Friday, October 12, 2012

Writing Exercise #3: Character Bedroom

The third weekly writing exercise that Sara sent is all the delightful blend of setting and character, and how they complement one another.

Exercise three - Character Bedroom

From Sara's email...

Think about your MC's room (or living space, if they don't have a place that's solely their own.) What does it look like? How have the decorated it? What are the important possessions? Is it clean or messy? Think about what the space says about them. If the setting itself is significant to your story, talk about that, too—why do they live there? Do they enjoy living there or would they rather move? How long have they lived in the same space? If there was a fire, what are the possessions they would save?

I like this exercise because I remember my room being so important to me as a teenager. It was like my own personal art canvas—my clothes were on the floor on purpose, I'd decorated my door with tons of stickers, I had emails from friends printed out and taped to the walls, I always had music blaring. So now talk about your characters' own art canvases!

Poor Harry and his cupboard!
Not much room for decorating...

This has been our favorite exercise thus far, and it's even inspired some new scenes in our WIPs!

Let us know how you like it, and don't forget to tell us about your teenaged bedroom in the comments! (Don't even get me started on my Buffy the Vampire Slayer and David Boreanaz posters, and I totally had a save-the-diaries plan in case of fire!)

Previous exercises:
Exercise one - Character Profile
Exercise two - Character Theme Song


  1. What a fun exercise! (BTW, I absolutely love that you had Buffy and Angel posters- I had one of Spike! LOL) My room growing up was overflowing with art, music and books. Clothes that couldn't fit in an over-packed closet, spilling out all over the floor. It was a hot mess, but I knew right where everything was. And, the worst thing now looking back, was that it was like someone vomited pink! Rug, curtains, comforter, etc. LOL

    1. If I had to choose a Buffy poster today, I'd probably pick Spike! My teenage room was actually ridiculously neat — which, considering the general semi-messy state of my room today, said more about my mother than it did me!

  2. I love this! I actually haven't even thought about my MC's room. I guess because she only spends about sixty seconds in it during the whole book, but it's such a great look into the character!

    1. You pinpointed exactly why writing exercises can be so helpful -- they might not seem directly relevant to your work, but they can give you insight in such unexpected ways!

  3. I laughed at your "save the diaries" comment. Even then you knew how important your writing was. You rock!

    This is a wonderful exercise. Like Peggy, I just realized my MC spends only a few minutes in his room during the entire book and I didn't describe it at all! Now I'm intrigued at the idea of showing his character with a glimpse into his room.

    My teenage bedroom was bright and sunny, with orange (yes, orange) curtains. I had psychedelic posters on the walls. Hey, it was the early 70s. Don't judge me!

    1. I have a few scenes of my MC in her room, but I had a lot of fun showing the room of her love interest for the first time.

      And don't feel bad: my rugs were a burnt orange color for most of my childhood, and that carpet was chosen in the 70s, too!

  4. Maybe I should try this character bedroom writing exercise before we move into my new apartment in salcedo village. I think it’s a fun and exciting activity!


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