Character Exercise

Suggested by my good friend, Hannah – whose blog you should definitely check out! (It features places, food, drink & reviews!)

Describe your character in a situation (350+ words) where:

1. They unexpectedly come across a giant spider in their room (note: depending on the setting, this could be truly huge)

2. They’ve suddenly realised it’s their mum’s birthday and they haven’t got her a present, but they’ve only got one day!

3. Think of your own situation (which may be as relevant or irrelevant to your current story) for your character to stumble into. Maybe they come home to find a bottle of wine open on the countertop. (That wine may not be theirs, or they might have had it in the fridge…). Do please post your situations! I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Taking it Further

Write a diary (or schedule) for your character where in everyday life (everyday life for your character – if that’s facing down storms and sea monsters because your character’s a pirate/buccaneer/marine in the royal fleet(or space fleet), that’s your everyday life!) where they run into several situations. Compose a list of things they encounter. How do they handle it?

Here’s a list of suggestions that I came up with (in five-ten minutes):

– A friend/colleague/rival plays a prank on them

– A meal they cooked goes horribly wrong. (Maybe it’s for an important date or occasion)

– The electrics short out (a component in the water mill breaks)

– The car/carriage/spaceship breaks down or runs out of fuel. (The tyre (‘tire’) needs changing, the wheel breaks, the horses run off, the ion engine needs repairs)

– Your character’s mother/brother/son runs away – maybe they clear out your character’s wallet and taxes are due.

– Your character sees a cat stranded up a tree when taking a stroll through the park.

– A neighbour’s house catches fire.

– Your character needs to move house.

– Some kids kick over your dustbin (‘trashcan’)

– Your niece/nephew (biological or belonging to a close friend/friend of the family) draws all over your wall. (Hopefully in crayon, but maybe in paint. Maybe they’re not toddlers.)

– A tree falls across the road, blocking your way to work and a very important meeting.

– Someone steals your phone. (Or do they?)

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