Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Month of Fridays continued...


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Challenge!

Going to the places you don't wish to go is the theme of today's challenge. What do I mean by this?  I want us all to look at whatever writing or creating we are doing and see if there is a blind spot we're ignoring. Of course there will be for most of us. I think mine might be parenting and while my books are unfailingly about being a parent I think I'm not reaching the very bottom of the mean pit that lives in my heart about what being a parent is. Oh, don't get me wrong - I have a talent for spinning positive AND I want my writing to reflect the whole of it - not just the shiny bits.
So - big challenge - any ideas how to do this, Jan?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.
I want you to take your protagonist and put her in a circle of people that she knows - that live perhaps in the story you are telling. It doesn't have to be a circle of the closest people to her but it could include some of them. It could also include the bit players in her life - the bar tender in chapter four, the Lebanese guy at the corner store, a teacher she dreams about in chapter 18 - you get the idea.  So, you've got your protagonist in a group of about seven people and you imagine that she thanks them for showing up and she asks them to tell her what she's been ignoring about her story that is crucial. And then you have each of them hold the talking stick or the eagle feather or any symbol you like and tell her their truth about her.
I'm about to do this so let me know how it works with you.  What I'll do is imagine it and then write in long hand in the book I keep for all things about 'True' my work in progress.

10 comments:

grrl + dog said...

can't imagine writing about this, let alone doing it in person...

truth time.

Jan Morrison said...

Oh, Denise, sure you could! You are fearless...

Clarissa Draper said...

It's a great challenge because it puts your character in a place that forces you, the writer, to really get to know her. Especially if the writer really chooses to let the character out of the box they put him/her in.

RosieC said...

This is a great idea. I'll try this soon. Thanks for the idea.

I'm curious how this went for you when you tried this last year.

Carol Kilgore said...

"...argument with a cement pillar in a badly designed parking garage." on Hart's blog ... I spewed coffee. Sorry about your door, but I love, love, love that description :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Actually, I just want to find that building in real life and take photos of it!

Judy Harper said...

Jan-These challenges, are for at home use? They're not for doing and sharing? Just curious.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - You offer the most interesting, interesting ways to get to know our characters better!! Thanks!

Helen Ginger said...

Very creative idea. I like it. I may try it with the book I'm currently writing.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi all!
Let's see now...
Clarissa - exactly! And the thing is, and I know this is a mind-f@#$%&*, but we create the box and we create the way out of it. Obviously! But we still need to go looking.

Rosie - it was very helpful - it is in the notebook that I keep for my books on the go and it revealed lots about my protagonist (and the plot) that had been hidden from me.

Carol - that car was visiting me this evening with the friend that I gave it to. She's getting it fixed. Me, I just drove her wounded.

Diane - take the train to Montreal ...as you glide into town, you will find that building - it may have different graffiti on it but it will be there!

Judy - they are challenges for people to take as they see fit - mostly they are designed for writers but my earlier ones were for anyone wanting to dive deeper into their creativity. You can share them as you wish.

Margot - thank you! I like that positive stroke - I'm going to keep it.

Helen - go for it - it did help me and I think I need to do it again.