Writing Starters Instalment #2

More ideas for NaNoWriMo writers and other creative folk.

6. Think of the skills you have: putting up a tent, downhill skiing, solving crosswords, cooking. Add these skills and interests to your characters or make learning them essential for your main character’s survival.

7. Think of the places that you know well: a neighbourhood, a city, a school, a cruise ship, a gym, a museum, a library. Now imagine them as places where your characters can fall in love or be shocked or frightened in. They can be places where a murder takes place or where people reveal secrets.

8. Decide what frightens your characters or grosses them out. Make sure this appears in your story somewhere (think Indiana Jones and the snakes).

9. What does your character value the most? Is it an object like a ring or a photograph? Or is it a reputation for honesty or an influential position or the chance to find true love? How can you put what your character values most at serious risk in your story?

10. Elmore Leonard said, “I once named a character Frank Matisse, but he acted older than his age; and for some reason he wouldn’t talk as much as I wanted him to.  I changed his name to Jack Delany and couldn’t shut him up.”  Try renaming one of your characters and see what happens.

“Nighttime is really the best time to work.  All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep.”  Jessamyn West. 

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