fortune-cookies-452750-mSome time ago, Twitter buddy and fellow writer Amanda Davis shared a fortune add-on started by author Katie Alender: at the end of your fortune, you add the words “But at what cost?” So often, people (and characters) desperately want something, but they don’t consider the cost of achieving that goal. A great example comes from the title character in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog; Dr. Horrible wants to be admitted to the Evil League of Evil, but his entry comes at a terrible cost: he forever loses Penny, the woman he adores.

Every achievement should come with a cost. What costs do your characters pay to reach their goals — and how do they react if the cost is higher than they’d expected?

Write a scene or story where a character is faced with a steep cost to gain something important to them.

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One Response to Writing Prompt: At What Cost?

  1. That’s an intriguing way to play the fortune cookie game (my family and friend all throw “between the sheets” at the end of the fortune).

    “But at what cost?” is a question I’m definitely going to ask of my characters from now on.