Thursday, January 8, 2009

Self-Identifying Statement Writing Prompt

In a recent SCBWI SD talk by Lisa Shapiro, the concept of the character's self-identifying statement was discussed. Shapiro challenged us to come up with a self-identifying statement and then use this to help develop layers to the character.

In this prompt, select a self-identifying statement,a situation, and a conflict, and write for ten minutes about how the character might react, based upon the character's self-identifying statement.

Self-Identifying Statement:
1. I have to be right all the time, because when nobody likes you, you have to be right.
2. I don't trust anybody, except my Mom.
3. I always use good judgement, because if I don't, something bad will happen to my family.
4. I'm a dork. No matter what happens, I'm still a dork.

1. A family get-together with lots of relatives that the character barely knows.
2. A school assembly, like an awards presentation.
3. A school prom, just before the prom King and Queen are announced.
4. A casual lunch with close friends.

1. Girlfriend/boyfriend thinks main character has been cheating.
2. Main character has a secret that someone else has discovered.
3. Main character seeks revenge against an older brother or sister, who has an illness.
4. Main character's close family member is an alcoholic.
5. Main character is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and knows it.