Writing Scenes In Unique Perspectives #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

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Thank you Raimey!

***

Years ago, I attended a leadership communication course. I learned how to handle confrontations in the workplace. The key is to remember this formula: every action between two or more people contains an instance, a generated feeling, and a reaction or response. I also learned in the course of that workshop, the importance our backstories play in the generated feeling and the end result/response. We all tell a different story based on unique and different key findings from our pasts. We all need to realize we might not always be right.

As I’ve discovered, this formula is also true in writing.

Today, I’m sharing a great writing exercise to develop ultimate conflict and to also reflect on different points of view and character interest in telling the story. This exercise was something I encountered in 90 Days to Your Novel. Completing it changed the way I write my character voices and action scenes.

Here’s my gentle interpretation:

 

  • Pick three to four characters in your book. I picked 4, 2 major and 2 minor characters.
  • Put them all in the same scene. Write out their views based on their backgrounds and what you know is true about their character and their voices.
  • Then, make something go wrong where they question the course of their life or the instance changes them in such a way they can’t go back.
  • Next, reflect on each character and what they mean to your protagonist.

 

In my exercise, I wrote about a life changing death of an important character to two main characters and two minor characters. I hand wrote my ideas in a quad drawn graphic organizer with each character name in a box. I wrote out details of the where and the what for each character when the earth shattering news hit them. I wrote out the action, the thinking, and their unique and different reactions based on their backgrounds. Then I reflected on the differences.

The important part is to let the exercise sit for a day or two before you revisit it.  After reading my reflection I learned more in that two-hour writing period than I had all year.

It taught me the values in flashback scenes,  points of view, and the possibility of combining some of the reflections in present action scenes. It taught me something about life for my books.

My purpose for today’s post you might wonder? If you haven’t done something like this, try it. It’s a fun way to break out of the ordinary writing routine and dig into all of your characters.

Thank you for stopping in today. I hope I helped give you something new to think about 🙂

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on October 18, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. I’ve been told I need to dig deeper into my characters, to really understand them. This could be a good way to accomplish that. Thanks for the idea!

  2. That’s a great exercise to get to know your characters. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. That’s an interesting exercise. Our past experiences can really make reactions different.

  4. Character-building exercises are always difficult for me to do, but I’ll have to try this one out. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What an interesting exercise and absolutely relevant. We are the product of our pasts, after all. I’m definitely trying this one out. Thanks!

  6. This sounds like a great way to battle writer’s block and really get into your character’s heads.

    Thanks for sharing

  7. That’s a great exercise. I think for me it’s about letting it sit for a few days. Every time I do, I remember things that would make at least one thing not plausible. It could something I forgot about the background of the character or simply a rule of the world I overlooked.
    But this exercise is very helpful. Something to consider for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This sounds like a great exercise and already has my cogs turning. What kind of incident could I make my characters face? Hmmm…

  9. I’ve gone through a scene, adding each character’s reactions. I do this one at a time with breaks between. It sure bumped up the conflict and enhanced the scene. That’s as close as I’ve gotten to your exercise. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  10. What a useful exercise! Could see it changing the whole dynamic between people — and moving the plot forward….

  11. What a great exercise. I write scenes as to how it impacts the main characters, but never thought much about minor characters. I’ll have to try this when I get stuck in a scene.

  12. This is a wonderful idea! How do you pick the event to use?

  13. Hi! I love this idea! I need to find new things to do to keep myself going and make sure I’m not just on autopilot. I’m going to try this 🙂
    Leslie

  14. Great exercise for really getting to know your characters. Thanks for sharing!

  15. This sounds like a fun, possibly scary, exercise. I can see why it help you learn more about your characters.

  16. Excellent exercise, Erka. Sometimes I can’t decide which pov to use for a scene. The way I resolve it is to go with the character who has the strongest emotional reaction to the action. This exercise can definitely show who that it. 🙂

    • It was so eye opening for me Diana. In fact it really helped me explain explore how to integrate the characters together too in different scenes. Thank you for stopping in today 🙂

  17. This sounds like a great exercise that would really help to get to know those characters better. Thanks for the tip.

  18. Victoria Marie Lees

    Thanks for this idea, Erika. I need to try it. Enjoy your day!

  19. It sounds like an interesting idea. Perhaps a bit too overwhelming for me, considering I’ve got 40 characters just in this one book…

  20. It’s always nice to spend a little extra time with your characters. I’m also fond of putting characters together, particularly characters who never meet in the actual story.

    Another challenge is balancing what you reveal about your characters and how. On the one hand you want audiences to understand your characters, but you also want the audience to make those leaps on their own, rather than simply embed the answers into the text itself.

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