As a writer of fiction, it's easy to fall into the rut of having all your characters closely resembling yourself. They look the same, think the same, dress the same, hold the same values and beliefs, react to the same pet peeves, laugh at the same jokes... you get the idea.
Well, here's a challenge:
Write a scene (perhaps part of a longer story or novel), in which the main character is your polar opposite. This is your invitation to inhabit—maybe even come to better understand—someone very different from yourself. Opposite
might refer to life experience. For example, if you're a 17-year-old named Anna from Perth, Australia, perhaps you'll write about a 71-year-old protagonist named Len, who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alternatively, opposite
might reflect personality and internal workings. If you go to church every Sunday, perhaps Len is an atheist. You have a temper and Len buries his emotions. You seek approval from others, while Len guards his independence. And on and on...
To sum up:
- Write about a character very different from yourself (in personality or life experience, or both).
- Place this character in a scene.
- Make sure to describe this character and incorporate details that reveal his/her personality.
- Write about this character as a protagonist—allow the reader to relate to and root for them!
Need more inspiration? Ash
has provided this fantastic idea for a prompt, and has an example for us here
. You can also read some of Ash's tips for this prompt on our blog.