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  • Sarah McKnight

July Workshop

"I'll make a blog about this workshop tomorrow," I told myself for a month straight.

July featured a workshop that I had really been looking forward to hosting, and I'm so glad it was well-received! This month we focused on a big one for fiction: character creation! Since this was an activity rather than a discussion, I started the session by passing around a character sheet right off the bat. I took basic and more elaborate questions from various in-depth character creator tools found online and made a single-page questionnaire just to get the creative juices flowing. Everyone had to come up with a brand new character on the spot (although there were a couple of rule-breakers!).

After everyone had filled out their sheet, we went around and told the group about our characters. As always, I was blown away by everyone's creativity. Despite having the same set of questions, everyone came up with a unique, well-rounded character that I absolutely wanted to learn more about.

And I wasn't done with them yet.

After the characters were created, I surprised everyone with a bowl filled with little slips of folded paper and instructed everyone to draw one. On these slips was a short prompt, and step two was to use these prompts to write a short scene involving the newly created character. I had a ton of fun coming up with these prompts and it was wonderful to see the way everyone molded their character's to fit them.

Some examples of the prompts given:

Your character is going on a date with someone they met online. The date walks in and your character quickly realizes they are not who they say they are.

Your character receives a phone call from an old friend. The only problem is that friend disappeared under mysterious circumstances five years ago.

Your character is getting married. Someone just objected.

Your character is reading a book that is shockingly similar to their own life. They’ve reached the present point. There are only ten pages left.

A mysterious person all in black walks by your character and hands them an envelope before disappearing.

Your character is convinced they’ve been abducted by aliens. They don’t believe anyone when they say having an antenna is normal.

I was so glad that everyone had fun with this, and that my little surprise went off without a hitch. As always, the creativity and passion of those in my writer's group has inspired me to push myself in my own writing!

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