Writing Exercise – Who are your characters?

I’m starting a new feature and putting up some quick writing exercises every week.

This month, I focus on Characters.


Exercise 1: Who are your characters?

I want you to tell me about three different characters you want to work with in your stories. You can use existing characters or create new ones, the only rule here is that they must beĀ yours.

We’re going to start with simple adjective noun pairs to describe these characters. As examples, here are characters from my works.

  1. Rookie newscaster

  2. Heartbroken teacher

  3. Retired superhero

Not much to go by, huh? But this is just a start. After you have three characters described in simple terms like above, you can extend each description into a sentence. I want you to summarize the character as he or she is just before the story and its conflicts begin.

For example, my number 1 is William Flynn from Far Flung, and his sentence looks like this:

Flynn is a rookie newscaster who is chosen to report from a colony ship on its way to a new planet.

Notice that there is no realĀ story just yet – I didn’t give you any idea what Flynn’s real problems will be. For now, I’m leaving you hanging, imagining all sorts of things that might happen to him. (Unless, of course, you’ve read my other blog.)

I want you to do the same – write three sentences, each one describing a character and his or her situation at the very start of your story. Don’t have a story? No problem! Just set up a character and any sort of situation that might lead to interesting challenges.

I’ll share my own answers with on Thursday. Let’s see some good characters!