Character Hangouts: #Preptober, Day 15

As we finish up with our character development prompts, today's focus is on your character's favorite hangouts. That's right: it's time to start thinking about your setting! Hangouts are a good place to start, when trying to situate your characters in their world. These could be real-life locations, or entirely fictional places, depending on your story. I like to create fictional Continue Reading...

Character Path: #Preptober, Day 14

Happy Birthday to me! Yep, today's my big day, and I'm using it to keep on prepping away. I'm also doing a little giveaway to celebrate, so if you'd like a free copy of my book, NaNoWriMo: A Cheater's Guide, just click here and use coupon code BQ85L. But back to Preptober! Today is all about your MC's current path. What on earth do I mean by that? Yesterday we talked about backstory, Continue Reading...

Character Backstory: #Preptober, Day 13

Happy Friday the 13th! Don't let your superstitions get the better of you today, because it's time to talk about your character's backstory. First of all, what is backstory? Basically, it's everything that happened in your character's past. That means EVERYTHING. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright fugly. The stuff they've lived through, the circumstances they've dealt with, Continue Reading...

Character Family: #Preptober, Day 12

Family members are an important part of any story. Even if they're absent, long dead, or unresponsive, our family helps shape us as people. So why would it be any different for fictional characters? As Flannery O'Connor once observed: "Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days." Almost everything we say or do can be traced, Continue Reading...

Character Flaws: #Preptober, Day 11

Character flaws – who needs 'em? You do! Or, rather, your character does. But why would you want to go and ruin a perfectly good character? Because that's what makes them interesting! Human beings, for better or for worse, all have flaws. Sometimes they're pretty obvious. Narcissists, for instance, are pretty easy to spot. (America's current President, for one ludicrously outsized Continue Reading...

Character Hobbies: #Preptober, Day 10

Let's talk about hobbies. Not yours, your character's! My character usually have really weird hobbies, because they're often things that sound interesting to me, but that I could never devote that much time to studying or training for in my real life. They're a chance for me to put my strange obsessions to good use, or to delve deeper into curiosities I've had for a while but never really Continue Reading...

Character First Impressions: #Preptober, Day 9

Today, let's talk about the kind of first impressions your character makes. They say you only have one chance at a first impression, which is a bit of a tautology. Nevertheless, it's true that first impressions can be hard to shake. What kind of first impression does your MC give readers? When we first meet your character, on page one, what are they doing? Are they doing something they Continue Reading...

Character Mood: #Preptober, Day 8

Today, let's talk about your character's mood. Actually, characters typically have many moods. But first let's talk about their baseline. What kind of a person is your character, in general? Optimist? Pessimist? Realist? Is the glass half empty, half full, or just a tasty glass of their favorite beverage and enough with the philosophy already? Mood can be tricky to pin down. Mood can also Continue Reading...

Character Job: #Preptober, Day 7

It's day 7 of Preptober, and high time your character got a JOB! Or maybe not? My MC, for instance, is a ninja. That could be considered a job, I suppose. But she's only 13, so technically it's more of a way of life. Her parents are both ninja as well. (And please note: The plural of ninja IS ninja!) They've been teaching her all sorts of crazy stuff that most normal kids don't learn in Continue Reading...

Character Skills: #Preptober, Day 6

It's day 6 of Preptober, and I'm here to talk about Skills. What kinds of skills does your character have? As Napoleon Dynamite observes: "Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills." My MC, Ara, is a ninja. So she's definitely got nunchuck skills covered. She's also pretty handy with a katana, and can Continue Reading...