for writers and readers….

START THE WEEK with a writing exercise: a character lucky dip

I love the random nature of this exercise.
Most of the time it is just writing practice, exploring how to reveal emotion and develop character, but it is a bit like buying a lottery ticket. You can get lucky and something really interesting turns up.

Pick two numbers between 1 & 14 before reading on – it’s more fun if you don’t peek.


Write a scene between your character and someone he or she comes into contact with in the ordinary course of events, so if it was a GP the other person could be a patient or fellow doctor, for a teacher a student, a vampire a victim.

The scene needs to show the attribute the character has. Don’t say the ghost is timid. Find a way of allowing the reader to figure it out for themselves – just as we do in real life. People don’t walk into a meeting or pop in for tea with nervous newcomer tattooed on their forehead, we make that judgement as we assess what they say and how they say it. We look at their behaviour and how they interact with others…Let readers get to know your character in the same way

Column A                                                       Column B

1 Paranoid                                            1 Comedian

2 Suicidal                                              2 Rabbi or Vicar or Priest or Imam

3 Self-Conscious                                   3 Police Officer

4 Timid                                                 4 Samaritan Volunteer

5 Boastful                                             5 GP

6 Boring                                                6 Ghost

7 Talkative                                            7 Pick pocket

8 Exuberant                                          8 Vampire

9 Irritable                                              9 Politician

10 Talentless                                        10 Shop assistant

11 Tight-fisted                                       11 Pop Star

12 Smug                                               12 Drug dealer

13 Anxious                                            13 Lottery winner

14 Fawning                                            14 Teacher

Good luck!

Photo credit: Niekonwencjonalna from Pixabay

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This entry was posted on June 8, 2020 by in Muse and tagged , , , , .


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