Thursday, January 22, 2009

Character's Secret Writing Prompt

Millicent Min had a secret. She didn't tell her new best friend that she was a genius. Barnabus Collins, from the old television soap opera Dark Shadows also had a secret. He was a vampire. Melinda, the main character from Laurie Hals Anderson's novel Speak, also had a secret. One so dark and traumatic that Melinda could barely speak.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius and Speak are two contemporary examples of how authors use secrets to create rich, authentic and memorable characters. In this prompt, pick a secret and a situation. Write for 15 minutes about how the character's secret intrudes and creates conflict within the situation. You don't need to resolve the conflict, but try to write about how the character reacts and feels within the confines of the situation, as he or she deals with the secret.

1. Teen girl knows her father is having an affair
2. Teen boy has seen his teacher turn into a werewolf
3. Middle school girl has a mentally ill younger sister
4. Elementary school boy is in love with a popular older girl

1. A disturbance related to the secret occures while having lunch in the school cafeteria.
2. A family meal in a restaurant is interrupted by a fight involving the secret
3. The secret is discovered during gym class at school.
4. The character is confronted somehow by another family member about the secret