Monday, May 17, 2010

A Writing Challenge

While reading HAGS, SIRENS, & OTHER BAD GIRLS OF FANTASY I ran across a delightful short story. (More on that in a later post.) Allen Rousselle’s Band of Sisters is the back story to the sirens in Chapter 11 of Homer’s Odysseus. (SPOILER ALERT: It turns out the girls where just a barn band that Aphrodite tricked into asking for a favor. The poor children didn’t realize you never make a deal with the gods.

Rousselle approaches the topic with tongue firmly in cheek and the story is a joyous trip down fantasy’s lane of the ridicules.

So much so that it made me think there are thousands of back stories out there. What were Plato and Socrates like when they were dating in school? What was the horse thinking when Caligula brought him into the Senate? How about Captain Hook? How did he get his start? Michelangelo. Was he a pain in art class? The opportunities seems endless.

Now, for the challenge. Write a back story for you favorite (or least favorite) character in history. Imagine their history before history made then history. Have fun with it.

I imagine the romance writers will have a field day with Plato. What will the mystery writers do to Daniel Boone? I’m sure Marie Curie had a radiant personality as a child.

I’d love to see whatever you come up with. Let’s have fun with this.


  1. ooooooh the possibilities are endless!

  2. I love Napoleon Bonaparte...I wonder what he was like as a boy? Young, studious and serious? That's what I'd imagine. But what if he were a prankster? The kind who planted whoopee cushions beneath unsuspecting behinds or razzed hands with a spinning ring? Could be interesting to think about (never mind that those things didn't exist in those days...).