Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Quick-Write

Author: Julie True Kingsley.  She tells us to find the character within by closing our eyes and envisioning a well-rounded, complex, flushed out character we know.  Think about the character in our own story-is it well-rounded? Probably not.  Julie suggests using mixed media to create our characters and their story. 

Step One:  Look for faces in magazines that call to you. Choose one.  (If you already have a character, you can sketch your character they way you imagine they look.) 
Here's Jim taken from a Fitness magazine advertisement for Honda:
Physical Traits: Blue eyes, beard, mustache, athletic, thin, in his 30's, starting to bald so he hides it with a hat
What is Jim thinking? Jim is shocked by what he's seeing.  He's also curious and wants to know more.
What makes Jim's heart tick? He likes adventures, climbing high and living on the edge of death.  What really makes him tick is his secret.
Jim's Secrets: He has many.  He works for a major film company documenting sporting events, but he secretly wants to be the athlete, not the cameraman.
He always wanted to be a naturalist as he has a secret passion for birds.  His parents wouldn't support him in college if he went into that field, so he settled for media.
He still lives with his parents, but on weekends and while he's "away on assignment",  he's really at a cabin in the woods his parents don't know he built. There he nurtures and cares for the many bird visitors he receives. 

Step Two:  This was hard for me.  What song would speak to the "secret Jim"?  I didn't have one in my head, so I had to take a break for a while and just think about Jim.  I came to this one. (Funny about this song, I've used it in another writing project, too.)  The World Ain't Slowing Down by Paul Ellis.   Jim's life is passing him by and if he doesn't follow his passion, he might be stuck where he is and doesn't want to be.
Step Three: Start this character's story.  Keep the music playing, put the beat into your writing, see what happens. Does the beat find its way into your words?

Here goes:
Jim shut the door of his Toyota Truck, put the key in the ignition and let out a big sigh.  He looked in the passenger's seat at the lunch sack his mother had packed him that morning, just as she had when he was younger going off to school.  Back then, he really went where his mother thought he was going.  He took his hat off and grabbed his balding head with both hands and clasped them behind his head and looked straight ahead at this house he'd lived in since he was born, the house he'd lived in for 30 years, the house where he lived one life, but secretly wished to live a very different one.  He drove out of the drive and headed towards his paradise but couldn't shake the strange pit in his stomach he was experiencing for the first time. 

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