1. Create a character
  2. Give this character a problem to deal with
  3. Imagine at least three different ways this particular character might possibly deal with this particular problem
  4. Pick one (or more) of these options, and imagine at least three different ways it a) wouldn’t work, and b) would make the character’s situation worse (short of killing off the character and ending the story)

From Holly Lisle

Salazar, an angry yet dependable male who is afraid of chickens and secretly loves walks in the woods.
Salazar promised to care for the animals on his sister’s farm, including the chickens. So his problem is dealing with the chickens.
He could 1) just throw the food over the fence and not actually go into the coop.
[but that wouldn’t allow him to gather eggs, clean the coop, or give the chickens fresh water.]
He could 2) pay someone else to take care of just the chickens while he tends to the horses, cats, bunny, and cows.
[But, he doesn’t have any money because he just lost his job (and he’s angry about that), and now he has time to watch his sister’s farm.]
He could 3) get over his fear and just deal with it.
[But he’s not sure how to deal with his fear.]
Three different ways one option wouldn’t work.
He tries option 1: throw the food over the fence.

  1. The food goes all over the place, and the chickens don’t find it
  2. All the loose food attracts other birds, like ravens. The chickens don’t like the other birds and don’t lay any eggs. Not that Salazar can tell because he hasn’t been in the coop
  3. The chickens start laying wherever and eating their own eggs because they’re hungry. The water is nasty, and the coop is smelly. This attracts a raccoon, which gets into the chicken feed and spills it everywhere

So somehow Salazar has to be maneuvered into dealing with the chickens. He could try the neighbor kid, who isn’t reliable…
And hi ho!