Just One Change

For this creative thinking exercise, imagine you’re staring in the mirror. The person you’re looking at is you, clearly. But imagine that person did one thing differently than you did  last weekend or yesterday or earlier today.

Tell me this: If one thing had changed, one tiny thing, how would that have changed your weekend or your day?

Consider that your mirror-you: Forgot something and had to get out of line to get it. Maybe this would have made him or her late for an event or would have started a fight with a significant other. Maybe a conversation had gone a little bit differently and the mirror you ended up having a serious discussion with someone he or she hadn’t really talked to before. You see an old friend and feel the first stirrings of romance. An (attractive) guest hit on you at your cousin’s wedding. The bike you always ride at the gym was broken. Maybe you decided to go for a run and overexert yourself and end up at the hospital.

Whatever it is, imagine something different happened. How does that affect your mood? How does that affect the rest of your day?

Apply the Change Method to Your Writing

Throw your character into an unexpected situation. Make one little change to how they expect the day to go – how you thought his or her day would go. How does that affect your character? Do they crumble? Or are they a go-with-the-flow type of person who excels with change? Is the rest of their day awful? Wonderful? Does a chance encounter send them soaring or cowering? Do they get offended by the unexpected attention of an attractive individual or do they accept it as a compliment?

Use your experiences to create a more well-rounded character and think of different character facets. Explore how your character reacts. Even if you don’t use this particular scene in a novel, it can reveal something to you about your character and it can be fun to turn an ordinary day upside down with something equally ordinary.

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  1. This is a fun and helpful assignment–thanks!

Please share your random thoughts.


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