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Exercise Wednesday: Uphill, both ways. And I was thankful!

November 26, 2014

They were thankful, AND they danced!

Everyone’s parents, it seems, likes to tell them how bad things used to be. I was a kid when Little House on the Prairie was on. One year my dad watched the Very Special™ Christmas episode where the Ingalls children didn’t get the massive haul of booty we got. Instead, they got a stick and a doll without a head and a half-eaten piece of candy, and a piece of tree bark  and slice of moldy bread for dinner.

And they were thankful, he said.

Maybe I exaggerate.

But it is the time of the season where you can annoy your children or grandchildren with a variation on Bill Cosby’s statement that he walked fifteen miles in the snow to school every day. Uphill. Both ways. (And he was thankful.)

Today, take a minute and think of one of your characters and make a list of all the things for which they would think they’re thankful. The list isn’t necessarily the list of things they should be thankful for, but the list of things they are thankful for.

If your character isn’t in a place where thankfulness is part of their emotional landscape, then consider putting them through the exercise of trying to think of things to be thankful for.

We aren’t going to follow up on this list–it’s purely a tool to help you get to know a character better.

Time: 15 minutes

  1. November 26, 2014 10:46 am

    I’d be curious to know if anyone actually does this exercises?

  2. November 27, 2014 2:07 pm

    I am thankful for Chris Hamilton’s efforts to stimulate creative thought! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Chris.

  3. Chris Hamilton permalink
    November 29, 2014 3:36 pm

    John…Sometimes people do. It’s meant like a warm-up, something you can use to help you get the juices flowing.

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