October X Rocks
See sidebar for Wednesday Exercise explanations.
I had planned to post my part 2 of the Sept. exercise, but the October X was too awesome to pass up doing instead. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Take any character(s) from your WiP and make a list of times in their life (childhood, teens, adult, etc). For each time frame make a list of important possessions and people. Create a free association paragraph incorporating one time frame and at least one item and person from the list.
How well do you know your MC? How about your secondary(ies) and minor characters?
I'm very character driven, so I think getting backstory on each character in the story helps in numerous ways. When I read a book, I love to feel like I know everyone in it. I want to feel a part of the whole world the author creates, not just read about the MC's life/story.
I used two [very] minor characters and struck gold. Possibly even another WiP with what I got out of them! Very exciting stuff. I had no idea how deep they were.
Hunter (in rehab):
He barely saw the guitar through the blur. But he didn’t have to. The day his mom had brought it home he’d looked over every inch of it, top to bottom and back again. The day Mom had asked Asshole if she could take Hunter to guitar lessons, Asshole beat her senseless. But Mom must have saved every penny she could hide from Asshole and got the guitar anyway for his twelfth birthday. He taught himself to play and whenever Asshole wasn’t around Mom begged to hear it – even though he played the hard shit she hated. When she was lying in her bed dying of cancer, she still begged to hear him play. And he did. He learned all her favorite songs and played until his fingers screamed in pain, hoping it would save her. But Asshole wouldn’t let her get chemo. Nothing. When the bastard showed up at her funeral, Hunter finally did what he should have done all along. He took him outside and beat the hell out of him, so bad Asshole was still lying, bloody, in the back of his brand new BMW when the funeral ended. Hunter got in his Mom’s fifteen year old Honda and drove away. He’d only had his license six months, but he racked up a year’s worth of miles driving across the country to California. The only thing he brought was the guitar his mother bought him.
Raisa (rescued from Russian traffickers by my MC):
It was silly, trivial, but it was her only piece of childhood. There was only a tiny shred left of the yellow and brown blanket Mama had made. After her father left they didn’t even have food to eat most nights, and they never had heat. But Mama had taken the only warm dresses she had and made her the blanket so she wouldn’t freeze. When she left home at eighteen to find work so that she could help feed her sick brother, it was the only thing Raisa took with her. Once she’d been sold she somehow managed to keep it with her. When she escaped the first time and went home to find her mother and brother had died, she was more determined than ever to keep her precious blanket. Now she was sewing it into a blanket for her own baby. A baby she was thrilled about. This was the third time she’d been pregnant, and the only time she even knew the father. The only time men hadn’t held her down and kicked and punched her belly until she bled the baby away. She was terrified something would happen, but the doctors said nothing was wrong, and now that she was starting to show, she felt a little better. She had to go to Hunter and tell him. He deserved to know that he was going to be a father – no matter their outcome. She would never keep his child from him. And it could be just the thing he needed to live for.