Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's Play Part 1

Yesterday, I talked about the book “The Writer’s Brainstorming Kit” by Pam McCutcheon and Michael Waite. Today, we’re going to use the kit to create a character. I’ll choose 7 cards to represent these categories: role/pursuit, trait, goal/motivation, internal conflict, external conflict, and growth/realization.

Let’s begin.

First of all, I’ve decided my character is a 34 year old woman named Joni.

The first card I drew was Judgment. Under the role/pursuit category, I needed to select a job for my character. My choices were: analyst, appraiser, arbiter, bard, commentator, confessor, critic, deity, editor, executioner, gossip, judge, jury member, law enforcer, lawyer, magistrate, mediator, minister, public defender, referee, reviewer, scientist, tax assessor, umpire, witness.

I chose: reviewer. Just for fun, let’s make Joni a book reviewer.

My next card was Zenith. The following traits were listed: confident, skilled, competent, fashionable, ambitious, successful, accomplished, focused, determined, majestic, secure, content, driven, detached, regal, dedicated, commanding, goal-oriented, powerful, stubborn, unbending, unscrupulous, domineering, elitist, ruthless.

Oh, that Joni. While she’s skilled and confident, she’s also unbending and ruthless. Tsk, tsk. I’d had high hopes for her.

What’s her goal/motivation card? Known. The goal choices were: explore the unknown, guard the secrets of the unknown, obtain assistance from the unknown, make the unknown known, or ensure you are no longer unknown.

Joni loved to read and decided to blog about her latest discoveries. Every day, she reviewed books released by debut authors. She was doing readers a favor. Why should they waste their time and money on newbies unless they proved to be fantastic writers? She would be their eyes.

As Joni’s readership grew on her blog, so did her need to reach more people. She guest blogged and held contests to draw people to her site. But it wasn’t until local journalist Mark Denali interviewed her on his talk show that Joni saw stars. And dollar signs. She may have failed to become a published author, but this would be different. Her reviews would bring her the fame she deserved.

Stop by tomorrow for the next part of our character development. What do you think so far?


  1. Yes! Sounds so fun. I believe I asked for that kit for Christmas last year. Since I didn't get it, I'll have to put it on this year's list! ;)

  2. Interesting way to brainstorm.

  3. Sounds really fun - like a tarot deck for creating characters. Good find! It's amazing what our imaginations can come up with when he just get a little push in any given direction. ;P

  4. I like where Joni's headed in life. I'd love to go there myself. ;)

  5. The cards sound cool. It's like a game I played in college. Wait, is there drinking involved? Never mind, not like college.

  6. This sounds really cool!
    Hope your summer is going well, Lynette. Two more weeks until the boys go back to school and Sage starts kindergarten!

  7. Very interesting way to go about building a story, Lynnette. Have to admit I'm concerned about Joni though. If she doesn't like a book and is ruthless in her reviews, she could end up rocking the boat, losing blog readers and sinking her ship. :)

  8. The kit sounds useful and fun, I will put that on my birthday/Christmas wish list.