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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

Jekyll and Hyde

Describe the same character twice. Once as the hero of a story and once as the antagonist.

A Tall, Dark Stranger

Write a scene where your character is speaking to a complete stranger. Immediately after, write a scene where your character is speaking to a loved one. Notice how their behavior changes.

The Gatsby Method

Establishing how your character is perceived by others is a great way to give them greater context. It can provide the author with expectations to subvert for the reader and add an interesting mystique to the character. To give the Gatsby Method a go, write a scene in which your character is only present through the candid descriptions of him/her by others.

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?

A Day in the Life

Write about the hero of your story going on the most mundane errand you can think of. Rely solely on the character to make the story interesting.