I started them off with a character and a general setting and then we took turns with each person around the circle adding new characters, scenes and twists to the story. Plot development by plot development the story unfolded.
Often the ideas that other people came up with surprised us. We’d think to ourselves, “I didn’t see THAT coming.”
At a particularly challenging point in the story, one girl appeared stumped for ideas. She jokingly said, “The end.” But she quickly brushed that aside. “No, no, no,” she said. She gave the matter more thought and came up with an idea.
Sometimes we tried to think ahead so when our turn came we’d be ready. But then the person ahead of us would send the story off in a whole different unexpected direction. We’d have to adapt and think again.
Usually we’d panic a little when our turn arrived. We’d think, “Oh no. What am I going to say?” Once we set the panic aside, an answer always came.
We talked about all this after. We talked about how:
- Life, like our story, is full of surprises. How often do we say, “I didn’t see that coming!”
- It’s good to plan ahead but we need to be ready when things go off in a whole different direction. Be open and ready to respond to whatever comes.
- Sometimes we want to give up. But carrying on is always more satisfying.
- Panic paralyzes. Calm produces.
- Working together is way more fun and interesting than puzzling through it on our own.
From this we can remind ourselves not to be surprised by the weird, unexpected plot developments in our lives and to be ready for anything. We can find the determination to never give up, not to panic, and to find some friends to make it interesting.
Have fun living your story.