Skip to main content

Give Your Character Something To Do

Okay, lovely readers. Here's part 2 for finding unique situations for your characters. Resurrected from back in May...Mawhahaha!!!!

Great books have great characters and these characters need situations to work through. There are times I simply lay on my couch and just think of the most fascinating characters I cannot wait to write a story about them. Sometimes I can think of the best character with lovely descriptions and perfect settings, but that's all. My characters find themselves doing nothing, and my great character dies prematurely. Here's what I do to to bring her back to life.

1. Find Something New.

Have you ever wondered how film was developed? (Really? Film? Sure, not all stories take place today, right? Sometimes I enjoy writing historical books:) What a librarian did all day? Or what happens when Wal Mart gets a new shipment in? How does Wal Mart find new clients? What process does the police department take when booking a new criminal? What goes in to making a movie? Casting a movie? Writing a script? Learning new things and the way things work is a great way to discover new situations for your characters to work through.

2. Ask Weird Questions

Ask people what their greatest fear is and then ask them why they have that fear. Ask your neighbor what their favorite type of movie is and then ask them why. Do you run into the same person every time you visit the beach? ask them why they come so often. When ask someone to explain why, they may give you a reason you have never thought of before. This reason could spark a great idea for your great character. You never know until you ask.

3. Do Something Different

Do you always grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Try Dunkin Donuts today. Always shop at K Mart? Shop at Target today. Do you always take the stairs? You know, for the extra exercise. Take the elevator today. When you turn your normal into not normal, you are creating a different world and will see things you normally wouldn't.

Ideas can come from the strangest places at the oddest times. Has an unusual event given you a great idea for your great character?


  1. So true. Ideas can come from the weirdest places - and not usually a blank page or screen.

    1. Yep, you got to get away from those blank pages and screens. They can be terribly ugly creatures!

  2. Watch a different movie! Hey, I'm willing to try for a new idea.

    1. That's an excellent way to find new ideas, and a new favorite movie to boot:)

  3. I ask my characters what their greatest fear is. They are reluctant to answer, because they know darned well what I'm going to do with that knowledge. Mwahahaha....

    1. Our poor characters suffer so much at our hands....mmaawwhahahahah!!

  4. Nice list!

    I really like the first one. It's good to think of new scenarios, and how things are done. Such as film, for instance. I write screenplays as well as novels, and you'd be amazed by how much goes into it. I definitely think that asking questions is a good one, too.

    PS: I'm new to your blog. Hello! :)


    1. Hi Alexandra! So nice to meet you and welcome you into my bloggy family!

      I write theatrical plays, too, and you're right, a lot goes into these things!

      Welcome to my world:)

  5. Those are some great suggestions! Maybe I'll start driving a different way to work. I love asking weird questions. :)

    1. I know! Me too! I really did get an idea one time when I did something different!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Writer In Motion CP feedback

Hey beautiful guys and dolls! Here it is! My CP feedback edited story. Had a hard time with this, but I hope it makes sense. I've got a post I'm working on I plan to put up after Thanksgiving. Here ya go. Enjoy... Every morning I wake to carnival day.  Today, though, I have my key. If I don’t use it before midnight, my way of escape will gone. It’s a silver key with a twisted metal handle, a sapphire stone half moon and engraved stars. There’s a tiny inscription on the moon, but it’s so small, I’ve never been able to read it.I’ve always kept mine in my jewelry box, but today, I string it on a ribbon and tie it around my neck. My two best friends will be wearing theirs, too, and I wonder how they will escape this carnival of dreams. “What’s it for?” Cress asks as we stand in line for the swings. I run my fingertips over the entire silver surface. “I don’t know. It belonged to my grandmother,” I say. “Whatever.” She shrugs her shoulder in a dismissive way. “Have

Operation Agent Ink

UPDATE: PLEASE FILL OUT THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AFTER YOU SIGN UP. Have you ever wondered what agents were dying to find in their inbox/slush pile? There have been many times I entered a contest and not even received a comment, not even from one of the agents. Or maybe the agent was kind enough to leave a comment that simply said, "Sorry, this just isn't what I'm looking for, but I love the premise and your voice." I always walk away feeling unsatisfied. If I had known exactly what the agent wanted beyond, "YA" or "Fantasy" I might not have even entered a contest I knew I wouldn't win! Even more, I wasted a very busy agents time! Well, your time of guessing is up! OPERATION AGENT INK to the rescue! That's right! This workshop will help aspiring authors get on the list of an agent's WISH LIST! When the workshop is over, your manuscript will be ready to view by a group of AMAZING agents who are dying to see what you've wri

Insecure Writers Group

Today, my feelings are mixed. On one hand, I've faced more rejection and that's not easy to write about or admit to the world. But I am not crying in my "milk" (no beer, folks:) I want to, but what good would it do??? I received a detailed critique from a "Best First Line" contest. The critique was the best I have ever received and seriously opened my eyes to "how" to improve my writing. Nice! Speaking of critiques, I am still looking for a critique partner. If anyone is looking back, please let me know and we can swap info. I'm sending off a YA query letter and first pages to 3 agents this week. Wish me luck. This will be the first time I have directly contacted and agent with a query. Yes, I'm nervous, so I'm saying again, WISH ME LUCK!!!