Thursday Writing Prompt No. 129

The strength of the gravity well of inertia is directly proportional to the comfort of a particular chair.

The strength of the gravity well of inertia is directly proportional to the comfort of a particular chair.

So, it’s NaNo month and most of my writing friends are busy getting their word counts up. I’m not doing much writing this week because I’m taking a break. I just submitted four encyclopedia articles and have another one to revise next week, then another eight due in February. I’m also revising my novel (again) and starting work on a nonfiction book. But this week I’m goofing off, caught in the gravity well of laziness and growing steadily dizzier as I whirl about the vortex.

This year instead of doing NaNo I decided to focus on trying to get an existing work in progress revised and edited so that it works. I bought three books on writing craft, including two on plotting, to help me figure out where the weaknesses are. Actually, I kind of know that, I just need to learn how to fix the problems. And already I’m irritated with one of the authors. Hey guys, don’t insert politics into your work unless that’s the topic you’re writing about. Readers don’t like opinions stuffed down their throats, and it’s unfair to take advantage of them knowing they have no way of arguing your point. Okay, I’m ending my rant here — and don’t make me repeat it!

Let’s talk about this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt. Figuring out what motivates a character can be difficult. I seem to have no problem with my secondary characters, but I’m having problems identifying what my main character really wants, and as a result he’s wishy-washy. I’m going to try having him write a letter to explain himself. So, that’s your task this week, too. Not to write about my character, but one of yours, of course!

Have one of your characters write a letter. It can be to another character in the story, or a character offstage if that works better for your situation. The letter should indicate your character’s desires and what he or she wants. It’s a letter, so it can be emotional, and it might serve you better if it is. Take one or two pages to figure this out. The more neatly you can sum up the character’s feelings the easier it will be to write them onto the page. Good luck!