Tag Archives: character development

Food for Thought: Characterization #1

A month or so ago, I was reading The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult and came across this wonderful puzzle:

At dinner a few nights ago, Trixie had read them a logic problem from her psych homework: A woman is at the funeral of her mother. There, she meets a man she doesn’t know and has never met, who she thinks is her dream partner. But because of the circumstances, she forgets to ask for his number, and she can’t find him afterward. A few days later, she kills her own sister. Why?

You might have heard this riddle before. You may have also read that this riddle has its flaws and doesn’t do what it claims to do, but let’s ignore that and play with it anyway. Take a minute to think about it– do you have any guesses as to what the answer might be?

Continue reading Food for Thought: Characterization #1

Financial Crime for Writers: An Overview

So you want to write about money – or rather, someone who commits crime for money. Where do you start?

Financial crime, or the fraudulent acquisition of property belonging to someone else, is a vast topic. We don’t read novels to learn about suspicious anomalies on the company balance sheet – if we’re not careful, dialogue can morph into info-dump, and characters can be dwarfed by organisations and governments.

So how do we avoid this? How do we strike the right balance between “too little” and “too much” information?
Continue reading Financial Crime for Writers: An Overview

Weekly Writing Prompt: Surfing the Web

I mainly write fantasy and historical fiction, so my characters are unfamiliar with modern technology. They might be experts in swords and magic, but what would they do if they had to come up with a Twitter bio? How about Facebook? Are they the type of person who’d argue with other commenters or would they close the app and walk away? Continue reading Weekly Writing Prompt: Surfing the Web

Weekly Writing Prompt: Further Exploration

As part of last week’s prompts, we experimented with two personality tests. The point was to get to know our characters better, exploring facets of their personalities from a different perspective. Some of the traits we uncovered may already be familiar to us. Others might have come as a surprise. Either way, I hope these tests helped us understand our characters on a deeper level, one that will help us portray them more accurately.

For this week’s prompts, I’d like to take these insights and incorporate them into our writing. We’ll place our characters in real situations, basing their reactions on what we’ve come to understand about their personalities.

Ready to get started?

Prompts for Fiction Writers: Human Interaction

For MBTI takers: Place your character in a situation where they encounter a stranger. Are they friendly and open or closed off and suspicious? Use at least one thing you learned from their personality assessment to determine how they’d feel and react.

For Five Love Languages takers: No matter what your character’s love language is, chances are they’ve been deprived of that kind of love at some point in their life. Write about a situation where that happens, showing how that type of rejection was especially painful for them.

Prompts for Nonfiction Writers: True Reflection

For MBTI takers: Write about an aspect of your life that fits really well with your personality type. This could be a job, a hobby, or anything else that is highly compatible with who you are.

For Five Love Languages takers: Write about one person in your life who excels in the love language you prefer. Spoiled by someone when receiving gifts is your language? Know someone who gives the greatest hugs when you crave physical touch? Share a memory where that person gave you exactly the type of love you needed.

Prompts for Fanfiction Writers: Depth and Meaning

For MBTI takers: Take a character from a book, movie, or television show and write a short scene that highlights their personality type. This can either be a reworking of an existing scene or something brand new.

For Five Love Languages takers: Choose two characters from an existing work of fiction, then write a scene where your main character receives (or doesn’t receive) the type of love they prefer from the other character. How do they feel? How do they react? Explore the possibilities, either using an existing scene or one of your own making.

You can click on the prompt titles to read responses to these prompts or post your own. Have fun!

Weekly Writing Prompt: Personality Assessment

I don’t know about you, but I love personality tests. Some might be more accurate than others, but overall, I think they provide valuable insight into who we are.

Two of my favorites are the MBTI (Myers-Briggs) and the Five Love LanguagesMBTI categorizes you into 16 possible personality types, while the Five Love Languages figures out your preferred method of feeling/expressing love. These are two of the most reputable tests available – one is often used in hiring environments, while the other can be beneficial in relationship therapy and marriage counseling. Continue reading Weekly Writing Prompt: Personality Assessment