Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Writing Exercises: Goals and Character

I decided to do some more writing exercises. This is the latest batch.

Controlling Idea:

This could be just as easily stated as "primary goal". What's the character trying to do? Some examples from my own characters:

Damon Kildare: Solve the challenge
Madden: Become Kildare's familiar
Zenobia Gardsmark: Learn to do magic
Sir Gardsmark: Protect his daughter
Archon Skotonys: Serve Tyr Notios
Alice Bocor: Make new friends! Out of dead ones if necessary!
Isadora Weaver: Find her brother

Make a new character by starting with a controlling idea: love everyone

* After a brush with death, investment banker Jack Roarke is reborn with manic love for all God's people. He devotes himself to finding ways to express this love; even with perfect conviction, it's still not an easy thing to do.

Generate a story idea by using characters with conflicting controlling ideas:

* Callie has boundless energy and doesn't want to do anything but Play All Day, while Ash just wants to rest and sleep. Can Ash find a game Callie will play without her? What happens when Callie pushes Ash past the breaking point?

What is my controlling idea:

* Get my balance.

Primary Orientation: what a character most identifies himself as.

Damon Kildare: Warlock
Madden: Focus
Zenobia Gardsmark: Student
Sir Gardsmark: defender of the people
Archon Skotonys: archon
Alice Bocor: little girl
Isadora Weaver: tinkerer

Primary orientation predicts behavior. What does a fairy do?

* Rumple Blossom kept a running mental tally as she flitted to the next flower. One thousand two hundred forty-three .... She poured out a few drops of dew from a cup made of a beetle's carapace, and sprinkled on a little fairy dust from a fox-glove pouch. The petals unfolded at the touch of the fairy dust, glistening in the light of dawn. One thousand two hundred forty-four -- and that's the whole yard! Done at last. She tied up the pouch with cornsilk, and flew to an abandoned bird's nest to catch a well-earned nap.

What is your primary orientation:

* Writer. I had a really long answer here, but "writer" covers it better than anything else. Not an author, not a fiction writer, not an RPer or a storyteller. Someone who writes. That's all.

Generate a story idea from the conflict between controlling idea and primary orientation:

* A gang leader converts to Christianity. He turns himself in to the police, but struggles with how to treat his former gang members, and how to make amends to his victims.
Tags: writing exercises

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