Friday, July 15, 2011
A Character Excercise Without The Gym
We’re not talking pumping iron here, but we are going to give your characters a workout. Actually, it’s you who will work on developing your characters.
I read an interesting tweet on Twitter last night. Someone had bought a used book at the thrift store and when she got home, she found a fifty-dollar bill stuck between its pages.
I don’t know if she kept it or not, but my first thought was what would I do if I found money that wasn’t mine stuffed inside something I had purchased? Technically, the money would belong to me, but what about morally? What would be the right thing to do?
I thought it interesting to provide the money with backstory as to who it originally belonged to and how it got inside the book to begin with. Was it someone with a kind heart giving the money away to someone less fortunate who had to shop in a thrift store? Or was it someone who had received the book as a gift and didn’t realize money had been included as part of the present? Did the author him or herself stick money in the book just to see what would happen?
Rather than think about what I would do, my thoughts turned to what my characters would do. Which made me think this could be a fun writing exercise. Anyone game to play? Let’s raise the level of interest and include both protagonist and antagonist in this scenario. I’ll go first.
Protagonist: My main character is a thief, and not by choice. A sorcerer owns her through a curse and she is forced to steal for him or suffer the consequences. In her spare time, she makes an effort to pay back the people she has stolen from. The very idea of keeping the money found in the book would make her physically sick. She would go to any lengths to return it to its rightful owner.
Antagonist: He would roll up the fifty dollar bill and use it to light his cigar.
Okay, your turn! ☺