Saturday Exercises - In the Lift

This is a great exercise you can use one of two ways: to create a whole new character or to check your lead characters aren't too similar to yourself.

Imagine you are trapped in a lift, or an elevator if that's your preferred term, with one other person.  You can add to the situation if you like, but you have to be stuck.

If you are using this to create a new character, pick a gender and create someone as unlike you as possible.  Then, start conversing with them so you can explore how they react to the situation.  Try to keep it different to your reactions, but remember different doesn't mean bad - you don't have to create a bully.  You may find the character develops quickly and starts taking on completely different aspects to those you planned. No worries! Let the character lead you. 

If you are using this with an existing character, strike up a conversation with said character. Are you getting on so well there's no chance of conflict? Are you screaming at each other? The idea is you and your character, especially your main character, should be different enough so something happens.  Me? I use the emergency phone and patiently wait for help while attempting to make conversation with lots of random and ultimately pointless nonsense.  My character? Tells me to shut up and rescues herself.  No, you and your lead don't have to argue, but it's not good if the two of you are both you.  If you find you and your characters are too similar, throw in a few changes.

Now, as I don't have a picture of a lift/elevator, I thought I'd share a video from the most terrifying videogame I've ever played, Silent Hill 2.  If this ever happens to me, I'll be in the corner of the lift weeping like a baby.  I'll take living through Resident Evil over Silent Hill ANY DAY!

Any Silent Hill fans around?

Let me know how you get on with the exercise!


  1. This is a brilliant idea! There's a writer I love - it's fanfiction, but she's amazing - who does this between her original characters and readers/fans. People can send in questions for the characters, and she writes the answers as the character in question would reply. I always think that it must be a really helpful way for the author to keep her characters in her head, but I never really thought about it in terms of an exercise like this before!

    Also, I think you'd have to tie me down to get me to play Silent Hill... I get scared easily, ok? ;)

  2. Laura: It is quite a lot of fun! It's quite easy to get carried away with it too, which helps you create the character in more depth.

    Yeah, Silent Hill is not for non-horror fans. It is terrifying and totally AWESOME. Like, in the first game, you go into a bathroom in an elementary school and hear a child crying... EXCEPT THERE'S NO ONE THERE!!!

  3. I WOULD DIE. Both literally and in the game, I imagine. ;)

  4. Laura: That's the tip of the iceburg... In the second game you have to run around an abandoned prison and I have to force myself to play through it every time.


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