Friday Fuel

Friday Fuel September 16, 2011

Some writing prompts are meant to inspire a new story, some are meant to deepen your perception of your current work, and some are meant to show you a new side of your characters.

I keep character sheets on my characters where I list the little things about the characters that give them personality and quirkiness. Answer these questions about the protagonist of your current work in progress:

1. Beyond the basics of hair and eye color (which you should keep track of, lest your character’s eyes change from brown to blue mid-novel), does your character color his or her hair and why? Is vanity an issue? If so or if not, what does this say about your character? Is he a man who is self-conscious of grays or an earthy hippie woman who embraces her changes?

2. What is her favorite food? Is this character innately health conscious and seeks out favorites like fresh fruits and yogurt or is your character a junk food junkie who can’t resist a Twinkie? How is this important and what does it reflect about your character? Sometimes dietary choices can say a lot about your character and complicate a scene or inter-character relationships. How do you handle a vegan character at a neighborhood barbecue?

3. What is one food that your character will NOT eat? How does this impact the choices he makes about where to go for lunch and how can that be used in setting up a new scene between him and another character? I detest cinnamon, but my children love it. Makes for some interesting breakfasts when I accidentally grab the cinnamon bread for toast instead of the regular.

4. If your character had an hour of free time, what would she do? Is she a crossword puzzle junkie or would she turn on Jerry Springer? What kind of hobbies or activities would fit into the free time you give this character? Sometimes a characters interests make a really great subplot or point of interest in a book. One of my characters is taking a break from culinary school, and this means she always has a thought about the food put in front of her and she notices food often.

5. Does your character have pets and why or why not? What kind of pet or pets and why? Pets can be a grounding point in many novels, because no matter what the character gets into, dogs have to be walked and cats must be fed. How do these demands fit into your story?

Have a great weekend and happy writing!


Tattooed writer with an attitude seeks like minded people who appreciate snark and ink. Or snarky ink.

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