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Week 3 Writing Group February 19, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in Writing Group.
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For Week Two I proposed a minor character have a rant at the main character. I had the First Officer aboard the tramp freighter Ter Vitas have words with the Captain, Jarred, over his current relationship with a pirate. It lacked a bit of spice, so I added a table full of empty pint glasses and shot glasses, and it got messier, rawer.

I brought this to group, and was, not remonstrated with, but was told that while yes, anger can grow easily from alcohol, it does remove the emotional content and contact from the piece.

So the exercise this week, was to turn the mood around. Show a side character and their LOVE for the main character. It can be a monologue, a crush, a love letter, something that indicates the minor character loves the main character.

I suddenly thought back to my anger and hate story, where they characters were drunk, and thought- natural progression – drunken anger turns into drunk – I love youse.

But then I was called on it, and how that lacks an emotional contact with the subject. I was challenged to write the ‘love’ scene, without any alcohol involved, and if I could, with the same two men.

So that is my challenge this week. To have a bromance, an admission of love, between my First Officer and the captain.

I chose these two writing exercises so my writing group could get to know their established characters more. Its something they seem to want to do. Write shorter fiction around already established characters. They are enjoying looking at characters they already love and hate, from different angles and points of view.

I liked the ‘hate’ exercise because often people love their main characters. They may be flawed, but they are the GOOD guys. so it can be hard for you to show ‘hate’ or ‘anger’ towards them. You have invested time and energy in creating a hero to champion your cause, to drive your story onwards, so why would you want to take that character down a peg or two?

I love my characters too. I invest in them, I create them, and as such, I become fond of them. While I can put them in bad situations, I don’t want to kill them, and I don’t want to hate them. But, I am learning, not how to round a character out, but how to see them in different lights.

This is a good thing