Thursday, February 2, 2012

What do YOU Live For?

During the SCBWI conference this past weekend, I attended a (fantastic, informative, and inspiring) breakout session on Revision with Cheryl Klein.  During her talk, she mentioned a project that she had heard about on NPR, where a reporter travelled around the country asking people a series of three questions:

What do you live for?
What would you kill for?
What would you die for?

And, oh, did my thoughts start churning!  Those three questions embody a person's passion, their drive, who they are and who they believe themselves to be.

This tomb was built by a man who lived for the woman he loved... (photo by me, 2009-- my first glimpse of the Taj)
I don't know if I can answer all three questions for myself-- at least not today, but for my characters?  I am their creator and they are teenagers... life is so much more black and white and passion is so much more powerful during your teen years.  That's one reason why I love writing for and about teens.

I'm sticking with Sara and Jer, since they've already made an appearance on this blog.  Kids, you're in the hot seat:

What do you live for?  I live for my photographs.  I live to capture the world so that others can see all of the amazing things in it.
What would you kill for? A scholarship to a really great photojournalism program.
What would you die for?  Wow.  Uhm, to protect my sister?

What do you live for?  My camera.  Is that a big surprise?
What would you kill for? I'd kill for a slice of pizza right now.  Or a hoagie.
What would you die for? I want to say that I'd die in some dramatic way for some amazing cause, but really...I'd die to keep Sara safe.

What about you and your characters?  How would you/they answer?


  1. Those are some great questions to ask yourself and could lead to some really excellent story ideas. Might just have to do this... :-)

  2. You will have to let me know when you do, because I'm so curious to see how other people (and their characters) would answer these questions!