Look at us go! 22 in a row! Amazing!
They say if you do something for 21 days in a row it becomes habit. Perhaps they are right.
All I know is that I set out to provide you with one writing prompt per day for an entire year. So far, I am doing it.
It is also Friday. This means it is newsletter day! If you haven’t signed up, you can do so using the form on the front page of the site, or the side bar of the blog main pages.
If you’d rather not go back and look for them, you can click here to open a new window with a sign up form ready to go.
But I digress. Let’s get on with the prompt. We will continue our work on character development and perfect practice.
If you missed yesterday’s prompt, we took the time to write out a list of traits about our characters, a little back story to get to know them a bit better.
Today, we are going to use that information to work on the prompt details.
Let’s take a look.
Take one trait, historical aspect or feature of your character and write just about that.
If you had noticed, the character I chose yesterday, Hector, was shot at by my main characters in Ghost Target. He was a mailman at the time of the story.
In the writing prompt yesterday he went form 9 years old to 87 years old and died surrounded by his loving family. It is important to note that this minor character had a full life.
Even though he was in my movie for a single scene and never spoke a word, he still lived a complete life. The audience will never know this. Your readers will never know this.
But you will know. That knowledge makes the character more real to you. They stop being 2-dimensional and begin to breathe.
When you can harness that power of character creation, your characters, big and small, will jump off of the pages and entertain your readers.
Today’s Prompt Rules
So for today, you are going to take a single aspect of the character you wrote about yesterday. You will focus only on that one thing and write more detail about it.
Doing so will give you a better idea of who that character is, why they are the way they are. You will see who they are beyond your pages.
So pick a trait, a characteristic, a life event. Something that doesn’t affect your story at all, but has a huge impact on that one small-time character.
For my prompt, I will start with the border crossing that killed Hector’s parents when he was 9. As you can probably tell, Hector could star in his own novel or movie script.
You should feel lucky when all of your characters have that same aspect. And as long as you are meaningful with their back stories, they can be.
Here is What I Came Up With
They were only supposed to take 17 hours to cross the border. The last three hours were on foot. To Hector Regala, though, he had already been in the bottom well of that truck for what seemed like days.
Being the smallest, he was the first inside the well. It also meant he was the most smashed. The luggage in front of him and the cold steel of the well on his back made the ride even more uncomfortable.
He dare not cry out, though.
Even when the truck hit the pot holes or slammed on the breaks. His momma told him it would be a better life. The last bad thing they would ever have to go through.
For her and her husband, she was right. Hector would go through a lot worse.
Hector could hear sirens and the truck screeched to a halt. Everyone in the well of the truck pushed up towards Hector who though he would be squashed to death.
Hector’s mom told him to remain still and quiet. He did just that.
Even when the well under the truck was discovered and everyone was pulled out, Hector remained still and quiet.
The flashlights didn’t see him behind the luggage. Hector was alone, in the dark and listening to the police and the coyote yell at each other.
Then, shots rang out. Hector couldn’t count the shots and his ears filled with the screams of his family.
Hector remained still and quiet.
When he finally moved, it was dark outside. He crawled out of the well and found his dad, laying on top of his mother. Both had been shot in the head.
A vision Hector would never forget.