Reversing Misfortune

So you've made a Misfortune Teller. (If not, check out my post about this fun tool for raising the stakes in your story and getting your character deeper into trouble.) So now that you've painted your character into that dreadful corner, how are you going to get her back out again?

I've got some suggestions. 

When I was watching Jurassic World, I found myself noticing the ways the characters got out of all that dino danger. How do you escape from a nine-ton carnivore chasing you? Well, just jump off a waterfall (something more foolish or daring than your pursuer is willing to do). What do you do when you're cornered by a killer like the Indominus rex? Release your old enemy T. rex to fight the thing off (the enemy of my enemy is my ally).

So I started a list of general categories for these sorts of escapes. The next time you're trying to get your hero out of a nasty spot, take a look at this list and see if any of these ways of reversing misfortune help.

1.        Getting help from a hidden ally

2.       Discovering a hidden or veiled talent

3.       Doing something more dangerous or foolish than the adversary is willing to do

4.      Advancing with trickery, cleverness, or deceit

5.       Having kindness pay off

6.      Having an ally create a distraction

7.       Having an ally sacrifice him/herself

8.      Capitalizing on your protagonist’s unique personal qualities or talents

9.      Turning the tables on your antagonist

10.    Exploiting the antagonist’s fatal weakness

11.     Third time’s the charm

12.    An ordinary objects sparks an ingenious solution

13.    Rounding up the scattered allies

14.    Turning lemons into lemonade

15.    Getting help from an archetypal “fool” character

16.    Giving up a treasured belief or possession

17.    Trusting the gut when others disagree

18.    Learning from past mistakes

19.    Capitalizing on the moment

20.   Utilizing the setting

21.    Putting an odd-ball interest to good use

22.   Having persistence or determination pay off

23.   Piecing together seemingly unrelated clues

24.   The enemy of my enemy becomes my friend (temporarily)

25.   Having a forgotten or missing ally come to the rescue

Let me know if you come up with any others! Comment below or post a comment on my Facebook page.