The following is an exercise we did in Writers World Boot Camp 2.
The piece couldn’t be longer than 500 words and had to contain the following elements:
You are all going to a conference of award winning authors, where the first 50 get a million dollars. (THAT’S your goal, and clearly, the other authors on OTHER planes want to get there before you!)
Your plane is distressed. I don’t care WHY, you tell me. What conflict and what resolution are you going to give this journey? (I don’t care what conflict you give them, but remember, the greater the conflict, the greater the story)
The pilot’s voice droned over the intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached cruising altitude. ETA at LAX is one hour. Enjoy your flight.”
Anna glanced out the window, hands gripping the armrests. “Why I agreed to go I’ll never know. I haven’t left the house or Michigan in years.”
Will patted her arm. “A chance at receiving a million dollars, plus having your writing looked at, is a great reason to go.”
“And I get to meet the others in person, which will be nice. It’s one thing to talk to them on Facebook, but another to see them in person.”
A whine filled the cabin, and the plane shuddered. A flight attendant hurried up the aisle to the cabin door. After a brief conversation, the pilot’s voice filled the air. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are experiencing some turbulence. Please remain in your seats and fasten your seat belts.”
Anna’s grip tightened until the knuckles turned white. Seat trickled down her cheek. “I’ve changed my mind. I would rather be home.”
“Don’t think about the trip; think about beating the members of Elite Critique to the conference. We all know Writers World is tops when it comes to critiques and learning. Randall is going to be recognized for what he has done for so many. We’ll have an excellent time,” Will said.
The whine increased, and an engine sputtered. The cabin jumped, and the passengers who ignored the pilot’s announcement fell from their seats.
The flight attendants assisted the injured and shaken passengers back to their seats, buckling them in.
“”How the hell can you be so upbeat with the plain jumping around like a grasshopper on a hot plate?” Anna closed her eyes.
“Considering the alternative, I’d rather be happy,” Will said.
The plane dropped, and unsecured items hit the overhead. Drinks spilled, and peanuts littered the floor. The pilots regained control, and the whine disappeared.
“Ladies and gentles, due to mechanical problems we will be landing in Las Vegas. Arrangements have been made to get you to the conference in time by bus. I apologize for the inconvenience.”
Will pulled out his cell phone and checked arrival times for LAX. “Hah! We will arrive before the EC group by a good two hours. The bad weather has forced them to land in Denver.”
“What a shame.” Anna grinned and released the death grip on the arm rests.