Dec 15 2012

Creative Writing Exercise: Break Rules Oddly

Published by at 1:25 pm under Creative Writing Prompts

A few seconds ago, I saw a car doing ~30 miles per hour in reverse in a residential area, which is the oddest example of speeding I’ve seen. Your writing prompt today is to write a scene which incorporates a character violating some rule or law but in a very odd and/or unexpected way.

Some possibilities:

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Creative Writing Exercise: Break Rules Oddly”

  1. Kirbyon 15 Dec 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Hm, how about a high-speed chase where the hero is not driving away from the police, but is in the car with the police while they’re being chased by bloodthirsty criminals? Has that been done before?

  2. Dr. Vo Spaderon 15 Dec 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Your third bullet point here is awesom, B. Mac.

  3. B. McKenzieon 15 Dec 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks, DVS.

    “The hero is not driving away from the police, but is in the car with the police while they’re being chased by bloodthirsty criminals.” Some horror stories have a lone cop try to help the protagonist, but he usually gets killed pretty quickly (to help reinforce that No One Can Save the Protagonists But Themselves).

    One adaptation that comes to mind: the hero steals a police cruiser so that he can get in a high-speed chase with someone else (and perhaps lead the cops to the target).

  4. Nayanon 15 Dec 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Someone burning down his own house to claim insurance and leaving his relatives inside the house to give it a natural touch.

    Actually, it is a real incident which took place in Chicago.

  5. B. McKenzieon 16 Dec 2012 at 12:14 am

    We also celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with a massacre. And have so many shootings (192 this last month) that the local papers do not cover all of them.

  6. Kirbyon 16 Dec 2012 at 7:36 am

    And don’t even get started on our football woes lately…

    A couple more ideas: your character starts a fight as part of a psychology assignment (if they’re a student), steals a pair of glasses off a random chump to complete their totally awesome cosplay outfit, or breaks into a jail to talk to a notorious criminal they believe has information on something important.

  7. Grueleron 16 Dec 2012 at 1:33 pm

    A nearsighted forger wants to bring down an illegal immigrant mob boss. However, his brother is part of their organization,so he’s worried about his brother getting caught in the crossfire. He creates and sells a falsified driver’s license to the ringleader, and contacts the police repeatedly, complaining about the driving of somebody in a blue Cadillac with the license plate lo8-0213. Several months later, the boss is arrested for driving without glasses, and they learn that the driver’s license is forged. Yeah, it’s some pretty big plot holes, admittedly.

  8. Grueleron 16 Dec 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Mor a “guideline” than a rule, but when the American flag goes by, Joe cannot remove his orange top hat with the phrase, “Reel Men Fish” embroidered, because an assassin is hunting him down, armed only with the knowledge that he has a fransiscan haircut dyed hot pink.

  9. Grueleron 16 Dec 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Actually, make that a red ushanka with a hammer and sickle embroidered. And set in the story in the 50’s.

  10. Milanon 18 Dec 2012 at 2:37 am

    A hero with vaguely messianic powers drowns himself in a bid for world peace. He does drown, and there is world peace. For about an hour. The side-effects of a world rediscovering survival instincts the hard way plague the hero’s sidekick for the remainder of the story.

    (I think I am starting to see why my novel is floundering a bit.)

  11. B. McKenzieon 18 Dec 2012 at 3:52 am

    “I think I am starting to see why my novel is floundering a bit.” It happens–give it time and iron out the wrinkles.

  12. crescon 31 Dec 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Your fiance broke it off with you and you threw away the ring in frustration. Another man finds it and offers it to his girlfriend.

    You then realize that that the ring was worth 8,000 and you need it back, so you have to beat up the man to get him to tell ou where it is. Then you have to break into the girlfriends house to get it back.

    Laying waste to 2 innocent people lives.

  13. B. McKenzieon 31 Dec 2012 at 9:02 pm

    “Laying waste to 2 innocent people’s lives.” I like the conflict and the premise sounds very believable, but I’m not sure I’d characterize the guy who picked up an engagement ring and gave it to his girlfriend as innocent. Taking an obviously valuable possession off the ground and not only failing to attempt to find the owner (i.e. contacting the police) but then giving what is (legally speaking) a stolen ring to his fiancee is super-jackass, and illegal.

  14. Dr. Vo Spaderon 01 Jan 2013 at 12:33 am

    Well maybe if he…no, I can’t defend that. He’d have to be some kind of lowlife not deserving of the girlfriend (to pick up some stray ring). And who would propose because they happened upon a ring? Unless they were seriously into to destiny and thought it was fate or providence. But then the girlfriend would probably be creeped and reject him too, leading to more frustration and ring-throwing. The cycle would not end! The ring must be cursed!

    Ack. See what my mind ha done to your near perfectly legit scenario?

  15. crescon 01 Jan 2013 at 9:31 am

    In defense of the second man. Perhaps he is down on his luck, fears his girlfriend is going to leave him, and sees this ring as a sign of better times?

    Alternatively maybe he’s a pimp and gives the ring to his best working girl. This could lead to more story as the ring owner is now involved with dangerous people trying to get his property back. This all could lead to the ring owner realizing his own faults that led to his fiance breaking it off with him to begin with.

    Though, even in my most dire of moods I doubt I would throw away a ring I knew was very valuable.

  16. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2013 at 11:09 am

    DVS, depending on the circumstances, the second guy might have some justifiable reason to feel entitled to the ring. For example, after Alice breaks off her engagement with Barry, let’s say Barry gives the ring to his friend Carl because it’s suddenly useless to Barry. If Barry changes his mind several weeks later and asks for the ring back, I think many readers would sympathize with Carl if Carl explained that he had already given the ring to his fiancee Diana and could not return it.

    Alternately, maybe the conflict is just between Alice and Barry. Alice breaks off the engagement, and Barry asks for the ring back, but Alice refuses. This sort of scenario is actually depressingly common. Or maybe Barry gives his ring to Alice, but Barry dies before they can be married. Carl, as Barry’s brother and heir, reasonably believes he is entitled to have the ring back. Alice reasonably believes she is entitled to keep it. This might put us in a hilariously dark situation where a brother robs his brother’s widow. Now THAT is twisted.

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