Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WALKING IN OUR CHARACTERS SHOES: SEVEN SUGGESTIONS FOR BETTER CHARACTERS by Darlene Beck Jacobson



Since July is the seventh month of the year, and a summer month as well, today’s post will get you outside and offer some tricks to deepen character development.

S unshine and fresh air are proven to boost endorphins and brain function.  Take your “homebody” character outdoors as you go for a walk and see what happens.  What will he notice or ignore?  How does he react when you remove all the comforts of home and he has to use his wits to survive in a foreign environment? 

E njoy something you’ve never tried before.  Learn exotic dancing, origami, or scuba diving.  Try a new food.  Teach a new skill to someone else.  Was it easy or hard?  Now teach the same thing to your character.  Is she a willing learner or a reluctant one?  How does she react to changes big and small?  

V ary your routine.  Shaking things up in our own world, can shake things loose and get new ideas flowing.  Now turn your characters’ routine upside down.  How does he cope?  Does he fall apart or find inner strength he never knew he had?

E xplore.  Any new place or thing.  A church, cemetery, wooded area, hole in the ground, cave, underneath a bridge, abandoned building, mountain top.  What senses are aroused and what feelings come to the surface in such a place?  Peace, fear, sadness.  What would your character do in such a place?  Chances are, the same character might react differently to being alone in the settings below. 





N otice things you’ve passed or ignored before.  What’s under a rock, hiding in a corner, hanging on a wall?  Be a spy and look for details in mundane things.  Now have your character find a common object that she can use in a surprising way.

Okay…so this is really only FIVE suggestions.  Care to share two of your own ideas for shaking up characters?

3 comments:

  1. These are fantastic! Sometimes, you've got to shake up your own life in order to dive deeper into your work...

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  2. I love this permission to improve my writing by giving myself a richer diet of experiences...

    ReplyDelete