Day 16 – Tobias S. Buckell Thwarts Your Characters

The Prompt

Think about three different characters going into a situation who need three different things to happen in it. Now, all of these things will conflict with the other needs. Think about how they will ally with each other and thwart each other in conversation and subtly trying to influence each other. But only one character can get what they want. Now… go!

The Author

Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He has a fabulous Patreon campaign where you get original stories once a month. He is also the author of one of my favorite new writing guides, It’s All Just A Draftwhich I talked about in this podcast episode.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.



Leave a comment and let us know how you got on and what you’re writing about

5 thoughts on “Day 16 – Tobias S. Buckell Thwarts Your Characters”

  1. As yesterday, I have realised I never got round to fleshing out the outline I posted for this prompt in May. The outline was a perfect twist in part of the story in the novel I’m writing, so I am keen to get a chapter out of this prompt. It was truly inspiring and really fired me up! I can’t believe I haven’t returned to it before.

  2. I enjoyed this prompt. A town needs a new Mayor. The position is a life-time position. Noel Parson, young, good-looking, man of means (he inherited from both sides of the family) moved to the town five years ago. Patrick Hornson, widower, grew up in the town as did his forebears. People came to him to settle land disputes. He remembered everything. Roger Caldwell owned the local bakery. He dealt in dough and gossip. He heard everything. It didn’t take long for Noel to back down. He’d been seen exiting a certain window.

    I enjoyed the lively conversation between the three men. Noel, a dandy, thought he could bluff his way through. Roger thought he could use blackmail. Patrick, was a man of his word. I think I can use these characters elsewhere!

  3. My flash fiction is set in Early 19th century Portugal during the French occupation. The death of their elderly parents, has forced three brothers to meet up. A rare occasion because of strained relationships between them. Each brother has followed a different path. Each firmly believes their path is the only way to live. They must dispose of and share the contents of the family home. The narrator witnesses the manipulative way the three players try to gain the upper hand. A little like the tortoise, the least likely one is the successful one.
    At the moment 500 words but it needs fleshing out. I’m quite pleased with it so far. Thank you Julie and Tobias. It made me think!

  4. This prompt just might be a charge of dynamite to ignite the story I’m working on. Very excited about the prospects. Thanks Julie and Tobias.

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