Thanksgiving: A Writing Exercise

Photo credit: Lawrence OP on Flickr
Seeing how it's Thanksgiving in the States tomorrow, I thought it especially appropriate to talk about—what else?—being thankful. Rather than going through a list of things I'm thankful for as I did last year, however, I'd like to do something a little different and think instead about our characters.

As writers, it's important to know our characters as thoroughly as possible—everything from their fears, to their birthdays, to their favorite foods, nightmares and aspirations are relevant, even if we don't intend to include even half of that information into the actual writing. The important part is that we understand our characters so that we can write them as realistic and multi-dimensional people.

That being said, take a moment to think about your characters in your most recent WIP: what are they thankful for this Thanksgiving? Go through each of your major characters—yes, that includes your antagonist—and think about what they would say they were thankful for on Thanksgiving. Is what they say they're thankful for and what they're actually thankful for different? Are they actually thankful, or do they just go through the motions to get to the turkey and cranberry sauce?

Maybe your characters live in a world where Thanksgiving doesn't exist—that's ok, place them at a Thanksgiving table anyway. What would they say? How would they act if they had to sit at a table full of food and share things that they were thankful for? Would they consider the holiday quaint? Wonderful? Ridiculous? Pointless?

I'd like to hear your answers: what are your characters thankful for? And for fun, what do you think various book/movie/TV show characters would be thankful for this Thanksgiving?

And to all who are celebrating—have a very happy Thanksgiving!


ArkAngel said...

First comment! Sorry, I've always wanted to do that. This was a fun little exercise... To shorten my list, my antagonist is thankful he successfully reignited a war between two nations without his intervention being caught :D My protagonist is thankful she got to meet her prince AT LAST.

Ava Jae said...

I love your note of thankfulness for your antagonist--the image of a villain sitting down at a Thanksgiving table and giving thanks for something like is very entertaining (to me, at least). :)

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