• Jessica Sherry

Stuck in Place

Mid-pandemic and stuck at home, I'm thinking about stories that revolve around characters forced to stay in one place. A single setting may seem, well, kinda boring, a situation for many of us right now, but it doesn't have to be. Written well, a stuck-in-one-place story can be exciting, dramatic, scary, funny, or whatever you want it to be.


In Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, the children were locked in an attic for over a year as their mother attempted to win her father's love again. Though a large space filled with stuff to play with that they made the best of--which made for fun reading--the attic turned more and more sinister as time went on.


Speaking of sinister, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie corralled a group of strangers in a gorgeous house on a secluded island, where Agatha picks them off one by one.


Along the same vein, the movie Clue--another all-time fav--does the same thing, but with much more humor.


The Breakfast Club--one of my fav stuck-in-one-place stories--brought together five unlikely high school misfits for a full day of Saturday detention.


A book I wrote in high school featured a popular jock and a bullied poor girl--think Pretty in Pink--getting accidentally locked in an art supply closet overnight. I never really pulled that story off, but it was a fun, romantic concept.


Other stuck-in-one-place places that might make for fun stories:


  • Escape Rooms

  • Elevators

  • Prison/Jail

  • An island, a la And Then There Were None

  • Any type of underground shelter

  • Trains, planes, automobiles

  • Boats, ships, subs

  • Labyrinths, lairs, caves, dungeons, catacombs, corn mazes

  • Stores, malls, schools

  • Museums, art galleries, zoos, aquariums

  • Sky rides--yes, this actually happened to me once; the ride malfunctioned leaving me and my future husband stranded at the highest point for almost an hour. That's when I learned that he was scared of heights

  • Secluded cabins with crazy people, a la Misery

  • Really, anywhere with crazy people, like in a house with your family during a pandemic


Just because we're all temporary stuck doesn't mean your story has to be. How could your MC be stuck-in-place?


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