Many stories are about some sort of adventure or journey, whether it’s a physical, emotional, or mental one. Adventures and journeys generally have starting points. Sometimes those starting points aren’t obvious ones, are obvious only in retrospect, are ambiguous, or are as clear as day. First we’ll start with a listing of sample adventure starts:
- The protagonist(s) receive a mysterious message and set out to find out what’s going on.
- Someone attacks and pursues the protagonist(s), who must find out what’s going on, stay alive, and turn the tables on their attackers.
- Someone hires the protagonist(s) to solve a problem for him.
- Someone appeals to the protagonist(s) for help.
First, set a timer for five minutes and brainstorm as many more generic adventure starts as you can.
Next, pick five that interest you out of the total list and brainstorm three specific adventure starts for each generic category.
Finally, choose one that interests you the most (or pick one at random), set a timer for five minutes again, and free-write, jotting down as much detail as you can without thinking about it.
This exercise is useful for both writers and RPG game masters.