Character Exercise 2: Quick-Create

Exercise 2: The Zero-Fuckery Quick-Create Guide to Kick-Ass Characters
From Chuck Wendig
It’s too long! The awesome link instead.

My Thoughts
There’s a lot to love about this exercise. The idea of a character starting off with a problem and his idea of a solution is damn-near brilliant, frankly. It’s pretty obvious (in a real-world way, anyway), but I’ve never heard anyone articulate it that way before, and it was a bit of an a-ha moment for me. I really like the stepwise way Wendig walks through the development and how in-depth it is.

I started off a little confused by the difference between “conflict” and “complications.” The examples helped, and I think I got it. Honestly, it’s an exercise, so I’m not sure it matters. But I’m a perfectionist, and fretting about it was a little distracting.

Again, I liked adding the information to my Excel sheet. One of the things I find myself doing (through no fault of the exercise itself) is delving into each character so deeply that I forget about the interactions between them and how they affect each other. Having them all laid out in a grid is forcing me to overcome that, which is great.

Overall, another big success! So far, so good.

Up Next
Sketching a Protagonist and an Antagonist
From Writing Forward

Sketch two characters who are in conflict with each other. (Both should have potential to be good or evil.)

  • Physical descriptions
  • Who they are
  • Bit of backstory
  • What is their fundamental conflict with each other? (The core of the exercise is to identify the conflict.)