Imagine a scene where your protagonist stumbles upon a mysterious portal that transports them to a parallel world. This world is vastly different from his familiar surroundings, almost the complete opposite. A mirrored world! As they step through the portal, describe the immediate sensations—strange landscapes, unfamiliar colours, and unique sounds.

This exercise is based on the fourth of the seven basic plots: Voyage and Return as described in Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots and Why We Tell Stories.

Describe your Protagonists Current World

What is the status quo in your main characters world? Note that world in this case can be as big or small as you want. It could be a bored teenager sitting by the pool scrolling on his phone, while his mother scolds them for their bad grades. But it could also be much bigger like a future world where everything you do or say is recorded and used against you when the rulers. However big your world is, try to make it small again by showing us how this world affects your main character in his now.

Discovering the Portal

The portal can be anything an actual mirror that you can walk through, a old wardrobe in the attic that leads to a magical world or something more realistic, like getting on a plane to the other side of the world or being a powerful general in the army who’s being captured and taken to a Gulag or an American prison.

Introduction to the Mirror World

Begin by vividly describing the first moments in the Mirror World. What does your character see, hear, and feel? Capture the essence of this fantastical realm and establish the initial disorientation they experience.

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