Thursday, May 13, 2010


Ps 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (NIV)
Wow, we’re on the fifth lesson at F2K (the free writing course at WVU.) These seven weeks go by so fast, we’re almost ready to start a new one. That’s a good thing because we get more and more people learning the craft of writing, whether for a living or for a hobby, writing and learning is what life is all about. Okay, not really but that’s what it seems like to me. :)

This week we’re hopping into Characterization and this is where we learn our characters minds. We dig deep within, pull out our best, and place it on the boards. Through dialog with someone, say a job interview, or doctor, or whoever you choose to interview your character, you will ask questions that will bring up emotions in your character, have it all bubble at the surface, and you will spray your reader with insight.

Now some people have many characters in their story, of course, and this is a good exercise to practice on all your characters. Take John and feed him to the psych ward, or maybe Jane, is trying out for the police Academy, or maybe, a mother is scolding her child and is questioning where the said child has been.

Through this dialog phase, our characters will take on new meaning for us. We’ll see them as living entity’s. These characters will then haunt our every step in our day until we write and get everything down on paper and we can see where they have come from and where they are going.

Sometimes, the interviewee becomes more a part of the story because he/she is more interesting. That is okay if this happens, we just just squeeze them in there but always remember the main character is going to need depth. With depth, you character will add living color to your palette of words.

While you’re molding and shaping your character, many different elements will surface and you’ll find yourself on a treadmill of writing. Words will come faster and faster, paragraphs will leap off the page and in the end you’ll have a story with a rainbow of colorful people on your page.

Through this lesson, you will surely have lightning flashing all over the place as you give your characters the sizzle that they need. What better way to get a story constructed than to have in depth, unique characters bouncing off your page?

The choice is yours. Cardboard cutouts of what other authors have already done, or a magical reprieve into the land of mystical destiny? I choose Mystical Destiny any old time. :)


June said...

Mystical Destiny? Ah, a favorite spot of mine! Character creation is one of my favorite parts of writing. (After creating a world, maybe...)

You're inspiring, Joni!

joni said...

Thanks June...I do try. :)

And when I'm not trying, I'm off creating. :)