What kind of trouble can my protagonist get into? What can complicate her story? These are just ideas, not sure which ones I’ll use.
- Dating a bad boy.
- Telling off her disrespectful history teacher.
- Skipping school.
- Getting drunk at a party.
- Staying out all night and not calling home.
- Has sex, gets pregnant.
- Has sex, then her asshole boyfriend breaks up with her.
- Takes her mother’s car without permission.
- Nasty sunburn.
- Morning sickness.
- STI scare.
- Whiplash from a car accident.
Acts of god:
- Power outage spoils all the food in the fridge.
- A tree falls on the family’s only vehicle.
- Her mother gets breast cancer.
- Left the girls’ room with skirt tucked into underpants.
- Pulled on her jacket to free it from the big guy sitting on it. He got up and she gives herself a black eye because she was pulling so hard.
- Minor fender bender with mom’s car.
- Sits down on a tack, held on her seat by another student at a school-wide assembly.
The ugly truth:
- 17 and pregnant, she must make some important life choices.
- She learns that she does need her mother.
- When she reunites with estranged biological father, she learns she has three younger siblings, half brothers and sisters.
Monday Morning Warm-up:
This is a story about 17 and half year-old Janelle who must come to terms with her mother’s recent sobriety and how her mother tries to make up all at once for being a bad parent for many years. At first she rejects her mother’s parenting, figuring she doesn’t need a parent now when she hasn’t really had one all along. Eventually she realizes that her mother always did do the best she could with what she had and allowing her mother to parent her didn’t mean she wasn’t an independent young woman.
This story is important to me because I think it is allowing me, in an exaggerated way of course, to come to terms with my own daughter becoming more independent. She seems to need me less often these days, but when she does need me it is no small matter.
Writing Assignment: If your writing could talk back to you, what would it say about its own strengths and weaknesses?
If what I’ve written so far could talk back to me it would scream WRITE MORE. It would say this is good, not great. The word choice and plot are the best parts, but the pacing is all wrong. What you’ve written in a few paragraphs needs to be slowed down and you need to use more dialogue to tell your story. Now I’m not sure where I’m going to go. Do I want to plough ahead and make story/plot progress, or do I need to start now by taking what I’ve already written and slow it down?