Eight Character & Story Exercises

A Pen In Each Hand

By Baker

  1. Write a 1000 words of a new story where your narrator is a character in the story but is not your protagonist, like Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby.
  2. False narrators:
    1. Take an old story you never finished and change narrators without rewriting what you’ve already done (ie: create a false narrator)
    2. Write a new story using a false narrator
  3. Working on a story now? Add a nemesis to create tension. If you’re already using a nemesis, explore the connection between protagonist/nemesis or antagonist/nemesis by writing a new scene.
  4. Archetypes:
    1. Identify any archetypes or potential archetypes in your story and expand on your use of them as archetypes
    2. Write a new story based on an archetypal relationship.
  5. Identify the subplots in your novel in progress (or completed draft). Think of how they relate to the main plot. If they don’t, cut them. Make the remaining subplot(s) more significantly contribute to the main plot.
  6. Write a scene of crisis. Have the character reach a crossroads with three or more possible decisions. Have the character make a “bad” choice and see where it takes you. Try this with a story you’re already working on or something from your idea file.
  7. Find a story or poem you’ve finished or even published. For ten minutes, write a prequel or sequel scene/poem, maybe with a different narrator or time setting. If it goes well, expand it.
  8. Have some fun writing “As you know Bob…” dialogue:
    1. The setting is a semi-casual party, like a class reunion, cocktail party or wedding rehearsal. One character owns a newly-opened coffee/tea shop. Another character is a stuntwoman who had a terrible flight from LA. A third character raises Old English sheepdogs. They use “AYKB” dialogue to relay this information to each other and the reader and to have further conversation.
    2. Rewrite the previous scene without the AYKB dialogue.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email