Grow your characters.
For the next three writing prompts, we’re going to build our repertoire, so that we’ll have characters, location and a problem leading us to write a scene.
One step at a time.
First step: Write a brief description of character or characters. If you have a work in progress, use this time to discover something new about your characters. If writing memoir, same thing . . . find a new way to describe character. Include flaw or flaws.
Example: Self-doubt, what would be challenging to character? What does the character fear? What big events molded character? Character’s likes and dislikes. What drives character? How does character react to pressure? Give your character a personality quirk, add internal conflict. These examples are from Sheldon Siegel’s 2011 talk at Writers Forum of Petaluma. Sheldon Siegel is one of my favorite authors.
Need more ideas? Fill in the blanks. Answer these questions for each of your characters.
Personality trait character is most proud of.
How did character get this trait?
What do people like least about character?
What habit would character like to change?
If someone looked in character’s bathroom garbage right now, what would they find?
What scent does character like and what does it remind him/her of?
What scares the character?
Answer these questions for each of your characters (whether fictional or real). Real people become “characters” in your story once you start writing about them.
For more prompts about character:
Develop Character, put your character in an unusual situation and see what happens – Prompt #4
Interview Character – Prompt #6
Your Character Has A Surprise Secret – Prompt #7