A Character Development Writing Exercise
Keep asking your characters why. Here's an example:
- Why are you grumpy? I have a hangover.
- Why do you have a hangover? My friend was in a bad accident and I thought he might die?
- Why did you think he might die? His girlfriend lied to me about how serious the accident was.
- Why did she lie about that? She's jealous of our relationship.
- Why? I think she's insecure and has trust issues.
Respond to this exercise
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Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.
Nothing can create conflict for your characters like good old-fashioned fear. Take time now to define your protagonist's biggest fear. Is it something physical (e.g. tight spaces or flying in an airplane) or internal (e.g. fear of failure, commitment, or rejection)? Write a scene in which your protagonist must face this fear.
The Name Game
Here is your challenge: for the next week, collect fun names. I've collected them for years in a little notebook - from obituaries, news stories, random lists, and spam. Spam is great for funny names.Then go through your notebook, choose a name, and write a short character sketch based off that name. It's amazing how the names make the characters come to life and start moving the story in fun directions you never expected.
The Next Great Author
Develop a character that's an author. Write a short story from the point of view of that author.
Your protagonist's name is called. They approach the stool, where an old and tattered hat lies. They put on the hat. They will next hear one of four words called out: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff. Which one is it? Write down the reasons detailing why.
What A Character
Memorable characters are ones that mirror real people: their feelings, experiences, needs, and goals. Challenge yourself to get real with your character by first getting real with yourself. Grab a notebook and answer the following questions as they pertain to you:
- What emotion do you struggle with because you feel it so deeply?
- What type of situation makes you feel vulnerable or inadequate?
- What past mistake causes you the most regret?
- What core moral belief is so ingrained that you live it every day?