Main Character Role Playing

Particularly when writing novel length works, role playing with your characters is an incredibly useful tool. I have not done it often enough and, when given the opportunity to last weekend during the #STORYCRAFTER Twitter chat hosted by Faye Kirwin (@Writerology), I nearly missed it!

A brief tale about my near failure:

It was Sunday, 3:30PM Eastern time when I checked into twitter and noticed that the #STORYCRAFTER chat had begun. It was a half hour in, but I decided to play catch up – i.e. scroll through and answer the three missed questions and then tune into the rest of the chat live. In my rush I missed all the tweets that came before Q1, most notably this pretty clear one from John Cordial (@john_cordial):

Role Play_CpRypLCUAAAV9Ju

It is for this reason that

  1. I was very confused by everyone else’s responses once I started to catch up, and
  2. I nearly missed the value of this exercise.

After coming to my senses (Q5!!), I tweeted Faye to ask her if it would be okay if I “stole” her questions to do a blog post with the answers from my character. She happily agreed, so here we go.

(Note: All pictures from this point forward are from Faye Kirwin’s twitter stream. The #STORYCRAFTER chat is beautifully presented each week with pictures just like this. It is an added perk to the overall experience.)


To begin I will give you a very brief intro to the character whose “voice” you will be reading from this point forward.

16 year old Natalie Turner never knows what to say. Talia Turner, on the other hand, is an incredibly popular blogger who’s witty, insightful, and trending. You’d never know they were the same person. She is the protagonist of my WIP that I submitted to #PitchWars last week. The book is currently titled GIRL UNPLUGGED. It is a YA novel.

Twitter @Writerology Aug 7, 2016

A1: After seeing so many people lose everything when the hurricane hit, I learned that my home is just a place. My deep connection is to my peeps – my online peeps (Check out my blog – TURNER’S TALES after this chat!) and my IRL peeos: my mom, my dad, lil’ bro Roger, and my bestie Amy.


A2: The only move I’ve had to deal with was Amy’s. When Hurricane Imelda hit Staten Island, her house was destroyed. She lives in south Jersey now, but me? Still in the house I was born in.


A3: I’d love someone to invent some sort of house-wide volume control or something. I love my fam and everything, but I am NOT a morning person and these people start every day with a bang – blow dryers, TVs (yeah, that’s plural), radios, and beeps all over the place. It’s a complete sensory overload.


A4: It’s gotta be the time during the hurricane when Amy and her mom stayed with us during the evacuation (her dad stayed behind). After Amy and I got over our devastation that we were missing the back-to-back season premieres of Wolf Nights and Barista Boys due to the blackouts, we found some fun. Me, Amy and Rog spent the days staying up late and hanging in the backyard. I have never seen the stars like that!


A5: Right now? I don’t want to sound like a complete dork, but I wish Amy and I could just live closer together again. I’m sort of hopeless without her. Amy was the people-person out of the two of us. Brace yourself for this , peeps, I am super shy in real life. Since Amy moved it’s been weird, or maybe I’ve been weird, I don’t know…

Anyway – back on topic – I’d really hate to leave Staten Island, but maybe I could get used to another place too. As for the future, Amy and I have dreams of getting a cool loft in Brooklyn when we graduate.


A6: Lol! This is hilarious – all I can think of is how it should be a quiet place where someone could sleep in if they wanted to!

But seriously… home needs to be safe. I’m all for the nice views and being close to the beach and all, but people need to stop building houses where they know they are in danger. Amy’s entire neighborhood was under water during Hurricane Imelda! People can’t say they didn’t know, either, the same thing happened with Hurricane Sandy! I didn’t lose anything with Hurricane Imelda, but I saw the horror of Amy’s loss. And, you know what? I did lose something. I lost my best friend. No one should have to go through that.

And that’s it from Natalie! If you have any more questions for Natalie, please feel free to ask in the comments, I’m always curious to find out more about her.

Also, if you have your own main character you’d like to role play with in a blog post, go for it, just tweet a link out to @Writerology with the #STORYCRAFTER hashtag, so the community can check it out.

Finally, if Sunday afternoons are free for you, do yourself a favor, follow @Writerology and check into the #STORYCRAFTER chat on Twitter. Always great questions and a great crowd.


2 thoughts on “Main Character Role Playing

  1. Thanks for posting the chat session, Nicole. I participated in the chat yesterday, but never really gave much thought into understanding my characters. Sessions like those are good because it forces you to put yourself in the shoes of the characters you create. I feel like that may be one reason why I scrapped a few stories: because I didn’t take the time to get to know my characters fully. That’s a recurring issue with me. I think if I took the time to do a thorough character sketch, it might make my characters stronger. Especially with short stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it difficult to do these types of things early on in a project. I know some people work on sketches and do a lot of role playing before working on a project. For me, it’s the opposite. I need to get deep into a story, or maybe even finish a first draft before I feel comfortable enough with WHO this character is before I can role play as them.
      I think that is because I believe we are defined by our actions. Therefore, how do I know who my characters are before I see the choices they make in certain situations?
      These activities, however, do come in very handy for me before and during the revision process. Once I’ve seen what my characters DO I then can use these types of things to determine WHY they made those choices and infuse those characteristics within the story.

      So don’t be too hard on yourself that you don’t do these things as often as you should, maybe your characters aren’t ready for you to!


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