Three Things Thursday from Three Girls

Brenda Bensch:

What would you do if you were writing your story and one of the characters turned up on your doorstep? Which character would you most want it to be? Would you be glad, sad, or mad to see him/her? What if s/he wouldn’t leave you alone and kept coming back? What’s the first thing you would say when you opened the door? What would s/he be wearing? What would YOU be wearing? Write a scene in which this happens, but imagine it as the opening scene of the book. Rewrite it as a muddled-middle chapter. Rewrite again as the final scene n the book. Now read it aloud to someone —If you’re alone it could even be the teddy bear on your bed, or the person on a poster or magazine cover. Which scene sounded best? Which, if any, could you really use in your book?


Cheryl Whipple Van Eck

I think hands are the true windows to the soul. Think about it. Hands can show emotion, history, lifestyle, age, even overall physique. So next time your character’s eyes “flash” or “roll,” try describing his or her hands instead. What does it do for your story?


And Carol:

Writing Like a Writer

Last night I went to the store in my homeless lady clothes and the cashier was rude to me. And I bought $150 in chia seeds.  Cash. But not from her.

Tonight I heard terrible news from a wonderful person.

Today is the first day I haven’t been sick in weeks.

What does this have to do with writing? In less than 24 hours  I have felt several different emotions. And so should my characters. When we write, we write our character’s stories. Their truths. Which might not be that far off from our own.





Filed under CLW, Exercises, three thing thursday, Voice, writing process

4 responses to “Three Things Thursday from Three Girls

  1. sueburton

    My characters don’t wait on the doorstep, they barge in and follow me around the house, thrusting pens and notebooks into my hands. But if one did, I think I’d like it to be the family’s goldfish. Gotta give this one some thought.

    Hands–interesting. It can be difficult not to make their actions sound trite. A challenge!

    And Carol, I just realized: I think I try hard not to feel emotion. That must be why it’s hard for me to include it in my writing. Equanimity is what I strive for (and I’m terrible at it); I think that’s why I write emotionlessly.

  2. benschwensch

    Great comments, Sue. Thanks for reading. BTW, I wonder if we’re related . . . my maiden name was Burton.

  3. benschwensch

    Some of my people, early on, went back as far as Virginia, but I don’t know about Kentucky. Meanwhile, nice to “meet” you!


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