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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

Take Your Characters On A Test Drive

Sometimes a bad case of writer's block boils down to a broken connection between you and your protagonist, and the solution can be a change of scenery. Not for you - for your character! Writing prompts are a good way to get the creative juices flowing and can help you clear out the block so your character can continue down your story's path. For a weekly supply of fresh writing prompts, head here: reedsy.com/writing

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.

Less Talk, More Action

Try your hand at conveying your character through action by first writing a list of physical traits that apply to your character. Next, with that list at hand, write a scene where something is happening - whether it's a conversation, laundry-folding, cooking, etc. Weave references to your character's physicality into the action.

In The Eye of the Beholder

Our individual perspectives define what we first notice about a person's physical appearance. How do your characters see those around them? Describe one character's physical appearance from the perspectives of three other characters. What does each beholder's description reveal about who they are?

#TBT

Create a timeline of the significant moments of your character's life. Like many authors, you can use post-it notes or a big whiteboard to visualize your character's life. You can easily move or add events until you feel your character has a well-developed history. After you've finished the timeline, distill it into the top 5-10 moments that have shaped your character. For instance, if loss is a thematically important part of your book, perhaps a significant part of your character's past is when they lost a grandparent as a child.