This Tuesday, I asked a pretty simple question:
Who are your characters?
Exercise 1: Who are your characters?
Here are each of the simple descriptions I came up with, followed by short sentences that tell you where they are at the very start of the story.
William Flynn is a rookie newscaster who is chosen to report from a colony ship on its way to a new planet.
Daniel is a heartbroken teacher who is talked into hiring a prostitute by his co-worker.
Darren is a retired superhero and a single dad who is trying to leave his old life and superpowers behind.
Trying to describe your character in one sentence can lead to awkward sentences, yes, but it’s still a good exercise. It forces you to simplify the elements of your story into the most basic terms, which will help you develop your elevator pitch for the story later on.
In each example, I’ve stopped short of telling you about the actual conflict of the story (that comes later). The point here is to know your character’s situation before the story begins.
I hope you will post a few sentences about your characters!