Fun Prompt to KickStart Your Writing

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Bored? Not able to start a story? Here is a trick I use.

I can’t start a story unless I find the most appropriate name for my character. Sometimes I spend hours in the rabbit hole of Internet to find the name that will fit. Writers of colour like me have additional requirements. The names we choose must be pronounceable by a western audience. The name should not be bully-able or mockable too easily.

But I also venture into fun blog posts on names, parents blogging about names and historical characters with funny names etc.

So this prompt is based on that rabbit hole maze I got stuck in.

Find a list of vegetables on the Internet – use one that’s exhaustive and has rare vegetables too.

(C) Chitra Soundar

Now create a name with first, middle and last name. You can create a name that can be actually plausible or a totally weird one that you will use for a funny villain. Or you can create silly names for a silly story. Come up with at least ten names.

Now pick one from the list and create an origin story. Why did their parents name them that? Why that last name? What’s the story behind that?

Knowing the backstory of the name, think about what sort of person will this name personify? If you can draw, draw that character. Do they wear this name with grace or do they feel ashamed about it? Do they get bullied or are they totally ignorant of what people think? Are they plotting for revenge against everyone who makes fun of them? Are they plotting for revenge against their parents for giving them the name?

If this character is a child, do you think this character will change their name when they are older? If so, what name would they pick?

If this character is an adult, why haven’t they changed their name? What holds them to it? What binds them to this name – the promise of a treasure, the family fortune or because they love their parents?

This is going to be a lot of fun, don’t you think? If you do write a story, tag me in your social media tweet.