· Your character gets a phone call that changes everything.
· There is a car accident.
· A secret is revealed.
· The weather changes.
· The power goes out.
· Someone picks a fight with your character.
· Your character gets his/her fortune read, or even just breaks open a fortune cookie. What does it say? What is your character’s reaction?
· A shiver runs down your character’s spine. He/she has a bad feeling…
· The car breaks down/runs out of gas/pops a tire.
· Your character is out of milk.
· Your character is allergic to ________ and, unbeknownst to him/her, has been exposed to exactly the thing he/she is allergic to.
· An animal enters the story.
· Your character receives a mysterious postcard/letter in the mail/email.
· Your character’s best friend suddenly stops speaking to him/her for no apparent reason.
· Your character's significant other, brother, sister, mother, father, or someone else close to them says, “I have something I've been meaning to tell you…”
· A new person moves in next door.
· Your character is invited to _______. Does he/she want to go?
· Bring in a holiday, any holiday.
· “Someone, call 911!!”
Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today's best youth writing. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three years in a row and her nonfiction has appeared in a variety of national publications including Family Circle, Writer's Digest, The Writer, and The Los Angeles Times. She is the founder of Write On! For Literacy and Write On! Books Youth Publishing Company and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Fiction Writing at Purdue University, where she teaches undergraduate writing courses and serves as Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review.