Thursday, December 14, 2006

Keeping Character Journals

I first heard about character journals in Script Magic by Marisa D'Vari. In that book she sugggested writing a journal entry for each of your main characters daily. That seemed like a lot of work to me.

However, Lou Willett Stanek in So You Want to Write a Novel offered similiar advice. She suggests doing writing exercises from your character's POV. So that's two pings for the character journal/exercise route.

We all know three is the charm. PBW talked about character journals and posted a journaling excerpt. She also asked people how they get to know their characters and did her customary - comment on the post, enter a drawing thing. I was too late for the drawing, but I did look through the comments. Lots of good ideas.

I was probably hasty (read-LAZY) in my initial assessment. There's something to this Character Journal/Exercise thing, and I'm jumping into the deep end. I've started a list of websites that have writing exercises and/or journaling prompts that I can use...

These are just a few of the hundreds of websites that have prompts. While I like the idea of prompts, I'm not going to overlook the obvious ideas

  • asking what if?

  • pulling one, two or three words at random out of a dictionary, thesaurus, textbook, etc.

  • using a line from a poem or song

  • using a first line, last line or random line of text from a book

  • using a quote

  • using a headline from a newspaper or magazine

  • using a title

  • using a question from The Book of Questions

These are just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are many other sources that I'm not thinking of right now.

Will I post my character's journals? No. I tend to do a lot of free-writing in the early part of my story writing. I know that no one else is going to see it, so I'm free to go anywhere I want to go in the writing. I might start sensoring myself if I start posting character journals. I will DEFINITELY post the prompts I've used that day. Someone else might find them useful.

No comments: