I'm fighting through some plot and subplot issues, so to distract myself, I made up some little exercises to work on. You can try them, too.
Pick a MC, a setting, and a problem from the lists.
1. Thomas Mousertown - big orange cat
2. DeLay Homer - city kid, age 13
3. Celeste Winkers - country girl, age 8
4. Barnaby - old dog
5. Catcher - young dog
1. School, lunchtime in an outdoor area designated for eating
2. Farm, in a field where sheep are kept
3. City library, just before closing
4. Hospital waiting room
5. Home, in the kitchen, just after a meal
3. No parents
4. Parents fighting
5. Parent dating
6. Something lost
7. Something found
8. Anxiety for no logical reason
Write a paragraph for each exercise below, using the character, setting and problem you selected. For extra credit, try to tie all the paragraphs together through a hook that propels you from one paragraph to the next.
1. Voice - establish the character
2. Anchor - establish setting, time and place, through descriptive narrative
3. Dialog - showthe problem through dialog with a supporting character
4. Tension - escalate the problem in narrative or dialog
5. Push - take the character out of his/her comfort zone somehow.