Characters are one shade of light in a dark room. – Daniel Greene
Back to the grind. The warm up in the Midwest must be affecting my brain like the rest of Minnesota. Everyone is outside walking their pets. I even saw one person carrying their cat who meowed the whole time but that’s another topic all together. The exciting part is that we’re walking around in our trendy sweat suits and spring jackets. One layer of fluff has been taken off and we’re all smiles about it up here. Warm weather is an event up here.
Now, it’s time to focus on our topic for this week. Maybe this is selfish but I want to work on shaping my characters a little bit better. After all these exercises, I realized that my way of writing was kind of sloppy. I don’t outline. I do fill out character sheets but when I look their too skimpy. Since, the exercises that I’ve shared have helped, I’m not going to stop myself. The world building exercises of last month really helped put my fictional world into focus. I have a new sheet filled with the colors of the world, a more detailed history before my characters inserted themselves, and the stakes for story are better set. Yes, just in case you’ve been following – you’re not crazy this is another novel I have going that’s set in a fantasy world.
Using the same tools that I’ve picked up from other fantasy authors, I’m going to starting using my chisel. Following yesterday’s post, since I’m no Michael Angelo, I’m going to take baby steps. The difference is that I have better tools in belt than before, and I’ve learned to listen better. At the end of this week, my goal is to have something down on paper even if it’s a first sketch of their character. My skimpy character sheets will turn into two or more.
Why? I realized that my blocks are because of lack of detail. I need to get to know my characters better. I stopped because they fade in and out and that’s not what I want my audience to read. According to fantasy writer, Daniel Greene, characters are one shape of light in a dark room. The exercise he shares is to think of a dark room with your characters. They should be the only light. What color do they give off when you see them? In other words, they should be what’s in focus during the telling of your story. Settings are just backdrops.
How great would it be if your audiences wished your characters, at least your hero, was real while they read or when they finished your book? Let’s face it – we all get enough of Murphy and Universal laws. Let them shine through your story. David Mamet had a moment of pride as an writer when audience members stood up shouting with anger during his plays. The moments were so real and relatable that the lines of reality blurred. Sadly, I shouldn’t have to write a disclaimer but know that I’m talking about moments of inspiration or overcoming through heroes. I define having a winning moment to be when a nerd triumphs over a bully
Writing Engaging Fantasy Characters with Daniel Greene
https://youtu.be/WyTixwXjemM Follow as I post on my progress throughout the month and share the experience.
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