Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing Needs Its Exercise, Too

I wanted to title this post “Where There’s a Will.” Why, you ask? Because I’ve decided to throw out a challenge to readers.

A few days ago on Claudsy’s Blog I discussed an exercise that helps put many things in perspective for the writer, or someone in any walk of life; an obituary. If you haven’t written your own yet, you should consider it. You might be amazed at what you discover when you perform a type of “It’s a Wonderful Life” obituary for your own life. It’s very cleansing in unexpected ways.

I’m not going to ask you to do your own obit here. What I am going to challenge you to do instead is to write an obituary for your favorite fictional character. This character can be one from your favorite book or one of your own fictional characters. Try to keep the obituary between 250-500 words and fill it with everything that would normally be in a standard obituary.

If you’ve never written one of these mini-biographies before, take up the nearest newspaper and read that section. Some will be long, others very short, and ones in between. You’ll learn interesting things about each, similar things around family members, etc. These and more are the kinds of things that you will put in the obit you write for your character.

If you would like to share your exercise results with the rest of us, please do so. I’d be interested to see the different styles, characters, and approaches that you all take. Have fun with this, but also, follow standard practices for this little bio teaser.

I’ll put together one of my own during the next day or so. You’ll not be doing this alone. Seriously, peeps, I really want to see what you come up with and the types of characters you’re willing to write for.

Until later, have fun with this, and post here soon.



  1. Hi, Claudsy,

    What an interesting and clever idea! How better to get to know your character? I shall give it a go!


    Julie xx

  2. I can't wait to see what you do, Julie. I think this is definitely a way to get to know your character. It also allows the writer to see where gaps in the bio are. Just because something belongs in the backstory doesn't mean it has no purpose.

    See ya later.