Mini Challenge: Day Four

Have you been keeping up with this week’s set of challenges? If so, you should have a few different ideas already buzzing about your brain. Even if you’re too busy to participate right now, you can always file these away for future use, and reuse them again and again whenever you’re looking to mix up your daily writing.

Today is day four, and we’re going to take a slightly different approach. We’ve been focusing on story, plots and settings and genre, and ways to revitalize them or try something new. Instead, we’re going to look at characters today. Who are your absolute favorite characters? Think about the books and films and TV shows you love most, and the characters who really capture your imagination. Who would you like to know? Who would you fall in love with? Who would you readily accompany on their adventures? Are they witty and sarcastic? Honest to a fault? Painfully insecure but determined to carry forth despite that? Do they come from impoverished backgrounds that give them the drive to succeed, or are they from money but lacking a solid emotional upbringing? Are they comfortable in their space and only pushed to action by some catastrophe on their doorstep?

For today’s prompt, I want you to think about the characters you love and what it is that makes you love them. Do you see any patterns? Shared backgrounds or personality traits? If you have a romantic type in real life, do you also have a fictional type? Think of the qualities you most enjoy in a character and make a list. They don’t all have to be from a single character either; in fact, better if they’re not. Then build yourself a character who shares some of those characteristics you adore. Start from scratch, dream up their past, and come up with some present-day moment that can kick them off into a story. Throw a bunch of scenarios at your character and ask yourself “what if?”

As always, you only need write a page or two of your idea, but in this case you’ll probably spend a bit of time beforehand working on your list of character traits. And be sure to save that list! You can probably build quite a few protagonists from it. Happy writing!