Writing Prompt: Body Sharing

Its the month of spooky journal prompts!!

Someone contacts your character (letter, phone, in person, etc) and tells them that your character is wearing a body that used to be theirs. They are contacting you because it is necessary for your survival…

There are a million paths to take from this one! Have fun and be sure to send your story or poem to alchemistreview@gmail.com for our fall writing contest!

Marjorie Carter: Fiction Editor

Marjorie is a senior at UIS majoring in English and this is her third year on the Alchemist Review. This year she is excited to serve remotely as a fiction editor and give other students the opportunity to have their creative writing published in a longstanding literary journal. In addition to attending UIS, she is a mother of two boys and she works as a legal assistant with the goal of attending law school after completing her undergraduate degree.

Author Spotlight

Roald Dahl is the masterful author of James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He was born September 13, 1916 and died on November 23 1990. After WWII, his writing career began. What started with a few short stories in news magazines ended with some of the most beloved children’s stories of all time. He took inspiration from his childhood to write these marvelous adventures. For example, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was inspired by his favorite candy store. His stories sprinkle humor over serious topics, making them enjoyable and relatable to children and adults. From the words of the man himself, “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest of men.” For more information and inspiration, check out his official website: https://www.roalddahl.com/home/grown-ups


roald dahl


Advice for Creating a Character!

Creating a character that is believable and lifelike may be one of the hardest things to do! They may be lifelike in your mind, but creating that on the page is not as easy! Here are some tips to help with that! Feel free to leave some feedback!

  • Write the character twice, once to fall in love and again to be disgusted! This will allow you to pick apart their best and worst qualities!
  • Give them an obsession and/or a quirk! I dont know about you, but I don’t know anyone who isn’t obsessed with at least one thing!
  • Give your character some flaws! I know you love your characters, but really, they are not saints. If you want them to be believed, they need to be relatable. That means flaws and weaknesses!
  • Give them some distinguishing markers! A scar, hair color, eye color, etc. Something to make them stand out a little bit, whether good or bad!
  • Allow your good characters to do bad things and bad characters to do good things! This makes your characters more dynamic and complex.
  • They could probably use a psychic wound! The past haunts, traumatizes, and affects all of us. This is where a backstory can help out!
  • Allow room for blind spots! Blind spots are the things about ourselves that others see, but we do not. These are usually compulsive actions, but be creative!
  • Take a personality test for them! This allows you to ensure your characters are not you! It will also allow you to think if how they will respond to the situations you put them in.
  • Personal Contradictions! We all contradict ourselves, let your characters do that too!
  • Act it out! This is especially great for creating dialogue! If it feels unnatural, guess what, it probably is…
  • Allow your characters to wander from the path! Life never goes in a straight line, and people don’t walk a straight path. Allow your characters to take detours, to stray a little bit, to even make a u-turn, or even let them go the wrong way for a bit of time.