Exercise: Character Journal

Developing a character doesn’t have to be a strenuous task. One of the easiest ways to get into your characters’ heads might be, quite literally, writing through their perspective. If you’re trying to figure out how a character thinks, or develop their motivation a little more and charts and tables just aren’t working for you, try writing a journal entry for them.

Journal entries can be about almost anything. Using major events as the focus can help you see through that character’s perspective, and in turn, give you a better idea of how they react to each situation. Alternately, focusing on character specific secrets can help you develop their backstories and motivation.

These entries don’t need to be long either, which makes them perfect when you’re trying to get back into a story, or just starting one and need to find your flow. Aim for a page, but also keep your characters in mind. Not everyone would write a full page, and some might write even more.

Some ideas for character entries:

  • You’ve just met the Main Character, how do you feel about them so far? (you can also use Antagonist, Love Interest if applicable, or Main Supporting).
  • What is your biggest fear or weakness?
  • How are you feeling after the opening of the story? The climax? The resolution?
  • When is the last time they lost their temper with another character?
  • What might tempt them over to the other side?



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