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Monday, March 7, 2016

Writing Prompt #9

            PROMPT 9 – WHAT IF?

            This is similar to the stream of consciousness method of story generating. The difference is that you start with a topic and ask as many “What if” questions as you can. I love this prompt because I can do it when I am stuck in a traffic jam, waiting at the DMV, or otherwise bored. It’s especially helpful if you want to generate ideas in a specific area.
            Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and a couple of years ago I protested that the Hallmark channel introduces several new, formulaic Christmas stories each year, but does nothing for my favorite celebration. So I decided to generate ideas which could be turned into screenplays about Thanksgiving.

            Here is an example of the ideas this prompt generated.

            What if Thanksgiving had a hero like Santa, but was a talking turkey?
            What if a family was picked to have their Thanksgiving feast televised?
            What if turkeys celebrated Thanksgiving with us?
            How would our pets celebrate Thanksgiving if they could?
            What if your family tried to re-enact the first Thanksgiving?

            Based on “what if a family was picked to have their Thanksgiving televised” I generated the following story pitch.

Thanks a Lot - At its best, Marci hated Thanksgiving. People invited relatives they didn’t talk to the rest of the year to come over and stuff their mouths with turkey and stuffing all the while they fought over events that happened years before she was born. What made it bearable was that it only lasted a couple of hours. The joyous declarations of thanks were another matter altogether. Marci’s family bombarded her with greeting card sentiments all month long.
            And then it happened. Mom announced that the family had been selected to participate in Thanks A Lot; the holiday reality show that pitted families together to prove which of them were truly the most thankful family in the nation. Not only would the family take the normally shallow sentiments to new levels of sickening sweetness, but the entire nation would be tuned-in to see it.
            Marci had to find a way to survive a whole month of holiday madness and keep herself looking cool in front of the national audience.




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