Novel Prep: Exercise 3

Exercise 3: Write a single sentence exposing the dark side of things – or the silver lining, if it’s a negative trait – to each of the five paragraphs (six, in my case) from Exercise 2.


  1. Hevel looks up to his older brother, but chose a different path. Whereas Kayin chose to be an architect and farmer, Hevel chose to be a hunter and scout. Even after their separate careers were chosen, though, Hevel continues to seek Kayin’s advice on life in general. Opposed: Recently, Hevel has started to realize just how different their lives are, and how much he can’t go to his brother for advice on.
  2. Hevel is a dedicated follower of his people’s god, though he believes faith is a private matter. Part of his enjoyment of his hunting profession is the excuse it gives him to skip various “required” religious meetings (though there are special holidays that even he cannot avoid). Even so, he prays daily and feels he is closer to his god than most of those who attend regular worship. Opposed: The new priestess has noticed his absence, and has made it her personal mission to attend regular services.
  3. Charisma and a head for tactics helped Hevel during his term in the militia. He advanced through the scouts, and eventually earned the rank of Lieutenant of the South Wall at an unprecedented age. Before he left the service, everyone assumed he would stay in and become the next Captain of the Guard. Opposed: His abrupt departure from the militia left him with several enemies, most notably the current Captain of the Guard.
  4. After his term in the militia was over, Hevel took up the profession of hunter. Even here, Hevel has distinguished himself as a leader, having led several expeditions to hunt some of the more fearsome beasts in the mountains. Still, when Hevel feels the need to think deeply upon important matters, he always chooses to hunt alone. Opposed: Lately, the prey has been more plentiful…and more ferocious.
  5. Hevel is notorious for his mischievous nature, but rarely gets in trouble. His pranks are good natured, and his charming smile gets him out of whatever small amount of trouble his pranks get him into. Most often, he talks his brother and friends into aiding him in his mischief-making. Opposed: Even though they’ve often been amused by his pranks in the past, the people of Freepass are starting to grumble.
  6. The love of Hevel’s life was a foreign girl named Alina, who lived in the town itself. It is forbidden to marry a foreigner, so their love affair was kept secret. Foreigners are given a five year pass to live inside the town, and must leave to their respective country thereafter; it has been four years since she departed… Opposed: As is often the case amongst family business interests in Freepass, Alina’s father was replaced with her Uncle, who has been smuggling the lovers’ letters back and forth.

This one was a lot of fun – I was beginning to feel like I was creating a rather wooden character, but this exercise really fleshed him (and the plot) out a bit. I still haven’t touched on the main plot of the book, but these exercises have really given me a number of sub-plots to play with! Number 4, for example, took me forever to come up with something opposed, but when I did, it changed quite a few ideas I had in mind, and I couldn’t help but smile. You’ll get more of a hint tomorrow, I’m sure.


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