I had one of the weirdest arguments of my life today . . . with a plastic container.

After lunch, I wanted a piece of the leftover cake from my roommate's birthday party. There was originally enough left that we'd just kept it in the original container. You know, the type with the domed-ish lid that you have to pry off the base, making so much noise that the entire first floor knows what you're up to.

The other problem with this container was that every time I opened it, crumbs went everywhere no matter what I did. Not only was this messy, but one of my other roommates has celiac disease. Cleaning up non-gluten-free crumbs is extra important to avoid cross-contamination that would make her sick.

Yesterday, I thought I'd finally solved the problem. We were down to the last two pieces of cake, meaning we now had a small enough quantity to put in a regular food-storage container. They were still big enough that I needed one of our larger containers, but it worked. No more crumb disasters!

Or so I thought.

This particular container came with the house, so I wasn't too familiar with its quirks. When I tried to open it today, the lid would. Not. Come. Off.

I yanked on the tab. I used my teeth. I tried to pry the lid off with a fork. Finally I had to sit down, put the container sideways on my lap, and hold the bottom with one hand while I yanked on the lid with the other hand. 

Victory at last!

I ended up eating both pieces of cake just so I wouldn't have to fight with the container again. 😋

This experience reminded me of a thought-provoking Pinterest discovery I made some time ago. I can't find the original post, but it essentially said this:

Every scene boils down to three things: 1. What does my character want? 2. Why do they want it? 3. How can I keep them from getting it?

So if we turned my little escapade into a story, the answers might look like this:

  1. Candice wants a piece of cake.

  2. She likes chocolate and wants to eat some.

  3. Make the container lid ridiculously stubborn for a piece of plastic.

If your character has no desires, there's no story. If your character has desires but no real reason for them, readers won't be invested in the story. And if the character gets what they want with no trouble along the way, the story is boring.  Not sure how to answer one or more of these questions for your story? I can help. Click here to book a consultation call now.  Write on, Candice

(Thanks to David Holifield for sharing their work on Unsplash.)