Character Twist

In honor of George R. R. Martin’s complicated characters, this week’s writing prompt is all about character twist. One of the my favorite characters that I love to hate is Jamie Lannister. He starts off as a total creeper and then you see a few more things that really make your skin crawl. I mean, total ick factor, people. But, then, Martin reveals the real motivation for the killing that earned Jamie the nickname Kingslayer and it turns out that Jamie has one or two redeeming qualities after all. Martin likes to muddy the waters, and it makes for fabulous reading. “Good” characters do bad things and “Bad” characters do good things.

This weekend, you should try to do the same. Take a character you’ve created, either one of your heroes, or one of your villains. Next, you’re going to write a scene where your character does something that contradicts that archetype. Your hero betrays a friend. Your villain performs an act of self-sacrifice for the benefit of an innocent. Or, whatever else you can think of that would be suitable.

Keep in mind, that the trickiest part of this kind of exercise is writing it convincingly. It’s not going to do you any good unless your reader believes the act is sincere and authentic to that character. Dig deep on this one.

Happy Writing!



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4 responses to “Character Twist”

  1. Rebecca Kiel Avatar

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Rebecca Kiel Avatar

    Ok, let's try that again. I love making twists on characters! Taking qualities or character traits just a little different is great fun!

  3. Jenny Maloney Avatar

    I totally agree! Makes for fun reading and writing. Keeps everyone awake.

  4. Jenny Maloney Avatar

    This is a good exercise, and also a good thing to keep in the back of your head in general. Martin also twists characters you think are good…and makes them totally useless sometimes. Which is sad. =( But necessary.

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