What’s in a Name?

Hello everyone!

Developing a new character can be tricky.  Apart from asking questions to learn more about who a character is, I can’t say that I have a standard way in which I create one.

pencil sketch 7Sometimes, characters come to me with a look, personality, and name.  All I have to do is insert them into a story.  Other times, I’ll be writing a story and realize that I have a “role” that needs to be filled in order for the story to succeed.  When this happens, I usually have the personality and maybe even the backstory of the character in mind.  I just have to choose a name and look for the character.

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to create a character based off of a random name.

  1. Go to an online name generator. (If you want, you may specify gender, but let the computer decide everything else.)
  2. Create a character for the name you are given: backstory, personality, home life, family relationships, profession, the culture in which he/she lives, his/her role in society, his/her beliefs (religious, political, etc.), and anything else you can think of.

When you’re done, ask yourself whether or not your new character could fit into a story you’re already writing or if he/she is the inspiration you needed for a new story.

Happy writing!

Katie

*Special thanks to my friend, Taylor Bresslin, for having me do this character creating exercise at one of our writers’ group’s meetings.

Childhood Favorites

Hello everyone!

Ernie Gets LostReading was a huge part of my childhood.  Some of my best memories are of my parents reading to me.  When I was six and got lost at Disney Land, I knew what to do because of a Sesame Street picture book that my mom had read to me.

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to create a new story based off of your favorite picture book from childhood.  Do one of the following:

  1. Re-write the picture book as a story for adults.
  2. Take the moral or theme of the picture book, and write a different children’s story with the same moral or theme.
  3. Why was that picture book your favorite?  Identify element that made the book special for you.  Then, write a story that contains that element, but otherwise is unrelated to that picture book.

Happy writing!

Katie