the day. She was about to start her new life. She was excited. She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn’t see the bus arrive. A loud blare of a horn startled her out of her thoughts. The bus driver was staring at her through the open doors. “Coming young lady?” he said Young Lady he had called her. Emily beamed with confidence as she stood up and stepped onto the bus headed for her future.

    The bus ride was an hour long. Emily spent the time reviewing the campus layout and class schedule, she had received in the mail, two weeks prior. The time went quickly and soon the bus was pulling into Grand Central Station. Emily disembarked the bus and started her 3 block walk to the schools campus. She had only been walking for about 10 minutes, when she saw a crowd of people in front of her. As she grew closer, she saw that they were watching a street performer. As the performer ended his show and the people began to dissipate, Emily could get close enough to see what he looked like. He had the most awesome makeup she had ever seen. Immediately she felt the need to talk to him.

    “Your makeup is Awesome!” Emily said as she approached the performer. “Thank you” he replied. “I love your makeup work” she said “I’m a makeup artist also.”The conversation continued and soon Emily discovered that the performer worked for a company that was looking for young fresh talent. Beaming with happiness, Emily walked away from that encounter with a telephone number to her future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done. There are two things you can do with this: 1) move on to a next scene – perhaps she makes that call and enters her future; or 2) Go back and clean this up – grammar, misspells, redundancies, strong verbs, setting, etc. Make it as tight as you can for a stand alone piece – even give it a title. Great work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s