Saturday, July 25, 2009

Imaginative Trial-and-Error for Characters

Some learn by commiting experience. The wise anticipate and use experience.

A probe into the memory of a meaningful event or situation provides possibilities for character development. Use a life experience to germinate from a story or poem viewed from a variety of angles.

Choose a significant event from your life you can use for a character. Name your character and place that person in your memory of a past event.

Write the details of an emotionally charged event to fill one page.
Why did the event occur? What importance did it have at the time?
What happened to your character before the situation?
After the situation did your character change? If not, why not?
What does your character observe in current time that he or she didn't perceive then?
What did the younger person not know then?
Did the event help your character understand him or herself?
In what ways did your character grow: intellectually, emotionally, socially?
What other forces were involved? What was hidden?
How did others react?
Reveal new insights about the event.

In life, we try not to translate all of our feelings into actions. In storytelling and poetry, they add to the intrigue. Picture your character before commiting the experience. What alternative modes of behavior and their consequences could provide additional ideas for story?

Use imaginative trial-and-error to try out different behaviors in the situation.

Creative Write: Use this exercise for both male and female characters. Use first and third person.

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