I’m not the kind of writer who warms up with writing exercises. They are usually done after the fact, sometime between 2nd and 8th draft.
I found one I did for The Princess Curse that I’d like to share.
Give your main character an assignment: Tell me 20 things you’ve learned about life by the beginning of this book.
1. Lying is only bad if you get caught.
2. Saint Hildegard is the greatest woman who ever lived. Pity she isn’t canonized yet.
3. Thyme pies taste better if you pick the thyme yourself.
4. You can never be too clean or take too many baths.
5. Fathers are probably more trouble than they’re worth.
6. Nuns live a pretty good life. Even with the getting up in the middle of the night to pray thing.
7. Breakfast may be sinful, but it sure is delicious.
8. Tansy is good for repelling ants.
9. Apparently, unwed men and women can conceive children. Apparently also, Sister Maria is a bigger liar than me, as it turns out.
10. Orthodox priests aren’t that bad. But they are a little shady, if Brother Cosmin is any example.
11. Princesses are kind of useless. I think it’s because of their shoes. Impractical. Also, the hats. Also, the lengths of their hems. And their sleeves.
12. You can hatch eggs in your bosom, if it’s enough like a chicken’s bottom. Pa met a woman who did once.
13. I am not cut out for kitchen work.
14. Wild cabbage cures excessive vigor.
15. Inheritance law is kind of stupid, everywhere you go.
16. Not everyone loves the King of Hungary. And by “not everyone,” I mean more than just the Turks!
17. Living in the Last Outpost of Christianity stinks like rotten Easter eggs.
18. Young wives are notoriously discontent.
19. Dracula wasn’t all that honest, you know? Testing people’s honesty all the time requires tricking them. He didn’t actually live up to his own standards, if you ask me.
20. I’m not beautiful, but I am pretty smart.