Friday, September 24, 2010

Writing Prompt/Character - Kick the Habit With Tracy Barrett

As a former student of mythology and ancient civilizations, I am always excited to capture a glimpse of either one of these fascinating studies in modern-day writing, and even more enthralled to see an entire work based upon them!. Of course, you can imagine my joy when I saw the following book review published by Kirkus:
King of Ithaka "A rousing introduction to epic characters and mythic creatures of ancient Greece from the fresh perspective of an engaging young hero." (Kirkus)
Here is an additional teaser, taken from the flap copy:
Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother keeps the peace even though the land has been without its king, his father, since the Trojan War began many years ago. But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home.
     "Return to the place that is not, on the day that is not, bearing the thing that is not. On that day the king will return." With only this mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telemachos sets off over sea and desert in search of the father he has never known.
I can't wait to get my copy! Shop at!
So while I await my personal audience with the KING OF ITHAKA, I have arranged this little meeting with its talented author Tracy Barrett. Here, she shares an insight into characterization and helps you to kick old habits and write outside of the box. Enjoy the process!

Characterization: Kick the Habit with Tracy Barrett

Authors tend to write about people like themselves. Even if they change their characters’ gender, ethnicity, age, social status, we still see lots of main characters who (like their creators) love to read, want to grow up to be writers, feel like outsiders, are introspective and intelligent, etc. To break this habit, think of:
  • a personality trait you find offensive
  • a vacation spot that’s popular but that doesn't appeal to you at all
  • an activity that bores you to tears
  • the food you dislike the most
and write a scene in the first person from the POV of a character who unapologetically has that trait, goes to that spot, indulges in that activity, and eats that food eagerly. No sarcasm and no unreliable narrator allowed—make it believable!

For more on Tracy and her books, check out her Website:


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  1. A personality trait I find offensive: men that either act like they know it all, or act like they're never wrong.

  2. must have read my mind today, Christie LOL