Friday, April 04, 2008

Stranded at the Mall During Xmas Rush

Stranded at the Mall During Xmas Rush

Pick a "device" (natural disaster, robbers, whatever circumstance) that forces a group of people to stay together and work together to escape a shopping mall at the height of the rush shopping season.

Why are they stuck?

Why are they stuck with each other? How did this disparate group of individuals end up together?

Who are the individuals (see below to get some ideas or make up your own characters)?

What steps do they take to escape?

What stands in their way (who or what is the opposing force)?

What setbacks and reversals do they have?

What surprises and twists do we discover as an audience?

Do they escape? How?

Would you write this as a comedy or a thriller or horror or what?


Mother cut off from her children or the reverse, children separated from their mother

Businessman who was shopping for a mistress and his resentful assistant who never approved of being drawn into his personal life

Shoplifting drug addict

Janitorial employee

Sales Staff (male? female? What ages? One or two? Do they like each other?)

Delivery guy

Young marrieds still in love

Grandparents couple

Wealthy matron

...or make up your own character ideas!

So how do these people talk to each other? What conflicts might they have? How do they resolve them or do they stay fighting? How do they work together to escape? Who leads? Which characters have important knowledge and skills vital to the escape or do they all have something to offer?

How does the pressure/tension of the situation work to increase the conflict amongst the characters?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

First Lines - An Idea-Generating Exercise

Go to this site for a great writing exercise