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Similar exercises

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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.

Stranger Comes Knocking

There's a saying: "Everyone is the hero of his or her own story." For a 10-minute writing exercise, enter your book from another character's eyes. Think about how differently that character would experience your plot and capture that in a short story.

The Truth Shall Set Your Characters Free

In order to dive deeper into your character's emotional depths, ask a round of questions - both probing and seemingly innocuous alike. (Hey, you never know when your character's favorite choice of ice cream topping might come in handy!) While we encourage you to build and refine your own set of questions, these questionnaires will provide solid inspiration for now: Arthur Aron's 36 Questions That Lead to Love, and The Proust Questionnaire.

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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?

In Case of Fire

Moments of crises force characters to act without thinking, revealing things that might not have been previously obvious. Now imagine that there has been a blazing fire in your protagonist's house. What are the three things that your protagonist would unthinkingly grab as he or she breaks for the door? In 500-1,000 words, put this scene and its aftermath down on paper.

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