Character notes

I have been reading The Middlesteins this week and came across a section where Attenberg has one character list the lies she has told her husband during their marriage. The list includes not being on the pill and what she really thinks about his sister. It’s fun and very revealing. That made me think that this was an exercise that could be useful.

Here’s the prompt:

Select the two characters in your novel or story (whether at the outline or draft stage, it doesn’t matter) who have the most conflicted, contentious or important relationship. Pick the point of view of one, not necessarily the one whose point of view you have chosen for the piece in question. Then start with the following statement:

X had told Y (pick a number) of lies in his/her life –

  • start writing…
  • From memory I think Edie Middlestein had told her husband 5 or 6 lies. But of course you can have as many or as few as you want/need.

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