Writing Prompt: Strange Characters



By Marilyn Friedman and Alana Saltz

We can’t believe that it’s the middle of August already! Don’t forget that we still have some great classes to help you keep moving forward on your writing projects this summer. We’ve listed the classes that we have left for August and our Fall classes that we have planned so far  below. Sign up before they are sold out!

This week’s writing prompt is inspired by the crazy characters in our lives. If you’ve got a character you’re itching to write a longer work about, be sure to check out Robbie Fox’s Mini Screenwriting Bootcamp class this Monday and James Scott Bell’s Novel Writing class on August 18th. And scroll down for your free writing prompt!

Also, we hope to see you this Wednesday, August 14 for Writers With Drinks! It’s free and is a great way to make new literary friends. Plus, The Fat Dog is a beautiful gastropub with delicious food that you will definitely want to check out. See you soon!

Classes August 10-19

Fall Classes



Crazy Eyes on “Orange Is The New Black” is an Intriguing but Unusual Character


Writing Prompt: Interesting characters are one of the most important elements of any type of writing, whether it is a novel, memoir, poem, or screenplay. But it can be challenging to develop a character who is both unique and believable.

For this prompt, make a list of three strange people you’ve known. It could be a friend, neighbor, coworker, or relative. Write three traits/characteristics that make this person strange or unique. Be specific. Does this person have a funny way of speaking? Does he have an unusual hobby or job? Does he have a weird quirk or habit? Pick one. For 10 minutes, write a story that involves this strange person and the trait that makes them unique. Post your story in the comments of this post, and you’ll be entered into our July/August contest to win a free one-day writing class!

For example, Marilyn is obsessed with “Orange Is The New Black.” Crazy Eyes is one of the most unusual characters on the show. She makes up love songs for the main character, Piper, and pees on the floor in front of her cell to show her that she is her property. She acts like a thug in prison, but in contrast to who you might think she is, Crazy Eyes comes from an upper middle class family and is obsessed with Shakespearean style acting. This quirky character inspires some fun story lines in the show. Also, Alana had a friend back in high school who inspired characters in several of her stories. He was an eccentric young man who liked to collect road kill and explore the sewers of Los Angeles. Pretty strange, eh?

Who is a strange person you know? Write about him for 10 minutes, and you could win a free writing class!