Monday, July 12, 2021

Writing Activity the Box


The Box


When I develop a new character, I like to get to know them with an activity I call "The Box." It’s a fun way to dig into their history and personality, and sometimes it can be a good plot booster too, especially if I'm feeling stuck. This writing exercise helps me understand what is important to my character and their story.

So, for this activity, you take a blank sheet of paper and imagine that this is a box your character has. It’s an important box, the kind they might keep tucked away under their bed, or hid in some other secret place to keep it safe. On your paper, list or draw the things that they keep inside their box.  These are the things that they love, the things that bring back memories, or the things they know are important, but are still a mystery to them.

One of my main Characters, Finley, really does have a box. Inside it she keeps letters from her parents along with instructions on how to forge important documents, and a thieves guild ring from her dad. (Good ol' dad is always watching out for her!)
Monica, the main (living) character in Ghost and Girl doesn’t have a physical box, but if she did, she would keep old firework labels in it. She’d keep pictures of her family and a coat of her dad's. These items say something about her. It tells us what she loves, what she misses, and what’s important to her. Some of this stuff appears during the actual story, other stuff might not show up, but it's still there. As writers, we know that the things in our characters' boxes make up an important part of who they are.

 Let's go read some comics!

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