Today, for National Sibling Day, take some time to consider how your protagonist’s sibling relationships have shaped their character. Siblings can be allies or enemies and sometimes both, and their presence or absence is guaranteed to influence your protagonist in profound ways. As a starting point, consider your own sibling dynamics as well as birth order, gender, ages and age gaps. Twelve and fourteen year old sisters will have a very different relationship then a twelve and eighteen year old brother and sister. If your protagonist doesn’t feel fully authentic, try altering the family dynamic. Change the age of a sibling or their gender, or even change a friend into a sibling and see how that altered relationship effects your protagonist.
consider how sibling dynamics have shaped your characters.
This month, we encourage you to identify three to five mentor texts that you can use to improve your writing. A mentor text is a book written in the same genre as your story, targets the same audience or explores comparable themes. It can also be set in the same time period as your work-in-progress or feature characters that face similar conflicts. Spend the next weeks reading through your mentor texts to study how other writers crafted dialogue, navigated between scenes or ramped up drama. As you read, make notes of the things you liked. Share with us the texts you chose and what you discovered. Then, be on the lookout for future posts here that dig deeper into how to get the most out your mentor texts.
Select a point during the writing process, whether at 10,000 words, a quarter or halfway through your manuscript. When you reach that mark re-evaluate your characters motivations goals, strengths and weakness. Chances are they have changed since you started the manuscript. Make notes on what you will need to do when you’re ready to go back and revise.
This week, brainstorm the kind of music your character would like considering her personality, the time period of your story and her culture. Then, either while you’re gearing up to write or are writing, listen to the playlist.
If you’re working on a scene where your character needs to get angry, pick an incident from your past where you were furious and spend fifteen minutes writing about it before you sit down to work on your novel. The exercise will help you put yourself in your character’s place.