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What's in Your Protagonist's Bag?

Do you have a fabulous protagonist living in your mind, begging to be let out on the page but you just don't know what their story is?

Or perhaps you have a plot in mind but you're struggling to get to know your main character.

Whether you're a character-first or a plot-first writer, this task will propel you into your creative flow and pull you through those dreaded mind blocks, unlocking all those things you need to know about both your character and their story - so it's a 2-4-1 deal!

This task has 4 steps. Easy, right?

  1. Go to that place that has the right conditions for YOU to focus and create. Whether that be a dark, silent room, a busy gym, or your favourite dog-walking spot.

  2. Close your eyes and picture your character. Listen to their voice. What are they saying and in what tone, accent, volume? Who are they talking to? Imagine they are looking in a mirror and instead of looking directly at them, look in their reflection. Picture yourself walking closer to them and then step inside their body and look out at their reflection through their eyes. What can you see? Not just hair and eye colour, but the fears and hopes on their face.

  3. Staying inside your character, slip their bag off your shoulder, sit down in whatever setting they are in and open the bag. There are ten items inside. What are they? Make a list of them.

  4. Choose five of the items that stand out to you the most and write a 2 - 3 paragraph story about each one with your protagonist at the centre. How did they come to possess the item? Have they borrowed it? Why haven't they thrown it away? If they are travel tickets, what destinations are written on them?

You will then have 10 - 15 paragraphs of story for your character that you could either incorporate into your plot if you are stuck for plot points, or as background information if you are grasping for more character depth. You might not use all of it, but you could find a hidden gem or the missing link of your story, and at the very least, you'll have tapped into your imagination and given your brain a break for the outside world for twenty minutes.

Enjoy, and happy writing!

I am now taking bookings for OCTOBER 23, so if your book is almost ready for a developmental or line edit, do visit or email me

Warmest wishes,

Jess :)

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