Weekend Assignment: Situation/Complication

Photo by Andres Rueda (cc)

Life’s messy. No truer words have ever been spoken or written. Just when you think you have a handle on things, one tiny change can be enough to throw everything out of whack. This week, my husband had a medical test that normally goes smoothly for him. In fact, everything seemed perfect for the first couple of hours. Then BANG! complication. He started running a fever and was in quite a bit of pain. All my carefully laid plans for the afternoon? Blown to bits.

Fiction works the same way. Complications take everyday situations and make them compelling. The moment things begin to go awry, your reader sits up and pays attention.

This weekend your assignment is to dream up complications. Choose one (or more) of the situations below and brainstorm at least five different complications for it. Pick the best of your complications and draft a story.


1. A man finds a photograph in the aftermath of a tornado.

2. Two people rescue a cat from a tree.

3.  A woman eavesdrops on a telephone conversation.

4.  A man restores an antique car.

5. A couple encounters an old woman lost and crying in a car at a gas station.

Do you have another situation for writers to start with? Please share it in the comments!

Happy writing!
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5 comments on “Weekend Assignment: Situation/Complication

  1. woo-hoo! assignments! i didn’t know your followers got assignments when i signed up to follow your blog this morning after reading your EXCELLENT post on the renegade writer! how exciting! love it!!!

  2. […] Weekend Assignment: Situation/Complication (barbaratyler.wordpress.com) […]

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