I have a little something different planned for today’s Boot Camp exercise, as it was inspired by last month’s writing article on comedy.
During my research, a point that was mentioned on multiple occasions was that a writer must be able to be spontaneous and improvise. Though this is an easy concept to understand, putting it into practice is another matter entirely.
In order to practice our ability to extemporize, I came up with an exercise that has several randomized components. Having to deal with elements we have no control over will force us to find a way to make these elements work together.
BOOTCAMP LESSON 13: Improvisation
The basics of a story is a plotline which follows the exploits of the main characters as they attempt to resolve a conflict while making their way to their intended goal. When we write a story, it is our job to come up with these elements. In the following exercise, however, you will have to create a short story using various elements chosen at random.
You will need a six-sided dice for the purpose of this exercise. If you don’t have any handy, you can use an online dice program such as this one: http://www.roll-dice-online.com/
So, here are today's guidelines!
- Below are six main character candidates. Roll the dice and use the character with the number corresponding to your result.
- Next are six stylized worlds/environments. Roll the dice and use the setting with the number corresponding to your result
- Next are six sidekicks. Roll the dice and use the character with the number corresponding to your result
- Next are six obstacles. Roll the dice and use the obstacle with the number corresponding to your result
- Next are six goals. Roll the dice and use the goal with the number corresponding to your result
- Write a short story using all of the components you acquired. There is no limit to this exercise.
- Within the short story you will write, the components you acquired may be modified to fit each other, BUT must remain true to their original designs as much as possible.
- Sherlock Holmes
- Robin Hood
- The Tin Man
- Red Riding Hood
- King Arthur
- Post Apocalyptic Wasteland: For one reason or another, the world has gone through a terrible change. Civilization as we know it no longer exists, and those who managed to stay alive must now scavenge for supplies and fight other survivors for resources.
- Police crime scene: Detectives, SWAT teams, Bomb Squads, Computer Crimes Division, Police Precincts, Forensics, etc. Law enforcement attempts to put a stop to illegal activity or investigating mysteries by tracking down various sources or suspects.
- Superhero battle in downtown metropolitan: Superheroes strive to uphold justice and bring balance to society. Unlike the normal police force, superheroes have strange powers to assist them in dealing with super criminals that are a threat on a global scale.
- Retro Sci-fi Spaceship: Retro Sci-fi can be described as the future as seen from the past, or the past as seen from the future. Influenced by the scientific, technological, and social awareness of the present, this world reflects the best humanity can hope for.
- Deserted Island: Being stranded on a deserted island, the character must to live off the land by finding food, water and shelter. Characters may also be forced to deal with isolation, or else face possible insanity.
- Coffee Shop: An everyday coffee shop, filled with people enjoying their drinks or working on their laptops.
- A priest
- A mime
- A ''D-list'' Super Hero
- A bearded hipster
- A Cosplayer dressed as a random Anime Character
- An Alien
- A pack of ravenous badgers
- A zombie horde
- A flood
- A stampede of angry, Emo teenagers
- An axe wielding serial killer
- A flock of flying monkeys
- To save the world
- To save the girl/guy/significant other
- To save themselves
- To prevent corruption of society
- For the LOLz
For those who aren’t afraid to share their entries, feel free to submit them in a private message to me via facebook, and I will post them here. Remember, this is a game, so no posting bad comments about other people's entries. Now pardon me while I go write a story about Sherlock Holmes and his Mime sidekick, as they try to survive a zombie apocalypse in a dystopian future… for the LOLZ.
Now go! Create! And most importantly, have fun!
Until Next time!