NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

NaNoWriMo pre-writing assignment #2: Get to know your characters

Yesterday, we spent a few minutes thinking up dreamy names for our characters. Today, let’s take a few minutes to get to know them better, shall we? Romance hero/heroines are typically exact opposites. Maybe he’s a rugged cowboy, and she’s the slick lawyer whose company wants to buy out his ranch and develop it into a tacky tourist trap.

Or, she could be the tough country girl, while he is a smooth-talking geologist for an oil company that is drooling over the rich natural resources hidden beneath her family’s centuries-old hog farm. If you’re into paranormal romance, he could be a vampire, while she is a werewolf. Or, like the trashy romance novel I read most recently, she could be the boring county supervisor, while he’s a daring stunt pilot.

Pre-writing assignment

Choose two opposing stereotypes; apply your names to them, and freewrite about them for ten to fifteen minutes. Don’t worry about getting too deep into their psyches. For now, just have some fun playing with who they appear to be on the surface. Think about first impressions. What impression will each of them make on the other upon first meeting? What is it about each character that will rub the other one the wrong way on that first meeting?

NOTE: I normally would not tell you how to go about writing your novel. However, for the sake of this experiment, I would like for you to not put much thought or effort into what is coming next but to instead allow each new writing assignment to come to you fresh and without any preconceived notions. If you can, just let it happen and see where it takes you.

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