This week's work is exciting to me for many reasons. First, I know that I am a visual learner, and I love to doodle and draw. I remember walking two blocks to a neighborhood art class as a kid, and taking out my sketch pad conjures up loads of fuzzy feelings for me. Next, I also love music. I have a very eclectic musical taste, and I had a blast using our family iTunes library yesterday to put a soundtrack to my characters' stories and voices. Third, I am just excited to be back to my writing work! (Is that a good third reason? I think so.) Anyway, I combined the Monday mini-lesson with Tuesday's quick-write, and I think that the result is pretty exciting (for me, anyway- I feel momentum)!!
So, here we go:
From Kate Messner's blog: Monday's Mini-is courtesy of Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the hilarious and illustrated Ellie McDoodle series. She invited us to explore the connections between art and writing, and shared some of her own sketches and storyboards (which were AWESOME!)
In my WIP (if you can really call it that), I have two characters who appear to be antagonistic, but I see a connection between them. Just taking the time to put their physical characteristics on paper and think about them as "people" was tremendous. What would they wear? What do they like? How do they perceive themselves as they make choices about what they eat and do?
I had been struggling with their names, as well, and after drawing them, POOF! They named themselves. It was amazing!
On Tuesday, Julie True Kingsley joined us with a writing prompt on character development through music. I must admit, this was the opposite of a "Quick Write" because I played and played with music for a long time. However, the taking my sketch from the previous day and providing a musical concurrence between the characters helped me find depth within my characters.
Here are the nuts and bolts of the exercise:
I used my sketch from the day before. :)
Find songs that match your character’s inner and outer character. I did both my protagonist and antagonist today. (Overachiever!)
Outside: Coldplay Paradise
Beth emanates perfection. She's pretty, smart, organized and and artistic. She is also very internal and private and does not share her life, family issues, and inner conflicts and struggles. She has built up walls around herself and believes that if she just thinks and acts like everyone expects, then she will be ok. She won't let anyone get too close or they may shatter her to pieces.
Inside: Foo Fighters The Pretender or maybe Green Day She
Her inner voice knows that it is all just a sham, and she is repressing serious anger issues and is self-depreciating. She is suppressing this inner voice and it will eventually lead to some bad stuff.
Outside: Wolfmother The Joker and the Thief
Dani is a "jock" and very social. She jokes around with others, often for her own benefit, and can be cruel at times. She has a very tough exterior and uses bravado to prevent others from seeing her true self and her perceived weaknesses.
Inside: Death Cab for Cutie I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Dani wants to be seen in a feminine way, especially by her long time "bud" (I don't know his name yet- need to draw him, too) who actually has a crush on Beth. Dani is fiercly loyal to her "bud" and sees Beth's lack of interest as insulting, infuriating, and unfair (because Dani is the only one who TRULY loves him). Her love is intense, and pure (in her mind), and she has no idea how to express those feelings.
Write your character's story with the music playing! See what happens...
Below is a section of the story that I have been extending. The existing part is in black, and today's dialogue is in blue. I decided to focus on Dani's voice.
This exercise- sketching and providing a musical concurrence was VERY helpful. When I was extending the piece above, I even overlapped both of the girls' outside songs while I read my existing work- the resulting effect was a mess, and very conflicted, and awesome.