Short And Sweet

Well, here we are.  It’s Monday September 17 and I promised you a Short & Sweet, so a Short & Sweet we shall have!  And just look at this beautiful, updated badge we have to go along with our non-summer Short & Sweets!  Thank you, Loni 🙂

badge created by Loni Edwards

Actually, now that I think about it, Monday seems like a good day for Short & Sweets – a good way to get those writing gears greased up and ready to go for a productive writing week, don’t you think?

Given the extreme hecticness of the last couple weeks, as we’ve all striven (is that even a word?) to get our kids back to school, or get used to doing homework again, or tried to vacuum ourselves out from under the dog hair mound (oh, is that just me?) we will be very short and sweet today – nothing too taxing.

Let’s make up fun characters, shall we?  Since it’s Monday morning, I’ll give you the chance to think on your own, but I’ll also give you options to choose blindly in case your brain isn’t quite awake yet 🙂

Here’s what to do:

1.  Choose a name you like, male or female, any kind of name, e.g. Harper, Frisky, Stinky Pete.
     Too broad, too vague, too wide open for this hour on Monday morning?  I’ll give you a list to choose from 🙂  Pick a number from 1-10 (no peeking!) and use the name you get.

     1. Sophie
     2. Alex
     3. Rocky
     4. Kyle
     5. Princess
     6. Lindsay
     7. Becca
     8. Ethan
     9. Tiger
    10. Taylor

2.  Pick 4 descriptive traits, e.g. cautious, hopeful, athletic, smart
     Again, if you need choices, I’ll give you some.  Pick 4 letters from A to Z (no peeking) and use the traits you get.

     A= argumentative  B= bold  C= curious  D= desperate  E= eager  F= feisty  G= grateful  H= home-loving  I= impatient  J= joyful  K= kind  L= lazy  M= mean  N= nosy  O= opinionated  P= passionate  Q= quiet  R= rambunctious  S= serious  T= tired  U= unimaginative  V= vacillating  W= worried  X= extra (I know that doesn’t really begin with x!)  Y= yellow  Z= zippy

3.  Pick one: only child or sibling of.  If you choose sibling of, list names of siblings.
     example:  only child
     example: sibling of Howard, Henry and Hugo

4.  Pick two things your character loves, e.g. elephants and birthday cake
     Need help?  Let’s go with the letters again, that was fun 🙂  Pick 2 letters from A-Z and use the things you get.

     A= apples  B=bears  C= cacti  D= dinosaurs  E= easter eggs  F= flowers  G= giants  H= hotdogs  I=   ice cream  J= jumping rope  K= kite-flying  L= licorice  M= mountains  N= nighttime  O= ocean  P= pumpkins  Q= quilts  R= racing  S= snow  T= traveling  U= umbrellas  V= violin  W= white-water rafting  X= extra helpings (yeah, I know that doesn’t really start with x either :))  Y= yodeling  Z= zip-lining

5.  Pick something your character fears, e.g. spiders
     Can’t think of anything?  Choose a number from 1- 20 and go with what you get.

     1= the dark  2= snakes  3= the dentist  4= being alone  5= getting a haircut  6= going to school 7= having a babysitter  8= losing a tooth  9= falling off a bike  10= heights  11= going on an airplane  12= going to sleep-away camp  13= swimming  14= ghosts  15= thunderstorms  16= loud noises  17= big dogs  18= talking to new people  19= bad dreams  20= monsters

6.  Pick something your character wants, e.g. to learn to ride a bike
     Need inspiration?  Choose a number from 1-20 – you know the drill 🙂

     1= a pet  2= to go to the moon  3= to be famous  4= to be in the school play  5= a brother or sister  6= to stay up later  7= to be independent  8= to be brave  9= to have a best friend  10= to go to the circus  11= to get allowance  12= to go camping  13= to bake a cake  14= to be good at something  15= to be popular  16= to lose a tooth  17= to be first  18= to feel important  19= to be listened to/recognized  20= to get a job

Now.   Put your character all together in the comments like this:

     short, loyal, adventurous, brave
     sibling of Pete
     lover of horses and going fast
     who fears being invisible
     and wants a pony of her own

If you want, write the opening of a story about your character, for example:

     Sometimes Jemima was a little too brave for her own good.  Like the time Pete dared her to climb to the top of the apple tree… and she ended up with her arm in a cast for 6 weeks.

The idea here is that, with lots of participants, we’ll generate a great list of possible characters, any of which might spark a story idea for anyone!  The same character might spark 10 different stories in 10 people!  Have fun with it – it should be a pretty quick exercise – and feel free to do more than one! 🙂

I hope we’ll get lots of good ideas percolating this morning!  Have a lovely day, everyone, and Happy Rosh Hashanah to those who are celebrating! 🙂

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