Writing Prompt: Journey to the Unsolved

Writers block, defined as “a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work,” is a plague that we’ve all dealt with at one point or another in our writing careers. Ideas are hard to come by sometimes. Ideas are like fireflies; they flit in and out of mental vision, but they are hard to catch.

Keeping this in mind, a writing prompt will be offered here every Sunday (in different formats, of course). The length of what you write is your decision entirely. It is my hope that these prompts will spark creativity and kickstart the writing process.

This week’s prompt:

A woman returns to her abandoned childhood home and finds evidence inside that reveals the keys to an unsolved family mystery.

[How did this prompt help you? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, or send an email!]

This Week in Links: 8/29/2010 – 9/4/2010

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

I subscribe to quite a few interesting RSS feeds in the book/writing niches. Perhaps you do as well, but in any case, I’d like to share my starred links from this week:

Monday, August 30, 2010:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010:

Thursday, September 2, 2010:

Friday, September 3, 2010:

Saturday, September 4, 2010:

The “What is Plot?” Series: Endings (Part Four)

Photo courtesy of mpclemens.

Here we are. The fourth installation of the “What is Plot?” series. Today’s topic? Plot endings. There are a few different ways to end a plot, and that ending will obviously be based on the kind of novel/story you’re writing. Let’s dive in, shall we?

  • Resolution: This involves the ending of the conflict by either the protagonist or antagonist. Resolution is the most common ending, but doesn’t necessarily mean happiness for the characters or the readers. The “unhappiness factor” can add depth to characters and can show how they handle the situations you throw at them.
  • Decision: In this ending, the protagonist makes an/a important/difficult decision about his/her conflict. when writing this decision into your story, remember to write it so that your character is giving up something to gain something better/more important.
  • Revelation: This is where something that was hidden throughout the plot is revealed. A good example is in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.
  • Trick: A surprise ending that deviates from any ending(s) that readers may be expecting. These are tricky (no pun intended). The best way to write them is to have your protagonist make a decision, but not let readers know what will happen after that. The downfall of this kind of ending? Occasionally, readers may think your ending is too simple and dull.
  • Explanation: This is an ending for those with a mystery/puzzle type of story. Explanations work best when the mystery/puzzle is kept well hidden throughout the story.

[Was this post helpful? Which ending(s) do you tend to write? Do you find one easier than the others? Please leave a comment.]