Weekend Workout: Too Much Information (in a good way)

This is a tardy Weekend Workout, but all my ‘Merican friends were probably digesting for the past two days and couldn’t write anyway.

I was planning to do a rerun this weekend, but ran across a note to myself about using TMI (too much information) to create conflict (big, small, serious, humorous). I was specifically thinking about it because of a real life example. Okay, my 74-year-old mom has discovered boys again. I think this is great, since my dad died 6 years ago. But there’s only so much I want to hear about my mom’s escapades. Can you imagine writing that scene into a comedy script?

That’s a minor conflict, but there are other ways TMI can create serious internal and external conflicts, like if your character learns something she doesn’t want to know or shouldn’t know. TMI can put your character’s marriage, job, or life at risk. Maybe she knows her sister is having an affair, maybe she knows her boss is bribing the mafia, maybe she knows (as in one of the Cloud Atlas stories) that a report about an unsafe energy source is being hidden from public eye.

You get the point.

I put this brand spanking new exercise together based on this idea. If you try it, let me know how you think it worked.

your workout

Set your timer for 5 minutes.
Start at the top of the page with the following startline:

1) My protagonist is in EXTERNAL conflict when she learns . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

When the timer stops, Set your timer for 7 more minutes.
Start with the following line: 

1) My protagonist is in INTERNAL conflict when she learns . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

When the timer stops, Set your timer for 10 more minutes.
Start with the following line: 

3) Too Much Information for my protagonist means that she must . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

Read your exercises, make notes, highlight what makes sense.

Happy (Thanksgiving) Weekend!

 

 

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