Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Interviewing my character

This morning I did another exercise from, or inspired by, The Novelist's Notebook. The original exercise was a questionnaire--pet's name, car the character drives, etc. It was pretty basic and suitable for an exercise at the very beginning of dreaming up a story.

At the later stage where I am now, it might be a little helpful as a "gut check" to hunt around for some superficial things about a character that it might be worth thinking about.

But I re-imagined the exercise as an interview with my character--almost like a psych evaluation. The character is a child and I imagined him sitting in the chair in front of my writing chair while I asked him some of those questions (many were only appropriate to adults). It was like talking with my imaginary friend, and as he responded I made notes the way my shrink does when I have a session. The point was less about the factual information but more about HOW he would answer.

So, starting at the top of the questionnaire, asking his name, which I already know, I imagined how he would respond to me asking his name.

This did wonders to start to bring him to life for me in different ways. I started to notice his vulnerability and other personality traits in different ways.

No change from my goals yesterday--still hoping that steadily doing these exercises will give me the confidence and inspiration to launch into the rewrite stage.

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