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Monday, June 27, 2011

{} fears

You can understand a lot about a person when you know their fears. Fictional characters are no exception. Last year the compulsion to write a YA novel struck at the same time as Laurie Halse Anderson's Write Fifteen Minutes a Day (WFMAD) challenge. (Lucky me since I had no idea how to go about writing a YA novel.)

One of the prompts was to complete a questionnaire for a character. One of the sections of the questionnaire was FEARS. As I was getting to know one of the characters, I stumbled across this portion of the prompt and was floored by what it revealed, both about the character I was working with and the main character and the story. As I began listing questions, they mostly stemmed from wanting to know more about the fears.

Here is part of the notebook entry from that WFMAD prompt (August 2010):

Ahh, look at the edges of this notebook, it is really beat up and used and worn. I love it when a notebook looks like this. So much better than pristine.

In April I finished the first draft of this story. As I was letting it "cool off" a little in order to reread then roll up my sleeves for hefty revision, I began playing with new characters. One of the first things I considered were the characters' fears. Here is a list about that character I mentioned the other day -- the one I let run away because I didn't like her enough to spend massive amounts of time writing about her life.

Today I'm going to write about Sophia's fears. I'm going to answer some of the questions I have like:
  • What makes her so close to her parents but keep everyone else at a distance?
  • Why is she afraid of having a close friend?
  • Why doesn't she like her sister's boyfriend?
  • How does her BFF feel about her distance?
How about you? What are you going to {} in your notebook today? Also, this prompt can easily be converted to something more personal. It doesn't have to be fictional can be about your own fears. Or you can play a little and just make something up...even if you don't have any plans for it to go anywhere. It's fun to imagine and make things up every now and then.

1 comment:

  1. I played with a fictitious character in my notebook today. After rereading, I discovered I based the character on myself and my fourth grade students! I don't know if it was because your post was about a character's fears, but that was the hardest one to think of. Thanks for sharing!


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