Plot Ninjas

People get stuck when writing.
[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]

Especially during the midway crawl <that cursed time between the beginning and the end>, so how about we help out by making a “list” of plot ninjas.   What is a plot ninja, you ask?  Plot ninjas came about as a way to turn a blah scene into awesome by throwing ninjas at it.  Now that may not work for every point you reach ‘umm what should I write next?’.  Plot ninjas should be general and can more than likely be thrown into any story.  <I’ve collected these for the last few years.  The more the merrier.>

Such as: A nun (or another religious figure) walks by MC

MC climbs a tree and breaks a leg

Rogue animal attack happens nearby (newspaper/tv/random guy yelling it over and over tells you)

So let’s make a very random list for anyone to use at any time.  Throw out ideas to keep those scenes pulsing. You will probably throw it out in editing, but you never know.

  • Zombie outbreak
  • random gun shots are heard
  • lost child finds mc
  • gain free wine weekend tickets
  • prank phone call
  • find out about dead great uncle
  • obviously ninjas show up
  • Dancing penguins come down the road
  • dance party (or flash mob)
  • pizza delivery
  • truck is on fire
  • a man with a bow tie asks about his dog
  • time lords enters scene
  • crazy end of the world prophet
  • velociraptor passes by
  • fast and heavy rain storm
  • stranger kisses mc/side
  • falling star event
  • dead body
  • robot attack
  • One of your main characters/side characters goes missing.
  • someone decides to get a new pet without consulting everyone living with him/her
  • oops someone dropped a cloth on the stove now it’s in flames
  • the phone, computer, dishwasher, and heater all break down in the span of a week
  • someone trips down the stairs, broken leg/twisted ankle
  • A famous character walks by the group
  • Everyone decides mc needs a haircut
  • Drunkard hits on mc
  • Someone’s glasses break
  • Tiger lose from the zoo
  • Power failure
  • Puppet comes to life
  • Bonfire occurs nearby
  • someone pulls the fire alarm
  • Reporter asks about random topic
  • A winner asks for a celebration dance
  • Emergency vehicle plows through
  • Favorite color battle (And Green is obviously better than blue)
  • Facebook crashes
  • Pet dies
  • Someone thinks protagonist is a celebrity
  • Coldest day on record
  • Involvement with guards (do they hit on you, chase you, capture you by accident, give you a job)
  • tsunami! Tornado! Earthquake!
  • a really bad storm.
  • character(s) are joined by a conspiracy theorist
  • A character spots his doppelganger
  • a character is challenged to a game of badminton–to the death
  • Character suspects that his tea kettle is possessed.
  • Character’s last clean sock falls out the window
  • Character knocks something large and heavy out a window onto a heavily trafficked street
  • character’s SO joins celibate cult
  • road rage from elderly woman
  • traffic halted — bovine crossing
  • International saffron shortage
  • character is all out of bubble bath mixture/scented candles
  • character awakens covered in red lumps
  • character becomes obsessed with teen pop icon
  • character’s boss drunk at work
  • character is mistaken for famous person
  • character stops a mugging. or is mugged
  • character is mistaken for person of opposite gender
  • receives invitation to high school reunion
  • finds an awesome deal on medieval armor at the goodwill
  • character is hit with a selfie stick
  • character defaces a national monument
  • character is asked to leave the building
  • mattress flies off bed of pickup, blinds MCs windshield
  • cat jumps out of tree, lands on MC’s shoulder, clings tight with claws
  • major highway closed because of investigation into man found dead on shoulder of road
  • MC’s oatmeal explodes in microwave
  • A good bye letter
  • trusted messenger
  • Get a letter
  • planned building implosion
  • Kidnapper
  • Metal in microwave
  • Someone forgot about the dishes
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • Firework display
  • Someone bleached the characters’ clothes
  • Someone turned the white items pink
  • Old friend shows
  • Old teacher from back in school
  • A knock on the door
  • Car/boat/truck/carriage breaks while they are traveling

Add more in the comments. I can easily add to this post (and will as more ideas come to mind).

[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]

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