Character Exercise

Somehow, your character has been turned into a cat. An ancient curse, a hex, a genetic mutation device, a teleportation accident, a dream that your character just can’t wake up from (yet). Regardless, your character is now a cat.

As a cat, your character may possess its former memories, sapience, intelligence, or it may find its senses sharpened. It may be a kitten, a young cat, or an adult or old cat.

If your character is already a cat, write it as a dog or as a human. If your character is a shapeshifter who can already do this, knock them over the head and give them amnesia. Then have them experience the world anew.

1. Describe the world as your character now perceives it. Take a scene as a template and write a fresh draft for your character-as-a-cat.

2. Another cat comes across your character-as-a-cat. Perhaps this cat owned your character before your character became a cat, perhaps it is a stray. What happens? How do they communicate? Are they friends, rivals, both? Do they work together to get the milk from the fridge/milking bucket? Does this grand heist work? How do they split the milk? Do they end up spilling it and cry?

3. A dog strolls into the yard/garden/house/plaza/place-where-your-character-is. The dog is… [known to you, looking smug, fearsome, a coward, looking for a fight, loves cats, especially kittens, wants to play].

Your character reacts…

Taking it Further

How does your character get out of being a cat and returns to normal? Does your character even want to?

Further the experience by writing two or three more scenes: a day in the life of a cat.

Perhaps the neighbour, household member(s), landlord hates cats. Perhaps it’s a no-cat zone. Perhaps all this occurs at a zoo.

2 thoughts on “‘Meow’

  1. I love this idea! A really unusual way of looking at how a character copes with a bizarre situation and adjusts to foreign surroundings. I’ll have to try this out!

    Liked by 1 person

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