Most writers’ initial forays into fleshing out characters in their shiny new WIPs involve pages, sometimes entire chapters, of disposable drafting. While it’s true some of these words might find their way in as backstory (provided it’s handled appropriately) this early writing is mostly a tool for the writer in getting to know his or her characters. Here’s a writing exercise which might be helpful with early character development and even make your initial WIP drafting more efficient.
Invite your characters over for dinner.
Out here in the real world a simple and fun way get to know someone better is to share a meal with them. So why not do the same with your new characters? While you’re at it why not invite all the characters from your current WIP over at the same time? Instead of just dinner, hold a banquet!
Once you’ve made the decision to play host and the imaginary invitations have been sent out, the real work of character observation begins.
Here is a list of some things you’ll want to pay attention to as your fictional evening unfolds: (more…)