QUICK FIX: Chop and change
(Writers’ Forum December, 2008)
Do you have a story which, for some reason, doesn’t quite work? It may be that something needs to change – but what?
Don’t despair. Now is the time to change aspects of your story. You’ll be amazed at the way in which the entire story will shift. Make as many changes as you wish and as well as gaining a new story, you’ll find it great fun.
• Change your main character from male to female – or vice versa.
• Change viewpoint – write your story from the perspective of a secondary character. This can alter the story completely.
• Change the beginning – start halfway through the story, then flash back to what’s happened previously. If your start is a description, change it to snappy dialogue – or the reverse.
• Change the ending – happy to sad or amusing to thoughtful.
• Change tense – write your story in present tense and first person rather than past tense and third person.
• Change the setting – move your characters to an exotic location or the local chip shop to act out the story. Setting can have a huge impact on a story – allow it to influence your characters.
• Change the plot. Identify the point in the story where an alternative route could be taken. Make a ‘mind map’ to discover a number of different plots.
Remember – you are in control of your story. Don’t be afraid to chop and change.