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Friday, January 22, 2010
Turn It Around, Upside Down and Inside Out
As a writer, you have to create characters that stand out, distinguishing themselves from other characters in your story. This is one of you major responsibilities. Here's an exercise that will help you with the task.
First, let's start with a thought experiment. Think of someone you greatly admire, someone you have put on a high pedestal. Make a list of this person's traits, personality and characteristics. Write a paragraph or two describing this person's behavior in situations that would challenge the composure, dignity and patience of the average person.
Second, take what you have just written and rewrite it to show your hero in a negative light. Put as negative slant on this person as possible. Since no person has a flawless character, look for those flaws. Even positive acts and good intentions can have negative, unintended consequences. Take your hero to task for failing to anticipate anything that may have gone wrong. Write you champion's obituary from the point of view of his worst enemy.
Third, change your hero's gender and name. Now you have a completely new character. Neat trick, huh?
My first love was reading, and my second love was writing. Deciding how to string words together fascinates me.
My interests and pursuits are wide ranging. I'm a self-employed educational entrepreneur and book packager. During my career I have worked as a consultant, professor, business owner, author and ghostwriter.