Character and Story Exercises
Just last week my writer friend mentioned how she writes side short stories using characters from her work-in-progress. Later on, I told her about how I tried to change my setting (I actually wanted to turn my contemporary YA into a western) and had written a new first chapter and had also brainstormed with my daughter about all the period changes I would have to make. During our conversation, I realized, although different, they both ended up being methods of character and story examination. Because even though, after a week, I gave up on the western idea, there were a lot of things I got out of this little detour that I don’t think would’ve ever occurred to me if this had not happened. (Be warned, one day I will write my cowboy novel!)
I know there are a lot of different writing exercises out there, like Character Questionnaires – And I’m sure they help a lot of writers get inside their character’s head, but I look at them with complete and utter dread. When the writing process stops being enjoyable, that is when I stop writing.
So this has me pondering new ways to a deeper understanding of my characters and storyline that I won’t detest doing or feel is a waste of time. I’m not sure I would go as far as trying to rewrite my novel into another era again, but I do realize that getting my thoughts away from the novel itself can be valuable.
Love and Laughter,