I’m in Santa Fe for a few days visiting family but Chris has been sending me email updates about what’s going on in NYC. Today he told me he felt like he was trapped behind enemy lines because Team USA is playing Team Canada in the finals of the World Junior Hockey Championships. He plans to find a bar to watch the game in, wearing a Canada shirt, surrounded by Americans.
This made me think of a new writing exercise.
Consider a situation where your character would find themselves behind enemy lines. Would it be a sporting event in a strange city? Foreign soil during a war? Or just meeting the in-laws for the first time?
How would your character react?
Would they try to blend in with the enemy like the British officer in Inglorious Basterds? Or appear to be a friend of the enemy like Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping and Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation? Or maybe they wouldn’t try to hide their true allegiance at all like Michael Myers in Halloween?
By taking a moment to imagine your character in an uncomfortable/unsafe territory and determining how they would react, you can learn a lot about what’s important to them and how they’d handle less “dangerous” situations.
Good luck and happy writing.