NaNo is coming! It’s about 20 days away… already. It’s coming up fast and there’s no stopping it.
Some people outline their novels, some people don’t. There are some people who do quick writing exercises or prompts as practice to prep for the upcoming writing streak. Some people don’t.
No matter what you do or don’t do, that’s okay. I personally love to outline and I love to try new things with my characters to get to know them a little better.
So, here’s a fun exercise to do with your characters.
I got this idea from my 15-year-old cousin. She had English homework one night and had to do this for the protagonist of her summer reading book.
I have to admit, I was a bit jealous. I never had fun homework like that.
The idea is to think a bit outside the box and to get to know your characters on a deeper level. To the naked eye, it doesn’t make sense, but to a writer, it’s pretty clever.
So, ask yourself this:
Is your protagonist (or any character) more like…
- May or December?
- A Jeep, a Corvette, a Saturn, or a Mercedes Benz?
- Brown or blue?
- The letter A, the letter M, or the letter Z?
- Vanilla ice cream or chocolate mousse?
- New York, San Fransico, Salt Lake City, or New Orleans?
- A hammer or a nail?
- White, rye, or pumpernickel bread?
- A short story, a poem, an essay, or a play?
- Soap or dirt?
- Fire, water, earth, or air?
- A lock or a key?
- The comics, the sports section, the business report, or the editorial page?
- A snowstorm or a rainy day?
- A horse show, a hockey match, or a track-and-field event?
- A forest fire or a mountain stream?
- A TV game show, a soap opera, a situation comedy, or a drama?
- Science fiction, mystery, romance, or horror?
- A cat, a dog, or a goldfish?
My cousin’s teacher had the class do this on themselves first so they could get a feel for the assignment. My cousin said she was more like “pumpernickel bread” because it’s a funny word. That right there actually sums up her personality. She’s a funny person and can sometimes be a dope. The fact that she immediately thought “pumpernickel” was a funny word and laughed just sums it all up.
With this exercise, you can get to the heart of your characters. It seems silly and random, but you just might learn something new about them.
Have you done anything like this before? Do you think you’ll try this exercise? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!