Hey everybody I’m back to, once again, talk about voice! As I said last week, I have a character that I wanted to develop a little further, so I decided to go ahead and try one of the exercises I found online.
The exercise that I used this week is from the website: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/28/plot-and-character/
I am working on a character named Geoffrey (Jeff for short), who basically works as a guide for Death. As a guide, he helps souls who have died and get them adjusted to the Afterlife in one way or another. This means that he’s not necessarily from this time period, but he has worked with many different kinds of people over the years, so, he has picked up various slang terms during his time (granted some of it is out of date).
My main problem with him was that I had a vague idea of his back story, his motivations, and even of what era he was from. I wanted to find an exercise that could help me further develop at least one of these points, that way it can give me a place to start in developing the other two parts.
The exercise on terribleminds.com is an interesting one, because it isn’t just an average character development of giving a character’s name, age, height etc. Instead, it had you focus on the character through creating a tagline for them (how would someone else perceive them) and then from there figure out the characters conflict, the obstacles/complications preventing them from achieving their goal etc. I only got as far as conflict, and then I see what kind of character Jeff would be.
*Last week I did show you how I wrote out the exercise and everything, but this week I’m not including that because with developing Jeff more, I also got to develop the plot a little more. So in other words, there are too many spoilers included in his character development for me to just casually post about it online.*
Overall, I would rate this exercise a 5/5 for character development. I think this is an interesting exercise that makes you think about the motivation of the character, and how that fits into the plot of the story. It’s very different from other exercises that I found or tried, which is also a huge plus. If the basic character development exercises haven’t really helped you in the past, then I would definitely recommend trying this one out.
In case you haven’t noticed, I frequently do not finish these exercises. It’s not because I think the exercise is useless or anything, actually I think it’s the opposite of that. If I can use an exercise to inspire me, I consider it a great exercise. This also means that if I need more help in the future, I can refer back to this exercise and keep going with it if I need to. The whole point of writing is to be creative, and sometimes we need to find different ways to inspire ourselves to do that. This can range from reading, to using writing prompts, to finding different writing exercises to improve your craft, all of it is important when working on writing a story.
Basically, you do you, as you are the one who knows best how to get yourself writing.If you need to go through the entire exercise, then go through the entire thing. If you need to just work on it bit by bit as your inspiration ebbs and flows, then do that. The whole point of using writing exercises and prompts is to help make your mind work in a different way and to give it some direction.
Anyways, now that I’m done rambling, that’s all I got for this post! Thank you for reading, I’ll see ya guys in the next one!