Bucket Lists

A while ago I posted on how to create more complex characters. Today I thought I’d add to that list by suggesting that your characters have a bucket list. What are some things that they’d love to do? Do they want to try something that scares them? Do they want to travel, learn something new, climb a mountain?

Today I’m sharing five things from my own bucket list.

1.) Travel to Scotland.

I fell in love with Scotland after reading The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter when I was seventeen. A part of my series is even set there. I mean, look at this picture. You definitely want to go too now, right? Last year I found out that some of my ancestors may have come from Scotland. I was pretty excited.



2.) Learn one of those Regency era, Jane Austen style dances.

I love Jane Austen’s books and most of the movie adaptions. I even liked Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’m pretty sure Matt Smith played the best Mr. Collins I’ve seen so far. 🙂



3.) Learn JKD/Jeet Kune Do

My dad is a martial artist and being something of a tomboy growing up I always pestered him to teach me. I’d love to be more disciplined and really do some training. I think this one goes well with number two, especially if there are zombies involved.



4.) Scuba Diving

Several people on my dad’s side of the family are certified divers. I love swimming but this is something I’ve never done.



Not this:



5) Learn another language.

I took Spanish in high school but I’d love to learn Japanese.



What’s on your character’s bucket list? What’s on your bucket list? I guess I should probably add getting published to mine.




About Brittany Valentine

Saved by grace, sibling one of eight, part-timer by day, speculative fiction writer by night. Working on a series called The Chronicles of Aura.

9 comments on “Bucket Lists

  1. Wow, your dad’s a martial artist! What style? Any? Or is he a practitioner of JKD, like you want to be?

    Many, many years ago, I had a friend who was a bodybuilder. He got frustrated and bored because the limits of his genetics wouldn’t let him go as far as he wanted without using steroids, and he wasn’t interested. He actually competed a couple of times as I recall; Mr. Junior Northern California, maybe? (Don’t recall.)

    Anyway, he got bored with it so he took up karate as a way of alleviating the boredom while still getting exercise. He found one of the top schools in the state near his home (of course; he’s always been blessed like that, LOL), and the last time I talked to him he’d achieved second degree black belt. (It took something like fifteen years to get there in his style, which was Shoren-Ryu, I think, and it was more than ten years ago; I can’t imagine how far he’s gotten now, although marriage and children might have intervened.)

    To make a long story longer, not too long after he got into the martial arts, I wanted to follow along too. I loved it! But, two things were tough – I wasn’t near one of the top schools, so I had to settle on one near my home, and I wasn’t financially stable in those days and couldn’t keep up with the costs. Also, I met a woman who ended up moving back to her hometown in the Midwest, and being the love-sick puppy I was, I followed her from California (where we met) in hopes she’d marry me…and, y’know, I’d get a steady job. But that’s another story.

    Now, I’m fat and old and still don’t live near any good martial arts training centers, but BOY would I love to have taken up JKD. (Which, by the way, is NOT a style, but a philosophy.) Bucket list item? Well, only if the Lord sees fit to heal my broken spine that’s stopped me from doing a lot of things I love.

    And now, I have to go back and re-read this comment to make sure I didn’t make a reference to marital arts instead of martial arts. 🙂

  2. What a fun idea to flesh out characters! I’ll have to think about this. 🙂

    • I love fleshing out characters. I probably get too into it. I keep telling myself to focus on my editing now but it’s so much more fun to add things to my character lists. 🙂

  3. In the days long before it was called a bucket list, I stumbled across a writing book that had one of those bio lists for building characters. One of the items was “dreams and goals” with “not involving the story-line” parenthetically added. It puzzled me for a while because most other how-to-write books were basically telling me discard anything not absolutely pertinent to the story.
    But then, I saw how flat my characters were when their only motivations and thoughts were
    about getting from A to Z in the plot. Little details such as the bucket list really does make them more believable, fleshes them out.

    • Ooops–didn’t notice I bumped the enter key mid-sentence. :/

      • Haha, I do stuff like that all the time. Go Teen Writers shared some character sheets that were really great too. They asked questions I never would have thought of. I printed some out and added them to the binder.

  4. Hmmm… I’ll have to think about this! I don’t know if my characters themselves have ever thought beyond their current crisis (since they’re not particularly sure they’ll survive)!

    As for your bucket list, that image you chose makes me want to add Scotland to mine! Goodness!

  5. Survival is the bucket list end all for sure! 😉 And I know! I keep torturing myself by liking all these Scotland photography pages on facebook.

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