Writing Prompt Story Starter: Character Inspiration

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For this week’s writing prompt, I thought it would be fun to focus on characters.

Many of our writers are inspired by a character first, and the story comes later.

But what if a character hasn’t popped into your head in a while? Or maybe you have a great idea for a story, but you don’t have characters to populate it yet.

That’s the idea behind this writing prompt post. It’s sort of a prompt and a challenge rolled into one!

I found this collage and thought it might help to jumpstart some character creation and characterisation for your next story.

Take a look at each photo from the featured image above and the image below, and see if anyone jumps out at you. What story do they have to tell?

writing prompt


The challenge

For more of a challenge, head to a random number generator. Put in the minimum as 1 and the maximum as 44.

Click generate and see who you’re matched with. It’s like a writer/character blind date!

This can be a great way of getting out of a rut. If you feel you’ve been writing about very similar characters recently, this may break you out of it.

Build a character

Now have fun building a unique and interesting backstory, fill in their likes, their dislikes, their hopes and their fears.

What are they like when they’re alone and what they’re like with friends or family?

What do they like to do in their spare time?

Do they have pet peeves?

What is their job and the dream job they’d like to have?

Are they hiding any secrets?

What makes them happy?

Characters in the “The People’s Friend”

Short story writers know that it takes skill to craft a believable and three-dimensional character in only so many words.

Luckily, our writers are experts at it!

Characters bring the stories in the “Friend” to life.

While characters are, of course, important to every story, for us they hold the key to that extra “Friend” sparkle.

For more inspiration, see our other writing prompts here.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.