Valentine’s Day Exercise

Valentine’s Day provides a useful focus for exploring your character’s relationships.

Write a scene in which your character receives a Valentine card or gift. Do they know who it is from? Do they suspect? How do they react?
Write how they respond – do they contact the person they think it’s from? Supposing they are wrong?
Think of an unexpected person who could have sent it. How does this complicate your story?

New Year’s Writing Exercise

Happy New Year to everyone! We hope you have made your new year’s resolution to do more writing in 2011.

To get you started, here is the first writing exercise of 2011:

Imagine one of your characters making their own new year’s resolutions. They can make as many or as few as they like, but we suggest they make at least three. For each one, think about how likely they are to carry out this resolution. Does the resolution help you to give your character motivation in your story?

Now decide which resolution is the most important. Write a scene in which your character makes the first move towards achieving their goal. See where this scene takes you.

If you like, repeat this exercise with other characters.