The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.
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 🙂