June 2, 2021

Start with a Character

When I was sorting out our games cupboard a couple of years ago, I discovered we had multiple sets of Guess Who type games (one was Guess Who, the others were other brands with the same idea). Each set had cards missing… So, I collected all the cards and added them to my Writing Prompt box. Using these cards is a fantastic way to start a story.

If you have a game of Guess Who, or similar game, use the cards. If you don’t have a copy of this game, any image of people can work. One reason I like the Guess Who cards is that the images are cartoonish rather than realistic, which means they suggest what a character looks like in a way a photograph doesn’t.

Shuffle the cards, then pick a couple of cards at random. Use these characters to kickstart a story.

You can use a general story, or here are some other ideas:

  • Write a story about how these characters meet
  • Write a story about a character that breaks down stereotypes that are shown in the picture (eg ‘dumb blonde’, old people have grey hair, girls have long hair, etc)
  • Write a story about these characters at school, work, the shops, or another everyday setting
  • Write a story about these characters going on an adventure somewhere crazy or unusual

Sometimes, all you need is a character to kickstart a story. You never know where that story will take you.

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