Setting

The Observant Writer

Elegant writers use their material with economy. If they write a scene that introduces a character, they might slip in many other things that are also important, whether it’s a detail about Character A’s birthday, Character A’s relationship with Character B, or the weather. In this exercise, write a paragraph of no more than 300 words and try to fit in ten subtle facts about your character into it, without being obvious about it.


Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

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

Setting

Gossip Around Town

How people perceive your character may be markedly different from who your character really is. Think about what the average stranger might think — or hear — of your character. What’s the gossip around town …

Setting

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 …

Setting

Magic #50

At the root of all writer’s block? Fear. You’ll recognize it by the questions you ask yourself when you sit down to write: Can I really finish an entire story? Am I a good enough writer …

Setting

The Name Game

Here is your challenge: for the next week, collect fun names. I’ve collected them for years in a little notebook — from obituaries, news stories, random lists, and spam. Spam is great for funny names. Then …

Setting

Love Letters

If you're feeling stuck or intimidated about how to start writing, take five minutes before you jump into your writing project to pen a love letter (or hate letter) to the blank page in front …

Setting

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.