Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Character exercises

I'll write some other time about where I get the writing exercises that I do and how they fit into my process for drafting or rewriting.

The one I did this morning is from a book called The Novelist's Notebook by Laurie Henry. It's structured a lot like a workbook that would accompany a pupil's textbook. It's probably the most helpful thing I've ever seen for just helping me get unstuck. The exercises are all very creative but very practical--more about craft than helping you imagine original scenarios.

This morning I did one that helps focus on character motivation. Make three columns labeled a.) the character; b.) their immediate goal; c.) their ultimate motivation.

I started with very minor characters and then antagonists and finally my protagonist and spent about an hour freewriting. I did help improve my clarity a little more.

I'm hoping that with a little dose like that every day before long I'll have the confidence to start the rewrite.

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