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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

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?

Charity

Your protagonist has just been bequeathed $5 million dollars. The money came from an anonymous benefactor who wants your protagonist to donate all of it to five charities. How does your protagonist react? In a short story, write down what would happen next.

Go The Other Way

Choose a random occupation, a random personality trait, and the trait's opposite. Now, outline a train of events that explains how a person of your chosen occupation changes from having the random trait to having its opposite. Let's take, for example: "martial arts teacher," "shy," and "confident." What would make a shy martial arts teacher change into a confident one?Care for a double challenge? Try plotting the opposite path, too: a confident martial arts teacher turns into a shy person. What would cause that? Experiment with unusual occupations and traits to challenge yourself. Find a collection of traits for download at the end of this article.

Wanderlust

Transplant your character into an entirely new location. It could be a new country, city, or continent. How do they react to the new surroundings?

Personality Quiz

There are those who believe that there is a science to personality. Out of this belief developed some popular personality tests that are designed to help people learn more about their strengths and weaknesses. The biggest ones include: Myers Briggs, The Big Five, and the Enneagram Test.Try taking each of the above tests, but here's the twist: take them as if you were your character. Does it match up to what you had in mind? Do the results reveal anything new or surprising about your character's traits?