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Writing Prompt: Who’s the Antagonist Here?

Did Dr. Seuss turn the antagonist-protagonist relationship on its head in The Grinch?  Hmmm… Let’s talk about it!


In Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch is the protagonist (main character) and yet he’s the bad guy. What he’s battling (the antagonist) is the whole idea


Exercise: Getting Unstuck

Sometimes we get stuck developing a character, creating a setting, or deciding what happens next in the plot. Here are two exercises to help open the flow of ideas.



Clustering is a diagramming method for gathering and organizing ideas that you do on paper, a brainstorming method


Exercise: Point of View & Character Depth

Place the main character from your story in a setting that’s not in your plot (the mall, a classroom, your own home, etc.) Write a scene in the First Person Viewpoint with your main character narrating his/her reaction to the setting.

Then write the same scene in Third Person Limited.


“Show, Don’t Tell” Exercise # 2

Take a character from your book and place him or her in a familiar setting (your character’s room, classroom, backyard, etc.)

Write a scene in which your character moves through that setting, and show that he/she is angry without ever using the words “angry” or “anger”. Now place your


“Show, Don’t Tell” Exercise # 1

Rewrite the following sentences in ways that show instead of tell. Use action, dialogue and/or the five senses. Try to avoid “to be” verbs such as

is, was, were, are, as well as the word felt which are often telling verbs. Also try not to use adjectives and adverbs.


Exercise: Point of View

If you’re writing a picture book, try using the Omniscient Point of View for a draft to see how the book changes.

Is it absolutely necessary to treat all the characters the same, or can you better tell the story by following one character through the plot? Which will make