June 26th, 2013
Originally published at Ramblings from the Flip Side (Site under construction). You can comment here or there.
Writing Prompt Wednesdays is back with a little, but hopefully helpful, prompt. Knowing details about one’s characters are essential to writing a good story, but what good does knowing a characters physical appearance do when we can’t figure out why the character is in our story?
I once made the mistake of telling an editor that I could fit any one of seven characters in as my protagonist if the one I’d chosen didn’t fit the editor’s needs. Needless to say, my story was rejected, and rightfully so. If I, as the author, didn’t know what character my story needed as the protagonist, how would the readers?
A previous Writing Prompt Wednesdays post addressed the job interview. But before the interview must come the job posting. The classified ad, if you will.
Da Prompt: Write a classified ad for story’s villain. The ad should be brief, no more than 3 or 4 sentences and no more than 50 words. Then write up a job description of required and nice-to-have skills for the position. The job description can be any wordcount, but should not be over 2 pages long.
Da Wordcount: 50 for the classified ad. N/A for the job description. Be creative, be spontaneous, don’t think too hard about any of it.
Have fun! And remember this important note. If the job description does NOT fit your current villain, consider reworking the villain or finding a new one for your book.
Double Jeopardy: Write both a classified ad and job description for your protagonist (after doing the villain’s, now, so no cheating) and see how close they fit the actual hero of your story.
Writers are frequently asked the question “Where do you get your ideas?” The question is a hard one to answer because we all find our inspiration in different places. Some people need to be given prompts, little snippets of ideas to spark their imaginations.
With that in mind, I am posting Writing Prompt Wednesdays. The goal is to inspire writers with exercises meant to train their skills and fire up the creative juices. There are rules. Most prompts will have associated word counts or style instructions. These are not meant to restrict the writer, but give the writer a chance to explore different ways of writing.
If you are an author in search of that one juicy idea, I hope these posts help. If you have ideas for writing prompts, please let me know.
1) Anything goes so long as you stick to the spirit of the prompt.
2) I ask that if you do publish something based on one of my prompts, that you post the good news (and the link) in the comments of the prompt that inspired your success. You want other people to help you celebrate, right?