09 Apr

Sprint #2: Working With Character

Posted in Character, DIY MFA, Writing Sprint

This week, we talked about characters and how to come up with new ones or use existing characters to develop ideas.  Now today, I’d like you to take some time to apply what you learned about your characters to your own work-in-progress (WIP).  Here’s an exercise to get you started:

  • Choose a character.  Write down his/her name.
  • What does your character want most in the world?
  • What is standing in his/her way?
  • Name 3 of your character’s biggest weaknesses.
  • Come up with a situation that would make your character struggle.
  • Now think of something even worse and put your character in that scenario.
  • Write a scene or two of your character in that situation.

Hint: If you can’t think of a situation, look at your character’s weaknesses and the obstacles to getting what he/she wants.  Use them to come up with a situation.  Examples: If your character desperately wants to be part of a family, make her an orphan and put her in a horrible foster-family situation.  If your character’s weakness is his short temper, put him in a situation where he’s constantly being provoked.

Don’t be afraid to let your character suffer.  Often we can become protective of our characters (especially if we like them) and we might resist making life difficult for them.  Today you have permission to make life difficult for your character.

Tweet or comment and tell me how YOU made life difficult for your character today.  And don’t forget to grab a badge after you do your sprint!

Weekly Check-In:  How has Week 1 of DIY MFA been for you?  Have you gotten some good writing done?  What has been most helpful?  What would you like to see more of?

Don’t Forget:


Comments on this post

  1. MJones says:

    Slow start to the day. I'll get around to my sprint probably this afternoon.

    I posted yesterday on my blog that I feel like my brain is full. I also feel like I haven't really been *writing* all these years. Like that was just some scribbling. Maybe I am just beginning to write.

    1. J.C. Martin says:

      *MUAHAHAAA…!!* I love torturing my characters! Just wrote a scene where my MC, a police detective, just found out via an informant that his brother has been implicated in the string of murders he's investigating! And now to find out: as he and his partner are the only one currently privy to the situation, what does he do? Does he turn his own brother in, or does he scratch that piece of information off the record?

      1. Kiernan says:

        I posted some thoughts on week #1 on my blog — read it at http://fire-in-mine-ears.blogspot.com !

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