Brainstorming and freewriting about your character have proven to provide better writing if done before outlining. This exercise has been modified from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop.
Tags: #Brainstorm #Freewrite #Writing #Character
A. Brainstorm 20m total
YOUR TURN: Pick a person you know. Fictionalize the name, which will also give you license to alter other characteristics, if you so desire. *1
YOUR TURN: You have five minutes to describe this person as you can. Use sticky notes. Don’t write whole sentences. These are just ideas *2
YOUR TURN: Group these sticky notes into categories. Do you see a trend? Did you use all of the senses? Did you write down words that are very specific?
5m Let it linger
YOUR TURN: Take a break and make yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or just do a little cleaning, letting your character linger in your mind while you do something mundane.
B. Freewrite 25 m
Keep in mind that there is no editing aloud in freewriting. It’s like doodling for the writer. No rereading, no spellcheck.
YOUR TURN: Let everyone in your house know that for the next 25 minutes, you will be busy. Short of a death or frozen pipes, just frown at anyone who comes near you. Put on noise cancelling headphones. Set a timer up that ticks. When you feel the footfalls of your progeny, point at the timer. Do whatever it takes. Just write in a white heat and don’t stop.
Sometimes the bad writing just has to come out before the good writing will.
Now that you’re done…
Bookmark this page in case you need some prompting for your characters.