For a story to happen, there usually needs to be two characters: the protagonist (hero) and the antagonist (villain). Unless your character is completely isolated and battling nature or their own dark side, there will be at least two characters, and that’s the idea we will play with in today’s writing prompt.
Step 1: Create your two characters
Randomly pick two names. It’s fun to use one of those baby name books, but you can also use an online tool such as the easy to use Random Name Generator or the more complex Behind the Name: Random Name Generator where you can choose cultural characteristics (Seventh Sanctum has a plethora of fantasy name generators if that’s your thing).
Pick two names you like, and write a brief paragraph in which each character describes themselves. This should include a basic physical description and a little bit of their personality, how they came to be named, how other people see them, etc. It doesn’t need to be long, but should be long enough to give you a feel for their character.
Step 2: Put your characters in a situation
Now for the fun part!
Pick one of the situations below and assign your characters to a role. If you have already decided on the protagonist and antagonist, it could be fun to play with role reversal – for example, in prompt 8, have the protagonist be the robber. If you haven’t, that’s okay! That will come out as you write.
- Your two characters were each driving a car, and they just got into a car accident.
- One of your characters is homeless, and the other character is walking past them.
- One of your characters is the new kid at school.
- Your characters are alone on an elevator that just got stuck.
- One of your characters has an empty seat beside them on a bus, and it’s the only seat left as the other character boards.
- One of your characters finds the other character unconscious.
- One of your characters disappeared a year ago. Today they show up at the door of your other character.
- One character robs the other character.
- One character sees other kids at school making fun of the other character.
- One character can hear other people’s thoughts (or, only the thoughts of the other character).
If you post the completed prompt on your blog, feel free to add a link in the comments! Happy writing!
5 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing Prompt #1: Two Characters”
Great idea! I just need the time!
I did this exercise for my teen writing group in an hour. Maybe we could do it at our retreat!
If you wanted to explore characters you already have, you could use them and just do the second part, it’s always fun to see how they react!
Yeah that’s a great idea for the retreat!!!