Young people (15 – 29 years). It can even be used when working with adults.
75 minutes: 45 minutes for writing and 30 minutes for reflections
A mentee is given a piece of paper and a pen (purposefully old-school and not digital) and instructed to take any character from literature, pop culture or their past and briefly think about their main characteristics, traits, distinctions, etc.
They should be given a guiding emotion that will steer their story and be rooted in something their character wants/needs (intention, dream, ambition). This intention could be something the character didn’t get in real life/their original story, and now the mentee is rewriting their story.
Then their task is to rewrite their protagonist’s story: shifting the narratives as they deem suitable. If it was a real-life hero, make it a villain or the victim. And vice versa. If it was an unsuccessful author, make them a best-selling novelist. Being creative in looking at other, even what-if perspectives, is essential. They have 45 minutes to do so. Here, they should know that their handwriting doesn’t matter. The paragraphs don’t have to look perfect – they don’t need the paragraphs if you feel like it.
After the “writing marathon”, they are asked to take 5 minutes and underline each trait, characteristic, etc. of the character they borrowed from themselves. To see if their desires, dreams, and intentions match too. And to try and identify the characters in their lives.
The final part is reserved for some reflection guiding questions, such as Why do you think the protagonist wanted that? Is that something you need/want? How can you (two) obtain it? What will happen if you don’t? What can be your next steps? Or more/less specific ones, depending on the context.
LIST OF MATERIALS
Pieces of paper and pens.