Happy Wednesday, my writing companions of the world wide web! And welcome, as always, to the Writers’ Cafe!
I just had a moment. I looked down at my watch to check the date & experienced a just a teensy bit of a conniption when it dawned on me that Novel in November kicks off in a mere 19 days! But of course it was mostly a conniption of joy… obviously.
So Bri & I are making it our aim to distill all the hoards of writing exercises out there to bring you only the best, the most useful & inspiring to get the gears going on churning out your story in November. In fact, we feel a bit like Bilbo hunting the Arkenstone amidst the hoards of gems in Erebor! Only we haven’t got a dragon to reckon with… just a ticking clock, which is nearly as vicious
Anyway, earlier this week, Bri posted about starting points – ie. some stories begin with a character, others with a setting or a scenario or even a “what if?”. But wherever you begin your story, you want to set your rudder early on to writing the story that’s going to grab the attention & maybe even the hearts of your readers. And in order to do that, you must work hard at one crucial ingredient: your POV (point of view) character.
Why is the main character so critical? Because, fact is, readers (& most writers) are human. And the way we connect with a story is via shared experience & empathy with the the human or human-like character the story revolves around. Simple enough.
But creating that character that is both believable & interesting enough to get under your readers’ skin… not so simple.
But fear not! It is doable with effort. And here’s an exercise that’s going to help you out tremendously! Quick advisory note: If you’ve not yet filled out Bri’s character check-point list, you might want to do that first to set the foundations. Now for your assignment:
Spend 15-20 minutes either 1) writing a journal entry as your main character, or 2) interview your main character.
You may wish to set the journal entry/ interview just before or after the inciting incident in your story (if you know what it is yet, of course… don’t worry if you don’t!).
When you’ve finished, read it back. Did anything surprise you about your character? Are there any little quirks you might build on in the story? Any shining character qualities you could build a scene around?
Now think about POV. If your character has a strong or interesting voice, maybe it’s worth considering writing in 1st person…?
Now off you go, and remember to ENJOY the exercise. You get to make a new friend of your very own creation. It’s like having an imaginary friend again!
And please, PLEASE let us know how it goes in the comments below. We’d love to meet your characters too!