Midway into NaNoWriMo 2014? Or, stuck on your novel-in-progress or novel-to-be and feeling like your characters need a little more oomph? Today we offer another set of fun doodling prompts for character development from author and master doodler Lisa Currie, whose new book ME, YOU, US is just out from Perigee Books. You can download and print these exclusive prompts by clicking on the hyperlinked words in the text below. Share yours with us on social media!
Welcome to the fourth installment of doodling prompts for writers, adapted from my books, ME, YOU, US and THE SCRIBBLE DIARY. And as the holidays get closer, a little hint: the books make great gifts for writer and non-writer friends alike! In the first doodle prompt installment post, we established how doodling can help develop your book. If you click on the link, you’ll be able to download four doodle prompts that you can use to start fleshing out your character(s). The second installment was an in-depth online profile prompt. The last doodle prompt focused on plot points and obstacles in the way of your protagonist’s goal(s).
For this installment, we’ll jump back into character-based doodle prompts, this time with attention to the minutia. As you write, you’ll find that even though you may have a fairly well-formed protagonist (and/or other characters), it is typically the finer details that make that character stay with a reader long after the book is put down. Think of your favorite characters- what identifying traits made them stand out? Were they physical traits? (like would Peter Pan have been the same if he never had his shadow? Pippi Longstocking without her shocking red braids?) Was it a physical prop, a lucky charm? A quirk, tic, or habitual way of doing or saying something? Or maybe it was a detail of dress?
To help you explore the myriad ways of finding detail in your characters, the next three prompts are a fun way to help you find your details. Rather than arbitrarily add detail, walk your characters through a few events – I think you’ll find that details start to come through in a more organic way when you imagine characters in scene, and doing the things we do ourselves every day. The first two prompts can be downloaded here and here. Once you’ve done those prompts, use this prompt to start mining the details that might become present throughout the book. Happy mining!
Lisa Currie is the author of The Scribble Diary; Me, You, Us; and the forthcoming The Positivity Kit. Me, You, Us was one of the books in the Creativity Kit Sweepstakes in September. She created and adapted these prompts from her books for writers to use, exclusively for Book Country. Learn more about Lisa and her books by following her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.