Pick a pet of some kind. It can be a dog, a cat, a pot-bellied pig, or something mythical like a griffin. Your pet is sitting next to you on the couch. It appears to be looking intently at something, but when you look in the same direction, there’s nothing there. Write the scene and see where it takes you.
Setting up a flashback can be as easy as choosing the right opening clause for first sentence in the paragraph, as long as the subject of the preceding paragraph is related to the story from the past that you are about to tell. For example, if you’re writing a paragraph about someone’s health condition that they are choosing to ignore, you could follow it with a flashback to when they were super careful with their health. Here are a few examples of opening sentences for the flashback paragraph:
It hadn’t always been this way.
A year ago she would have reacted differently.
He was amazed at the change in himself. Previously, he would have
They remembered a time when
Her mother had always told her to
Back in Sydney, he’d
The last time they’d been to the doctor, things hadn’t gone so well.
Words associated with theft or betrayal:
Breach of trust
Weather can have a dramatic effect on your storyline. Add a storm to your ongoing story, or write a paragraph about a storm and see what happens.
Driving down the highway on your way to work, you spot a hearse up ahead. As you get closer to it, you think you see something moving around in the back, beside the white coffin.
Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish
She woke in the middle of the night, went downstairs and discovered that her front door was standing wide open.
Once upon a time, there was
Give your character an interaction with an animal. This can be a pet, a familiar, a stray, or even a wild animal, and it can be an imaginary animal if you want. Let the interaction change something for your character.
What’s the one thing you want most in life? Sketch out a character who wants the same thing. Give them a flaw, and make a list of 3-5 obstacles. See where it takes you.