characters / writers tips / writing

Writer’s Tip 110: Get to Know Your Character

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

Today’s tip: Use Writing Prompts to get to know your character.

I got this idea from Mel Barker over at Melissa Barker-Simpson. She posts lots of writing prompt entries and almost always wraps them around her characters. What a great way to get to know your characters–by placing them in unrelated, diverse situations and seeing what they do.

More on writing:

Make Your Character Your Best Friend

What I’ve Learned From My Characters

It’s Not What Happens to Your Character Readers Care About. It’s Their Reaction That Matters

Torture Your Protagonist

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

22 thoughts on “Writer’s Tip 110: Get to Know Your Character

  1. Pingback: What I learned from the characters in Against All Odds | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: Writers Tip #100: 12 Tips From Writing From A to Z | WordDreams...

  3. Ugh, so sorry, Jacqui, I misunderstood part of your post. It’s YOU who made the statement about a sympathetic main character, and I apologize for interpreting your post incorrectly. You get the credit for a most important story truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t even interested in them until I read Mel’s. She really takes the opportunity of using an offbeat question and applying it to her characters. And, it makes me want to read more of her books.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Get to know them? Sheesh. They visit, bring family, argue politics and religion. I know them, their siblings, their parents, their grandparents. I know the tragic hunting accident at the fence that led to the split between the families. I can see how the misdiagnosis ended up as a divorce–and oh, the tragic impact on the kids–no wonder she never remarried! And if the family had known that it was a manufacturing defect–they wouldn’t have tortured themselves all those years thinking that it was a suicide–and that somehow, they had failed him. Somedays I wish they’d all just shut up about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jacqui, I like that idea of taking your characters out of their normal environment and situation – very interesting and will give that a go. Can’t wait to see what I come up with! It feels like freedom for them!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an excellent idea. Another idea and something that I do is journal with my character. They come out and reveal themselves as they talk through you in your journal.


    Liked by 2 people

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