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Day 10 – …And Because Of That…

Today we start brainstorming actions for the middle of your story

Day 10 banner

Today we’re going to brainstorm the first thing your character does in reaction to how your story started.

If you look at the Short Story Framework you’ll see I called this section the first “And Because Of That”.

Here’s a short video lesson on that.


Again I’m going to encourage you to set a timer for about 10 minutes. Don’t overthink this. You’ll get a chance to work on the next “and because of that:” in an upcomings, so don’t try to brainstorm ALL the ways your character reacts…just the one that grows out of your story’s opening, and their desire.

Leave a comment telling us how today’s task went

Fun-Size Day 10

Here’s your next Bingo Piece. Download the pic, print it out and paste it onto your bingo sheet. Then share a picture of it on social media with #storyadaybingo

21 thoughts on “Day 10 – …And Because Of That…”

  1. This was a bit of a struggle, but I just reread Day’s opening and brainstormed a bit on how Agabus’s decision and getting back to her brother leads her to say goodbye to her traveling companions. It’s not a normal action for her–one led so often by the whims of adventure and genuine like for her companions, but I think it’s a good place to start for this story.

  2. I wrote one of my “and because of thats” — I think I maybe have too many in my outline. Is that a thing?

  3. I think I went too far with plotting out “and because of that’s”…I seemed to get to a possible way it ends…but who knows, this may not the direction it goes when actually writing, but I have ideas of the character’s actions.

  4. Brilliant. I’ve got there in 10 minutes! Definitely thinking more clearly about structure and sticking very much to ‘rough draft’, without constant adjusting and over thinking.

  5. And because of that #1–Gabrielle pesters Soeur Jérome until the nun tells her what the nuns know about her, and then adds, maliciously, that Gabrielle’s bastardy and poverty prevent her from taking the veil. Gabrielle demands proof and gets it when she receives clothes, a position as a governess in a local family, and a chilly good-bye from the nuns. That she also receives the pendant portrait of her mother is simply a move of apology by Soeur Jérome.

  6. This is where I run into trouble. The story usually blows up at this point. Too many ideas coming at me like dive-bombing birds in that old Hitchcock film. Wrote down some of them and then made myself quit. My difficulty here really makes me aware of where my weaknesses lie. Again, amazing exercises, Julie!

    1. Will it insult you if I tell you you’re not particularly special in that, Elizabeth? 😉 I mean this in the nicest possible way, of course! I believe most of us run into what you’ve now identified as the problem. Once identified, I hope it’s a problem we can begin to find solutions for. I’m so proud of you that you forced yourself to stop AND noticed that the exercise was

  7. Playing catch up today after being suddenly called away yesterday. So, I got my “And because of that…” done this morning. I feel pretty good about it, but, I’d had to back up and slow things down a bit when I wrote the story’s beginning, which means that what I wrote today finished up the action I’d described on Day 7. I’m a little more nervous about proceeding from here….

    1. Don’t be nervous. We’ll take it step by step and remember, nothing is set in stone! (OK, you can be nervous if you like. Sometimes a little adrenaline is good. Also, I’m not your boss!)

  8. I got past the opening! That’s already more than I have managed in too many years to count.

  9. Not too bad! My ambitious character is in a relationship with red flags all over the place. Because she’s nearing 40 and wants to fulfill her childbearing dreams, she’s making excuses for her partner’s boorish behavior instead of confronting him.

    1. Oooo, plenty of options for conflict here (internal and external). Such a relatable topic, too.

  10. I guess I’m a little confused because I thought we previously had only put the protagonist in the scene, not yet having taken an action. Yet, today you are asking us to brainstorm a reaction to the first action. I have only written the scene and am working up to the first action. Did I misinterpret what we were supposed to do? Please help!

    1. The ‘write the opening assignment’ includes their first action. But that could also be just a matter of showing their everyday life (aka how they ordinarily deal with pursuing/failing to pursue their desire).
      Sometimes, especially in a short story, they have already taken the ‘first action’ before the story starts (for example in Tobias Wolff’s Bullet In the Brain, the protagonist has already arrived at the bank, and is already in a bad mood since he always hates this kind of situation. Because of that, when the bank robber approaches him, he is in no mood to stay quiet and compliant, and so he talks back – which I’m calling “And because of that #1”. That is going to cause a second ‘and because of that’, which drives the rest of the story…and which we’ll get to soon.

      Does that help?

      Of course, remember that none of this set in stone, and you can flex and flow with it as much as is helpful, and ignore anything that isn’t 🙂

  11. This part of the story is still pretty easy for me, but it starts to get more complicated further into the middle so I’m holding on tight! Haha

      1. That’s so true. And that’s why I’m going to be stepping you through is slowly. I’m aware I’m probably going to be irritating some people with the slow pace I”m forcing you to take, but there is method in the madness.

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