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EDIT ME — When Your Idea Needs Work (2 bears fairytale)

quote mark




Once upon a time there were two bears. The momma bear and the papa bear. One day the momma bear made porridge. Papa Bear burned the living hell out of his mouth.

While he was huffing and puffing around the burning, runny gruel, he suggested they go for a walk in the woods and wait for the porridge to cool. Besides, good exercise habits would benefit Momma Bear, who was packing on the pounds after the long winter sitting in her rocking chair watching Jeopardy.

So the two bears went for a walk in the woods. When they returned, their front door was open.

“Creeper!” Momma Bear cried.

“Intruder. I’ll get my Glock,” Papa bear growled, heading inside.


What they found in the living room was utter devastation. Papa Bear’s big chair actually had an indentation where someone else’s butt had been.

“Somebody’s been sitting in my chair!”

Momma Bear’s chair was a hard wooden rocking chair, and it looked exactly the same, but she could smell someone else’s butt had been sitting in her chair.

“Somebody’s been sitting in my chair!”

“Let’s go into the kitchen,” Papa Bear suggested, grabbing his Glock off the shelf. With gun aimed at the kitchen door, they entered.

Papa Bear’s bowl had the spoon stuck in it, and a half-eaten bite removed from it. “Son of a bitch! Somebody’s been eating my porridge.”

Momma Bear’s bowl had two bites out of it. Can you believe the nerve of some people? Who would come in here and eat TWO BITES OF PORRIDGE? Oh, the humanity!

“Somebody’s been eating my porridge. Shoot first, ask questions later,” she directed her husband. He looked hot as hell with his new spring coat of hair and packing heat.

He nodded, and together they crept to the bedroom.

Papa Bear’s bed didn’t get nearly enough action lately. Mostly because he and Momma didn’t fit too well on the single mattress. Neither of them were exactly lightweights. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was someone had actually rumpled his pillow! “Somebody’s been sleeping in my bed!”

Momma Bear’s bed had the sheet flipped back. “Somebody’s been sleeping in my bed!”

They searched the rest of the room–closet, en suite bathroom, and even under the beds. Papa Bear came out with a half-chewed ham bone he’d forgotten he’d brought to bed for a snack. As he gnawed on it, he placed his Glock on the dresser top. Momma Bear shrugged.

“I guess the threat is gone,” she said. “Now give me a bite of that ham bone.”



Do you see how this idea needs work?

Without that third character–Baby Bear–the plot is lacking.

Baby Bear’s chair is broken! Baby Bear’s porridge bowl is empty! And the intruder bitch is actually still sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed!


Suddenly this story just got a lot more interesting. This is sometimes the case with your story too. Think hard about your plot. Would it benefit from more tension? Another character? Another plot thread? More guns and ham bones? Take a closer look at your original idea and see how it can be improved. You might be shocked at how much it adds to your end result.


Thanks for reading!


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