Posted by: victanguera | April 16, 2010

Writing Prompt #170

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the last while knitting. I find it very mindless. Last night, I wanted to use a stitch marker in the sweater I’m working on. I figured there must be something I could use in my endless stacks of craft supplies. After all, there are drawers full of beads, piles of fabric, paints, glue, scrapbook stuff, yarn…

So that got me thinking. A bit of writing advice that floats around is that your protagonist needs a hobby to make them believable. As a hobbyist, that makes a certain amount of sense. But does it work for every genre? What kind of hobby could an immortal take up that could sustain them for an eternity? Would they get bored after a millennium and take up another task? Do they wind up with stacks and stacks of hobby accoutrements that take up space in their basement?

Can you imagine that hard nosed PI going home and knitting? Yeah, me neither. Kay Scarpetti cooked. But knit? Wow, that so wouldn’t work. So it seems that a hobby has to fit not only the character, but probably the genre as well. So would fae make jewellery? Vampires design stilettos (the shoes, not the knives–although those could work as well)? PI’s garden or cook?

What if your vampire had a penchant for digging in the dirt and planting bulbs? Doesn’t quite seem to fit with the whole predator bad-ass persona. But maybe they eat the worms.

So for today’s prompt, think about whether your protagonist has a hobby. Switch it up, give them a hobby that doesn’t seem to fit with the genre, and see what happens. How does it change how you view their character?


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