Character Development

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.


Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar creative writing exercises.

Character Development

From The Ground Up

Choose a place you've never been to. (If you have a map, you can close your eyes and pick a random spot for an extra challenge!) Do some research and try to learn everything you …

Character Development

Clue Hunt

The best way to learn is by reading, so pick up a book that had a plot twist that surprised you and yet felt right. Look for subtle foreshadowing in it. Start at the beginning …

Character Development

First Meetings

When you meet new people, how do you react? Tell a story to illustrate this.

Character Development

The Hook

What is your story’s hook? Analyze your opening scene and identify the implicit but specific question it encourages readers to ask. Is this question in the first paragraph or, better yet, the first line? How …

Character Development

Don't Look in the Mirror

It's impossible not to put some of yourself and your own life into your writing. But when you're writing about characters who you don't share much in common with, it can be tricky to authentically …

Character Development

Somewhere Familiar

Are you finding it difficult to get to know your fictional characters and/or differentiate them from yourself? Try this: Choose a character from your project and let her/him take a walk into a place you …