Imagine that your two main characters are arranging to meet for the first time in a crowded place. How would they describe themselves so that they would be recognized? What do they say they look like? What do they wear? How do they act? How accurate are they in how they perceive themselves? Would the other person be able to recognize them from their description? How do they perceive the other?
This exercise lets you dig deeper into the appearance and demeanor of your character, while giving you a look at their psychology as well.
Still working on your book? I am! I still need an ending. Here’s a few exercises to try based on Christmas songs.
Jingle Bells – music, movement, this song has a lot of sensory details. What can your character see, touch, hear, smell, feel? It is a good sensation or a bad one? Describe it without overwhelming your reader.
All I Want for Christmas is You – Who does your character want and why? Make that wanting drive the story. It could be romantic, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe they want revenge! Maybe they want a parent or a friend.
Let it Snow – How does the weather affect your story? It can add a great element. Is it summer or winter? That will determine what your character is wearing and whether they’re comfortable outside.
Deck the Halls – How is the room decorated? Have you described the setting? You don’t have to give us every detail, but your readers want to know something. Is it messy, neat, does it smell inviting? Is there a comfy chair or a broken table? Give us the details.
Blue Christmas – This could be all about color, but it could also be about emotions. What is your character feeling? Show us, don’t just tell. And if you want to use some metaphors, that’s great.
Sleigh Ride – Get that character moving! Don’t leave them stuck in one location. New settings offer us a perspective on the story, a chance to encounter new types of characters and challenges.
I hope this list was helpful. Good luck with the writing!
Suddenly there he was — a menacing figure at one end of yet another hallway.
“Stop!” he called and she did.
“Did you come alone?”
“I want to see her!”
“She’s right here. Did you come alone?”
“Not until I see her!”
“No more theme parks. Once was enough.”
“You know that was a good time. What you mean is, no more camping. If I want to get all sweaty and swat bugs, I can sit out in my backyard.”
“Whatever. You had a great time. Once you stopped whining.”
“So where should we go?”
Write about a character who is betrayed by someone they love. What form does the betrayal take? How do they react? Post a link back here if you use this!
Use this picture to start a story. Who is this woman? What is she doing in the woods?
(Taken from Writer’s Digest)
You’re a secret service agent and you’ve been kidnapped and are trapped in a basement. You have only three items and must use those three items to escape and save the President of the United States. Go!
Place your main character in the woods. Who are they with? What are the doing? How do they react?
Imagine a movie scene involving your main character. What stage direction would you give to make your audience like them? How would you make them seem sad or happy? Then write the scene without using dialogue.
Picture your characters in an abandoned town by the beach. Why are they there? Who are they with? What will they find?