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  • can anyone suggest...
    by Freebird at 15:01 on 30 September 2013
    some writing exercises I can do to really get into the head of each of my characters? I'm starting a new novel and I want to really establish the characters in my mind before I start this time.
  • Re: can anyone suggest...
    by Anna Reynolds at 15:09 on 30 September 2013
    I always use this one- it's from the Creative Writing Coursebook. Write in first person present tense:
    100w on the character's childhood bed- concentrating on the 5 senses, being in the moment
    100w on the character's present bed- ditto
    100 w on the character's fantasy bed.
    Great way to get to the heart of the character I find.
  • Re: can anyone suggest...
    by EmmaD at 15:15 on 30 September 2013
    1) Do what it says here for any characters who really matter : http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2013/03/characterisation-in-action.html

    2) Imagine an encounter between two of them - either a situation from the novel, or something which happens off-stage, or something completely different.

    NB: In some ways, something not-in-the-novel is the most fruitful, becase you're more free: you're not having to make it fit the engineering of the plot and story, and can let your imagination run with its instinctive sense of who these people are, which could go anywhere...

    a) Write it in first person, in the voice and the PoV of one of them.

    b) Re-write it in first person, in the voice and PoV of the other.

    c) Then re-write it in third person, in the voice of the narrative but allowing the PoV character's voice to colour that, switching PoV once wherever in the scene it will have the most effect.

    Edited by EmmaD at 16:06:00 on 30 September 2013
  • Re: can anyone suggest...
    by Freebird at 11:40 on 01 October 2013
    brilliant, thanks both.

    I've done that bed one before, on a creative writing course - it was great fun! But I've not tried it with a 'character head' on
  • Re: can anyone suggest...
    by Anna Reynolds at 17:39 on 01 October 2013
    Really nice one to do as the character- and also I usually make a fourth bit, which is to create a poem from the three, as abstract as possible, as if the character is having a dream...Oh, and another one that might be from same book, can't remember, I loved this one:

    What does he/she see when they look out of their window at midday?

    I don't know why but it works a treat for me. I tried it on myself and a character over the course of several days/venues so for eg, workplace, a weekend, a room in the house I'd not usually looked out of, a bus window..
  • Re: can anyone suggest...
    by Freebird at 10:07 on 02 October 2013
    that's a good one too. I came across one that said, how does your character sleep at night? i.e do they curl up in a ball, do they splay out like a starfish, are they restless etc
  • Re: can anyone suggest...
    by Anna Reynolds at 12:17 on 02 October 2013
    Nice- I like that. Also, how do they dream/what do they dream about?