In keeping with my promise to ‘strength’ my writing muscles, I have started doing some writing exercises. In prep for my the next romance suspense I plan on working on, I picked a prompt from 1,000 Character Writing Prompts chefs and cooks selection. My heroine is a pastry chef.
I selected 193 which isn’t really much of a stretch. Cayla Rogin, my heroine, is pastry chef like the prompt, but she doesn’t work in a vegan bakery. Cayla runs her own bakery business. The prompt has her growing up in foster families as did my heroine – it’s in one of these homes she meets the hero. While this doesn’t seem like much of a ‘stretch’, I still decided the prompt – ‘what would the members of her family think of accomplishments?’ would be character building since I tend to gloss over my character’s. Picking a few events. So what did I learn about Cayla from this???
- 1) I had to establish her bio-parents. Was it a single mother? Did she go back and forth between bio home and foster placement. Was she taken due to abuse, addictions, or negligent? This I would have done without the prompt.
- 2) How many foster placements she had (I would have never answered this unless it came up while writing).
- 3) Who she remained in contact with and why – this added a nice subplot twist
- 4) I flushed out her motive for becoming a pastry chef
- 5) Did any of her foster parents use her service? No, but I have supplying birthday cakes to one home she stayed at. This would have never developed without this prompt.
I found this prompt much more use than the 3 page character sheets I’ve tried in the past.
Do you use writing prompts? If so as ‘warm-ups’ or to break writer’s block? What are some prompt books you’ve found useful.