All right, y’all! I feel awful that I didn’t get this up on Wednesday- long story short (and if you follow me on twitter you’ll know some of this already), I was very nearly in a bad car accident, set off the burglar alarm in my own house, had to talk to emergency personnel twice, and had to fill out three legal documents I wasn’t expecting to have to fill out. As a very noncommittal introvert, this all together was a bit traumatizing, and the thought of writing the post kinda flew my mind.
Anyway, so this week, we’re talking about prompts! Whether those come from a special book or from Tumblr, prompts and AUs in general can be invaluable for developing characters.
There are three types of prompt that I’ve found- we can call them major,minor, and quote. Major prompts set up an entire story, such as this one:
These can be really helpful for either when you really want to start another book (stop: Are you currently writing a book? Is this truly a good idea?) or when you need a general idea to prewrite and YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING REGARDING YOUR CURRENT STORY TO PREWRITE ABOUT. A minor prompt-
-inspires a scene. Drabble prompts fit into this category. Minor prompts are a lot of fun for littler prewrites, and if you hit on a good one, the stuff you write could easily fit into your story!
Quote prompts make up a single line of the story, but they can inspire entire plot arcs. Take this one, for example:
This could fit into a conversation between two characters, establishing personality for the main speaker. You’d want to adjust to fit your setting, plot, and current characters, but all and all, quote prompts are a lot of fun! They can also be used as major or minor prompts, but it’s up to you what to do with them.
Technically prompts, AUs- Alternate Universes- are some of my favorite things to do. What would happen if your fantasy characters lived in our world? If they were suddenly transported here with no warning and had to figure out how to survive? What if they lived different lives, met in different ways, had different jobs? AU prompts can give you ideas of things to throw at them in these different circumstances, and they can be the key to endless fun.
AUs help you develop your character outside of their world. How would Saint George the dragon-slayer react to seeing a toaster? Driving in a car? What if, instead of born in the middle ages, he was born during WWII and fought on the European Front? Or, better yet, find some way to tie in he- the dragon slayer- and Vlad Dracul- the dragon- to create some incredible mash-up story. Seriously. Someone write that, because I NEEDS IT.
Because really only in writing are imaginary friends socially acceptable. It helps if you’re bored at parties, too- tired of humans IRL? What would your characters be doing if they were there? I have a really bad habit of imagining cute little pillow talk between my various characters (it gets especially fun to imagine inns where 4+ people have to share a bed) while falling asleep, thinking about your story when in that delirious stage (don’t look at me like that, you know exactly what I’m talking about) you tend to have the crazier ideas and learn the weirdest stuff about your people. It doesn’t matter if you have a character in her twenties, she can join the sixteen-year-old secondary main character in high school English. It doesn’t have to be realistic, that’s not the point. The point is to have fun and learn something about your characters.
It’s not limited to putting your fantasy or sci-fi characters into our world (or vice versa)- put your people, no matter what genre, into a different century or into a different country or into a different storyline. You don’t have to switch worlds. An AU is literally just taking your characters and giving them something different than what was explored in your main storyline. A different choice, perhaps, that alters their destinies. It doesn’t have to be a major change, just something different to see how your characters will react.
Questions will come Sunday or Monday! Sorry about the delay again- hope you all have a good weekend! ❤