The Law of Unintended Consequences
We all know that ‘for every action there is a reaction’. Also, we know from experience that sometimes it is possible to do something from good intentions and cause mayhem! ‘The law of unintended consequences!’
Using the idea of ‘What if…? and the mind map format that we used recently in a vocabulary exercise, you can explore ideas for a story and plot development by starting with a simple idea. Eg
- Animal rights activists free animals into the wild.
- A person is made late for an appointment
- Someone leaves a book on a train.
- A delivery man finds the recipient of an order is not at home when he calls.
Jot down a few ideas and then pick one and write it in the middle of a page. Write your first thoughts about things than might happen next, around it quickly and using just free association.
When you have finished, ie when you start having to stop and think, take each of the secondary ideas and explore them in the same way. Use a large piece of paper and keep moving out surrounding each idea with further ideas that it prompts
You could just do this with a few starting points as an exercise and file them away if you think they are worth keeping or you could just see it as exercising the brain. You might like one of the ideas enough to start developing it straight away as a story!
Take the example you have been given and work with a partner to develop it further
Report back and share ideas with the group
Choose a starting point of your own and develop it is the same way
Now write your story!
A cleaner takes it home The Guard hands it in to lost property
A passenger takes it to read A child finds it It is put in the bin
A BOOK ON A TRAIN
Someone idly scribbles graffiti in it Someone takes it and gives it away.
It has an important letter inside
(The owner reports it missing) A passenger finds a name inside
((There is a large sum of money in the sleeve))
The finder spends it The finder hands it in
The finder sets out to find the owner
(It grows legs and sets off on an adventure)
It becomes a children’s book It becomes a surreal story with lots of double meaning for adults