The Ice Cream Test: Adding Flavor To Your Characters

Alicia Gaile

Ever feel like your characters are a little flat? They just go through the motions you set for them without much personality. When I run into this problem I use the Ice Cream Test. It’s a small exercise that helps flesh out characters and focus on the way they think. Want to give it a try? Okay:

Imagine it’s a really hot day. What sort of frozen treat does your character make to cool off?

That’s it. It sounds simple enough, but that simple question can lead you down a rabbit hole of character analysis. To see how something as small as what kind of dessert they like can really say about your characters I’ll give you an example using the brothers in my WIP YA series.

  • Keith, the oldest is in his thirties–stubborn, no-nonsense, and enjoys hard work and manual labor. He would choose a large bowl of Rocky Road…

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