Need help spicing things up

by Ethan

Question: So I'm working on a story in which there is an organization of people who are calling themselves perfect and trying to perfect everything and everyone. Easily they can be compared to terrorists, as their ways of doing this are extremely radical and at times, torturous to others. They are led by a very cunning, manipulative, intelligent leader. In the story, they've kidnapped a scruffy teenage girl and taken her to their "lair", for lack of a better word. There they go out of their way to give her a makeover and gradually change her thought patterns, but as she begins to step out of like they crack down hard on her, and their dark side becomes more and more apparent throughout the story. The problem is, I'm just not sure what I can do to make it more interesting. The story goal is for this girl to escape, but I just can't seem to find what else I could add in there that would spice things up.

Answer: One thing you might try is asking yourself a lot of questions about this idea. For instance, based on this brief synopsis, I find myself wondering a lot of things, such as...

Why do they kidnap this girl in particular?
What is special about her?
Why do they need her?
Isn't their dark side obvious all along, considering that they have abducted her and are brainwashing her (not exactly friendly moves)?
What are the aims of this group, both long and short term?
How do they intend to use this girl?
Who are this girl's allies in the outside world?
Does everyone in this group agree with the plan?
What factions exist within the group?
What does everyone in the group think about how they are treating this girl?
How many other people have been abducted?
Is there a connection between this group and people in the girl's past?


Try to have a long list of questions

For each question, brainstorm as many different answers as possible.

After you've done that and have many ideas written down, choose the ideas you find the most interesting and incorporate those into the story.

Each idea you select will probably give birth to additional questions, so feel free to repeat the process.

Two or three rounds of this should make your story a lot more interesting.

Best of luck.

Comments for Need help spicing things up

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May 27, 2014
thank you
by: Ethan

Thank you, this helps a great deal. I will use this advice as I continue and will use the answers I come up with from those. Again, thanks!

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