Writing Prompt- Characterization

Do something different with a character you know well.

For this exercise, take a character you know well and place them in a scene/setting they are unfamiliar with. The character could be from your novel, based on a good friend or family member in real life or anyone that you have a solid understanding of. Let them steer where the scene goes. DO NOT outline the scene before you begin. 


  • If the character has lived their whole life in small town USA, you could put them in Tokyo, Japan.phone pictures 119
  • If your character lives in the city and works in a cubical, you could make them a helping farm hand.
  • If you’re writing a novel set in a fantasy world, you could place your main character in the reality we know (or vice versa).
  • If your character is unfamiliar with violence, you could have another character hold them at gunpoint.
  • If your character is one who is always in action (doing, talking, fighting, seeking, ect.), place them in a very simple place of peace where they have no pressing issues and simply get to relax.

This is a great exercise for anyone writing a novel because it will help you get to know your character. To know what your character would do in any and all situations makes for a very strong and consistent character. And its nice to have a small break from plot once in a while.

Once you’ve completed the exercise, consider what the character’s actions tells you about them. Did it reveal a part of them you didn’t see before? Did it verify characteristics you already knew where there or did it reveal new ones?

If you complete the exercise, please share it! I always love to see what different people’s imaginations bring them!


About Sarah JS

Aspiring writer, lover of words, book nerd, working editor, and permanent student of the world

Posted on February 9, 2014, in Writing Prompts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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