Friday, November 2, 2007

More On Writing

507097_typewriter WE LEFT OFF about writing an outline.  As I said, this is a key to the whole business, the bones, the energy, the life force.  Get this right and the rest will flow.   I guarantee it. You add plot, back story, characters, location etc.
You probably realize as you construct your outline, that characters start to pop up, pesky creatures that they are.  They tend to have a life of their own.  Although CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE books use YOU as the main character, I don’t advise that except in interactive formats.  Nor do I like the first person ‘I ‘as a character.  It is too limiting, not enough room to describe the character, too personalized, too easy to get your own ego in there.  Third person works best, I think.
So, you have a gist, an outline or part of an outline, and now characters are screaming to be let out to be heard. Now write complete role profiles or descriptions of these characters. When I say complete I mean 5 or more single spaced pages for each character.  Cover the following:
1)    physical description
2)    likes and dislikes including clothes, food, music, friends, etc.
3)    back story---a short but complete bio of the character most of which will never appears in the book.
4)    Strengths and weaknesses
5)    Relationship to other characters as friends or enemies.
6)    Goals of the character in the story.
HeroThis should be fun.  I like doing it.  Character line up should probably include:  hero, two close supporters; anti-hero, two close supporters; two or more neutral characters who are unpredictable as to allegiance.
Remember, you don’t have to follow any of this.  If you don’t like this approach, do it your way.
Read Joseph Campbell’s HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES; it’s an amazing guide to most story telling.  Lucas used it in Star Wars.  Take your time reading it, then re-read it.
Patience and persistence mixed with some talent is all you need.

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