Hampton Roads Writers


Construct a quest narrative around an object. It could be anything: a jewel, a coin, a bottle opener, a flat tire.

  • Start with a title that implies time and place. (My day with Grandma, An evening at Claridge’s, Night in Cheam, etc)

  • On a piece of paper, brainstorm this scenario, thinking what it is likely to involve and what could happen. Make lists of both situations and details.

  • Sift through these lists and think of scenarios that look promising as stories. Focus on the items you have listed and think about how they could be used imaginatively as conflict triggers. Discard ideas that seem either obvious or unconvincing.

  • Look at what you have left. If you have nothing, go back to the list and rework the situations. When you have something that seems appropiate, begin to plot it out with flow charts.

  • Do you have a story that involves conflicts and motives? Is it original? Does the end include a pay-off? Is it convincing? If you can’t answer YES to all these questions, rework the story so that eventually you can.


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