Need to do more timed exercises. So I found this site. Keeping in mind the three Os (Objective, Obstacle, Outcome). Fifteen minutes on the clock. Spinning . . .
Setting for your story: in the wild west
Starting phrase for your story: The moment I took off
Four words you must include in your story: Semester, Coach, Quest, Olive Oil
The moment I took off on my quest I knew the Coach Gang would not be easily penetrated. Everybody was heading west to find their fortune in gold, or to profit off the gold-diggers through gambling saloons and other commerce. Some went west to escape the law, some went for an adventure. I went for none of these reasons. Nobody expected a student of the theatre to leave New York city mid-semester and head west. And a woman travelling alone! Yes, there were stories of some women in the wild country who drank, cussed and killed as good as any man–Calamity Jane’s legend continued. But for a city woman, still a girl really, to enter the territories on her own . . . My mission was dangerous, downright deadly, but with my sister’s life hanging in the balance I saw no other choice.
My sister June, the blushing bride, barely 17 years old, enroute to a new life, a homestead out west, when the stage was overtaken, robbed, the men killed, my dear baby sister taken prisoner by the Coach Gang. We learned this from the young boy, the stage driver’s son, who tagged along with his father that day and slipped into the brush to hide as his father had taught him to do at the first sign of trouble. The boy saw everything, remained hidden until the next coach came upon the scene. The authorities said it was hopeless. There was no law out there to speak of, women disappeared, were forced into prostitution, servitude. We’d never see June again and there was nothing we could do about it. So there was no choice. Someone had to go look for her and since we had no brothers and with father in his sick-bed, the task fell on my shoulders. A single woman, travelling alone.
The idea invited trouble. Being a woman often had its advantages for bending people to my will, but it wouldn’t serve me well out there. No. If I were to succeed I needed a man. Being a person of the theatre, rather flat-chested, strong features . . . yes, I could pull it off. As I watched my blonde curls fall to the floor during the cutting, I knew I could do it.
And time’s up! Blech! The west for godsake! What kind of crazy prompt is that? My problem in doing these exercises is getting a complete story done. I mean by the time I came up with an objective – to rescue the sister – and an obstacle – the gang and being a woman in the west travelling alone – there was just no time left to get to the outcome – where she pulls it off. And who on earth would want to read such a story anyway? Blech!
Drinking: coffee with cream
Listening To: birds and rain
Hair: getting there