Respond to this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

Break The Ice

Further chip away at your character and establish how they present themselves to others by imagining how they would briefly describe themselves in the following situations:

  1. In a job interview
  2. On a first date
  3. Catching up with an old friend
  4. Flirting with someone at a party
  5. In their twitter bio
  6. At the border between the US and Mexico

The Dinner Party

Who are the three most unlikely people your protagonist would have dinner with? Why? Write the scene.

But Why?

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.
Do you see how much that question will dig into a character?

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?
These questions require a deep look within and put us in touch with our authentic selves. This is what readers come to the page for, so answer these again, this time as your protagonist. When you finish, think about how you can incorporate some of these vulnerable moments into your story to show readers the deeper side of your character.

Talent Show

Your protagonist has been asked to showcase a little-known, unusual talent at a community fair's talent contest. Begin on stage and show not only the performer but also the crowd's reaction to this talent unveiling.