Sunday, September 12, 2010

Character Journal

I am in the process of reading Alice Orr's book "No More Rejections: 50 Secrets To Writing A Manuscript That Sells". It is fabulous, by the way, and I am positive I shall eventually own the book, instead of having it on loan forever from the library.

Anyway, one of the things that really struck me about the chapter I was reading was the way Alice Orr encouraged writers to "go deep" into their characters. One way she hinted to go about doing this was to keep a "Character Journal." I'm sure we've all heard of writer's journals, where you just write about your day so as to get a feel for sensory details. Well, this is the same, except you take on the persona of the character whose story you are in the process of writing, and keep her journal.

For example, I am writing "The Key Keeper", and my character's name is Bonnie Ward. She is about twelve. She has short, dark brown hair, brown eyes, a slight anger problem, and a sarcastic, spunky wit. But that doesn't reveal the full Bonnie Ward. So, as Bonnie Ward, I keep her journal. I write her thoughts as though I am her. I become Bonnie, and everything I write or say is written purely as her, not as me at all.

The best part about it is that you can find one great huge journal, divide it into sections, and keep several character journals in one. So I can write a journal for Bonnie Ward, my MC for "The Key Keeper," a journal for Alandra Rood, my MC for "Whisper Mansion," a journal for Anair, my MC for "Beyond Boundary," and a journal for Paul Ryan, my MC for my WIP temporarily titled (for lack of anything better) "Badger," in one place.

Isn't that the neatest idea? I'm so excited to share it! I hope you find it very useful.

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