Inklings Membership

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+Spilling Ink Live Event: Match-Ups: Conflict vs. Commonalities Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 4:00 pm (PT)/7:00 pm (ET)

+Author Interview: Laura Shovan Monday, April 10, 2023, 4:00 pm (PT)/7:00 pm (ET)

+Spilling Ink Live Event: Redesigning the Ordinary Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 4:00 pm (PT)/7:00 pm (ET)

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March 2023 Match-Ups: Conflict vs. Commonalities

Our theme for March is “Match-Ups: Conflict vs. Commonalities The truth is that, if characters are at all reflections of real individuals, then they are likely complex.  It can be interesting to investigate the possibility that not all protagonists are completely good or always well-intentioned and that antagonists aren’t completely villainous. Sometimes it’s the commonalities as well as the tiny nuances in stories, which make them so interesting for readers.


In your journal, try one or more of these writing dares:

  • “Character Profile Match-Up”: Choose two characters that you know and love from stories you’ve read or that you’ve created in the past. They can be from different stories or the same one. Write a character profile for each one - physical traits, strengths, weaknesses and struggles, personal goal or mission in the story, and any other details you find relevant. If it helps to guide your process, you can make a simple list, design a T chart (with one profile on the left and the other on the right), or write in sentence form. Once you are done, take a look for patterns between the characters - Where do you notice similarities? Where do you notice strong differences? What surprises you when you compare the two? What would Peter Pan and Voldemort have in common, I wonder?
  • “Overcoming Conflicts”: For every protagonist is some kind of struggle or conflict that they need to face and overcome. Sometimes it’s a great villain, while other times it might be a place or a friend or family member. It can also be their own limited beliefs about themselves or the world around them. Create 2-3 conflict scenarios. They are obstacles or problems of some kind that a story can be built around. Then, choose a character from a story that you know well and put them into these scenarios. How would they respond? How would they meet the challenge? Write that story. How would Gandalf the Wizard confront a climate change issue or what would he do if he suddenly lost his powers?
  • “Two Different Worlds”: Choose two settings, from the same story or different stories that you know well. There are common elements that make a setting really work in a story that readers hope for, look for, and may need to keep them invested in the journey. What are these elements? Choose a smaller setting from a story (such as a school, bedroom, or castle) or, if you are feeling ambitious, feel free to write about that world (i.e Atlantis, a Rain forest, Camelot, Gotham City). Write: What do you know about these two settings you have chosen? How do they both challenge their characters? How do they both allow the characters to grow or change? Do they each have a place that the protagonist is trying to get to or protect? Is some aspect of the setting being threatened? Your answers will give you what common elements of settings or worlds really engage readers.

You can share your ideas for prompts related to our theme, and check out prompts from your fellow Inklings at this link.

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Drafting Workshop Tally Sheet.pdf86.4KB

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