Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Creative Action: Spice Up Your Story with a New Character

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An orange-coloured sky, all ready for your newly written character to appear.

Now all we need is a paraglider! Read on, you’ll see what I mean. (Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art)

Hi, I’m Jessica’s Creativity and today I’m inciting you to a writing riot!

Jessica has a song stuck in her head at the moment. It’s an earworm that just won’t go away!

(And may I remind you that we Creativities have to live in the same space as your earworms, so keep that in mind the next time you’re listening to your favourite music. Earworms are self-absorbed little creatures that barrel through your train of thought without so much as a by-your-leave. They’re also repulsively smug. I’m not being petulant…only truthful.)

The song is called “Orange Colored Sky” and the basic premise is as follows: The singer was toddling along the sidewalk one day when love struck her unawares. General chaos and destruction ensues, including falling glass and collapsing ceilings.

I assume this is all figurative, but you can never be sure. Her ‘love’ may have been a window washer… Or a paraglider.

What does this have to do with your writing?

Well, if you’ve got the feeling that you’re just going through the motions with your manuscript and your story needs some spicing up, why not introduce a paraglider?

Or not necessarily a paraglider, but a new character. Throw in a fresh person to mix things up.

This character doesn’t have to be a love interest (although if there is romance, beware of falling masonry). It can be a miserly aunt or a newborn with colic.

How? You don’t need to overthink the process. Try one of these tips.

  • Has someone briefly mentioned a relative or friend earlier in your story? Why not write about them?
  • Write a sudden knock at the door. Get your main character to open the door and then let your Creativity fill in the details. (Seriously, this can work!)
  • If your character is shopping, have them talk to the girl behind the checkout.
  • If your character is walking along the street, let them bump into a passer-by. If that doesn’t work, allow them to wander into oncoming traffic. Either someone will hit them or someone will rescue them. Voila, new character.
  • Get your character lost and then convince them to ask for directions.
  • If worst comes to worst, use the paraglider trick. Or if you’re worried everyone’s doing that nowadays, then have a hot air balloon land in your main character’s backyard.

Freshen up your writing and send your plot spinning in a completely new direction. Give a go!

How do you introduce new characters into your story? Do tell, we’re all dying to know!

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