My Facebook feed and RSS reader are full of posts from angst-ridden parents who already—three days in—hate their stupid Elf On The Shelf[1. A craze that took off a couple of years ago and is like the Tooth Fairy crossed with an advent calendar, and a nightmare for parents].
People seem to be held hostage to this thing at the same time that they are plagued[2. thanks to Pinterest postings from uber-mommies] by a sense of inadequacy and overwhelm.
Imagine a character who is trapped in a situation beyond their control for a finite amount of time. Write their story.
- What is the situation and why is it so torturous for THIS particular character?
- How do they react on Day 1. How does that change by Day 15?
- What is the crisis point? What brings things to a head?
- What hilarious (or terrifying) events happen at the climax?
- What fallout does this have for the character and the people around him/her?
- What lessons are learned at the end? What vows are made?
- Think about something that drives YOU crazy. Create a character who is also driven crazy by this thing, but make them more extreme. Amplify everything. Make the lows lower than they ever get for you. Make the highs higher.