What’s the Plot for this Scene?

What’s the plot for this scene? What drama can you add to two people out on a trail ride? Below is my inspiration.

The top arc of the sun just clears the horizon as we trot down the deserted country lane. A woodpecker drums on the snag of a dead ash.

Dad hasn’t said a word to me since I asked to ride with him this morning. Maybe he thinks it’s weird since I haven’t ridden with him in months. Or is it a year? Maybe he knows I wouldn’t ask to accompany him unless I wanted something from him.

I tighten my grip on the reins. Most likely, he isn’t thinking about me at all. Like usual.

Dad takes Paladin into a canter. Squeezing with my legs, I put Cinnamon into one. When we slow back to a trot, I test the waters.

“Dad?”

His block of a face registers no expression, but his head dips a fraction.

“The county fair’s next week. I’m competing on Tuesday. Can you come watch me?”

He shakes his head. “I have meetings all day. I can’t reschedule them.”

And he wouldn’t even try. I stare at the reins in my gloved hands. Should I even bother with what I really need to ask him?

For more plot writing prompts, click here.

What’s the Plot for this Ordinary Scene?

This month’s prompts are all about plot, the story component I have the most trouble with. If you have that problem too, I hope these photo prompts will inspire you. I almost passed by the photo I’m using today because it seemed so ordinary. But that’s what fired my imagination. What’s the plot for this ordinary scene? Below is my idea.

As we wrapped up the meeting, I noticed how everyone looked alike. We were all wearing sober blue or black suits. We were all smiling in a friendly but professional way, although I hadn’t felt friendly or professional in weeks. We had just had the fifth meeting of the day to discuss things we would discuss in a meeting next week and the week after that. Had we’d decided to do anything in any of those meetings? I didn’t think so.

“Is something wrong, David?” Amy said as she resumed her seat beside me.

How could she tell? I touched my face. My smile was gone. And I had a feeling it wasn’t coming back.

For more plot prompts, click here.

What’s your plot for this ordinary scene?

Where Does It Lead?

As I looked under the pier in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, toward the sea, I had the overwhelming feeling that I was staring into a magic portal. If I could make it past the clashing waves to the end, I would be transported to … where? Where does it lead? To the past? To the future? To a planet on the edge of the galaxy? Or to a world of our innermost fears?

Please share in the comments. Where does it lead?

For more setting prompts, click here.

Using August Heat as a Setting

The August heat is making itself real in my neck of the woods, so today’s picture prompt is about using August heat as a setting. As soon as I saw this picture, the words below leaped into my mind.

The sun rose over the still-quiet city, a haze already gathering above the maples and oaks in Nelson Park. I crunched along the crushed gravel path. A few birds tossed out some notes, either early risers warming up their vocal chords or night ones wrapping up their nocturnal activities. Turning right, I followed the path that led to the building with the mayor’s office. A jogger trotted past. I smiled, but of course, he didn’t smile back. You don’t in this city.

I wiped at the sweat on my lip and pulled my damp shirt from my back. The humidity climbed with the sun. It sidled up to you and sank in, just like Mayor Nelson’s words when he wanted to win you over to do something for him.

He thought he finally had me, had finally hooked me and could play me however he wanted. But he didn’t have me. He couldn’t get me.

Picking up my pace, I grinned at the next grim-faced jogger.

But I was going to get him.

For more setting prompts, click here.

What Settings Make You Uncomfortable?

Since last week’s prompt was about comfort settings, I’m asking this opposite question this week. What settings make you uncomfortable?

I avoid hospitals whenever I can. Not that I’ve had a bad experience during any of the few times I was admitted to one. I think my dislike developed when my brother-in-law had to endure two liver transplants in six months. The coldness and sterility of the quiet corridors that went on forever didn’t induce me to linger or relax.

I’m not a city person. I do enjoy visiting interesting sites in a city, but the traffic alone prevents me from enjoying a long stay. After while, the crush of humanity makes me glad to escape to the open spaces of the country.

Both of those settings would work well if I wanted to make a main character uncomfortable since I have a genuine dislike of them. Writers are always seeking to add tension to our writing. Putting a main character in an uncomfortable setting is a great way to achieve this.

Writers, what settings have you used to make characters uncomfortable? Readers, what settings have you read that did a good job of making character uncomfortable?

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