Prompts

Flesh out your characters. Prompt #131

You can use this prompt for fleshing out your fictional characters or for characters in your memoir.

In works of fiction, we think of characters. When writing memoir, we think real people. But, when you write about real people, they become characters in a story.

With this prompt, you can create character profiles for the real people in your life and for your fictional characters.

Prompt: Make a three-column list. Label the first column “What I know,” the second, “How I know it” and the third, “How I show it.”

First column – create a list with one or two-word descriptions about the character. Second column – write down how you know the particular characteristics.

For example, if the person is known to be cheap, in column 2, you could write, “brings own teabags to restaurants.” Or, “carefully saves paper bags for lunch, been using the same bag for six months.”

Third column, How I Show It: Jot down short notes about how you might convey the characteristics to a reader. In the case of the cheap friend who brings his teabag to restaurants, you might write, “Scene: character pulls out several teabags from jacket pocket, just before entering restaurant.”

Your turn: Bring your characters by showing vivid details about their everyday habits.

This prompt was inspired from The Writer magazine, June 2005, “Frank Talk About Writing Your Memoir,” by Sol Stein

Sidewalk artist                      Street kids                 Laundry machines and legs

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