Final week of NaNoWriMo 2014? Even if you aren’t participating with a new work, and are instead in some stage of editing your novel in progress, we can help! Today we offer the final installment of fun doodling prompts for character and story 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! Both books, ME, YOU, US and THE SCRIBBLE DIARY, are available widely online and in stores.
So, you’ve made it through a month of thinking creatively about your novel-in-progress, through the power of doodle prompts. Huzzah! I hope it’s been as fun as it has beneficial. To recap: In the first doodle prompt installment post, we established the power and popularity of doodling. 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 a more in-depth online profile prompt. The third doodle prompt focused on plot points and obstacles in the way of your protagonist’s goal(s). Our fourth installment helped prompt you to finding those nuggets of details that makes your character unique.
In this final post, the last prompts are still focused on character. Now that you’ve been getting to know your character more as you write the story, let’s go internal. The scene may never appear on the pages of your book, but imagine that most private moment when your character looks in the mirror. No one else is there, just your character and his or her most honest and raw thoughts. What does she see? What does he think? Now scribble down some of those innermost thoughts using this prompt. How would this change at various points in the story?
Take that same character, and look for a well-rounded display of emotions throughout. The best developed characters show themselves in a range of emotions. No villain should be pure evil, and no protagonist should be so saintly as to be canonized. Even if these scenes aren’t on the book page, this prompt will have you thinking about when your character last did things such as scream (in delight, horror, or fear – your choice), did a happy dance, or other similar reactions. It’s not just about depth of emotion, but it’s also a useful tool in imaging scenes that can do the work of showing emotion, rather than you or your character trying to tell it in detail, or worse, spoonfeeding it to the reader.
The final prompt is one you can use on your own work, or you can give it to a beta reader. You can use it at whatever stage you’re at in this particular story, and you can reuse it as a wayfinding benchmark as the story progresses. As objectively as possible, try to answer what you think your character has too much of, and too little of. You can use the prompt in more than one way, using it to prompt scribbles or doodles about things in your character’s physical world, their emotional makeup, address goals, character flaws, or even types of scenes in your story. Try drawing a version or two instead of just writing text.
And that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering the ways in which these sorts of prompts can help and inform your writing. The original prompts, and many many others are found in both my books. They can be easily used for further character development, or just for yourself or a loved one to capture those dreams, memories, and details that make you, you. I’d love to hear from Book Country members as you use the prompts and the books. Happy writing and doodling!
Lisa Currie is the author of THE SCRIBBLE DIARY; ME, YOU, US; and the forthcoming THE POSITIVITY KIT (2016). 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.