Who hasn’t struggled with getting character just right? One of the writing exercises I get my workshop students to do is based on my ‘tickle trunk’ (a concept stolen from a childhood television show called Mr. Dressup). I populate the trunk with lots of clothes that I pick up from the thrift shop: boots, shirts, dresses, aprons, etc. and I get them to pick one item from the trunk. Then I tell them that a character is waiting to speak to them, and that this item is what they’re wearing.
We do a few other things with this exercise, but that’s the basic idea.
How can you use it?
Simple: go to a thrift store and select an outfit: too big, too small, men’s women’s…doesn’t matter. Then go try it on. Imagine the character wearing these clothes. What’s going through their head? What do they like about the outfit? What do they hate? Better yet, what possessed them to put it on today?
You will freefall for 10 minutes based on the prep exercise. Feel free to come back and share. I’ll tag this post as WriterWednesday Exercises so you can find it again from the categories box on the right of the blog.