In a stroke of genius, I’ve sort of forgotten entirely about posting all day, but I need to share with you what happened yesterday, because I can’t let it rest, and I’m still buzzing from it.
So yesterday, Friend gives me an interesting prompt, after we had a conversation about ‘what do your characters say about you?’ Then he said, here, use this as a prompt. When he said, “No, seriously,” I paid attention, and it clicked and it would not let go. Like I said, still buzzing.
The prompt is this: “If your characters could have lunch/dinner/breakfast/tea with you, what would they pick, and what would you talk about, and what would they think of you afterwards?”
Think about that. Really. Take one character at a time, and go out to meet them. How would they react, what would they say? Would you even get along? Try it with old characters, try it with brand new characters, fit yourself into a point in time of their life where you want to see them. Are they young, is it the latest moment you’ve put them in, or is it something in the distant past?
I’m still not done writing. I’ve had so many ideas and one today just pulled me under and wouldn’t let me breathe until I finished. When I step back and blink and have to remind myself to breathe after looking it all over, I think I did a pretty decent job.
Let your characters surprise you. I had one that switched in a direction I never expected, and I had so many other things I wanted to say, but that didn’t happen. The other was as complex as the character herself, and had so much dynamic and different elements implemented that wasn’t even intentional at first. Some will be simpler. There was one yesterday that had turned out to be a dud, but because I’d fallen out of sync with that character.
Go out to them, let them come to you, or have them contact you somehow. Are you strangers? Do they know you? Have you seen each other before? How much do they like or dislike you, and why, what do they have to say about what you’ve done to and for them? Do they know what kind of being you are, or have they never seen a human before?
As one of my favorite prompts of this month, let alone probably of this year, I hope you give it a chance, and I really hope you like it at least half as much as I did.
-The Novice Wordsmith