Daily Theme from Robin Benway

Robin BenwayThursday’s Daily Theme was courtesy of Robin Benway, author of Audrey, Wait!, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and Juneand Also Known As (which you can start reading on Figment).

Also Known As is the story of Maggie Silver, the sixteen-year-old safecracking daughter of two international spies. Maggie thinks she’s got the whole spying thing under control, until she gets her first solo mission: going undercover at a high school. Maggie will have to solve the case—and attend English class—all without blowing her secret identity.

Robin is also the judge of the Also Known As short-story contest—which ends this Monday, March 11 at 11:59 p.m. ETCraft a secret identity to impress Robin, and you could win three books and dominion over Figment.com’s homepage for a day. Submit your entry now!

Also Known As by Robin Benway

For me, one of the hardest (and of course, most important) things to do is get to know my characters. They’re the ones who really tell the story, so I better figure out what they’re saying, right?

Easier said that done.

One thing that helps kickstart the whole process is listening to music. I’m a huge music fan, which helps, but even if you have a small mp3 collection, websites like Pandora and Spotify can help you discover songs to move your story along.

Other ways to jumpstart the character-writing process:

1. Have a friend make you a mix of songs you’ve never heard, then listen to it while brainstorming. Do any of the songs sound like your character? Do the lyrics remind you of something they would say? Sometimes hearing a new song can shove you down a different creative path.

2. Work on a soundtrack for your book. If movies can have soundtracks, why not books? Give each character a theme song, then freestyle write about that character for the length of the song.

3. Take a piece of music or song and write about it from each character’s perspective. Would they love or hate the song? What words would they use to describe it? Do they secretly love it, but would never admit that in front of the other characters?

Good luck!

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Robin’s photo by Lovato Images.

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