Category Archives: Class

Stick Figures

After my Character Development class ended I searched the course catalog of what could be taken next. All the writing classes had either been taken or were already started. That is when I saw the one class I been trying to take for two years and now was able to. I would be taking a drawing class.

I am not sure how many of you out there can draw and well, but that is not me. My stick figures are the rage in my own mind that is. Sure growing up as a child I would color and draw to my little heart content but it did not matter then if it was good or not. The beauty of being young and not caring. But a few years ago while reading the description of the courses this one drawing class had a different perspective. One that I was not familiar with. The class was called “ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. The concept is to awake our brain to a creative side we might not have accessed before. The artists we see today have figured out what the rest of us haven’t. We are so busy using our left side with its reasoning, speech, writing and logic that we don’t always access the creative side or the right side.

This class is designed to show the students how to access the imagination, awareness and creativity that is inside all of us. Something a child readily can do before life gets to complicated for them. Not having drawn much recently or well I was hesitant that this would be way out of my league. Fortunately the teacher on the first day said this class was for every one from beginner to more advanced. She said she loved the students who were starting at ground zero for at the end of the session we could see how much that person has grown and learned. These are the ones she loved to get in her class.

The time came for us to introduce ourselves and she started with me. When she looked at me I waved. Seeing I did not start she repeated herself. That is when I said, “ Oh I was just waving, you see I am one of your favorite students. I am at ground zero.” She and the class chuckled.

The first day we drew three objects. The first two drawings was to sketch a person sitting in a chair and then our hand. We were to label this preinstructional drawings and date it. The instructor then gave us a drawing, the catch we were to place the paper upside down. We were to draw from bottom to top. While this was time-consuming the task was completed. Turning it around to see how I did, it didn’t look so bad.

Having asked why we had taken this class was easy to answer. As a writer one needs to try different avenue to keep the juices flowing. If I can draw my characters on paper then a face can be assigned to them instead of just in my head. While it may not be the best it might give me insight and direction in a new way. It is worth a shot.

Character Development Class Finished

Eight weeks ago I signed up for a Character Development class. I had taken this instructor before and had learned a lot from him. In the short span the following was taught:

-Character Development

-Creating Real Life Characters

-Bringing a Character to Life

-Characters creating the plot

-The Villain

-The Character/Inner Life

The last two weeks we concentrated on the story that was growing by each passing session. We had a story that had been created by groups and the overall story that as individuals we were nurturing.

By the time the class ended I had a story of over 5K words. It is in a genre that I have never truly tried before which is action and drama. Well not one of this length anyway. The critiques the class gave me on the last day when I read the WIP was favorable and I will probably when there is time, feel free to laugh here, to expand it into a novel.

This class has caused me much sorry and joy. I truly had a love hate relationship with it. There would be weeks where my teacher would say “ Yes yes you nailed it.” to “No, you missed the boat this time.”

I learned that there is so much more for me to discover. Also it showed me that there are some aspects that I am getting right. In the last eight weeks I have shared with you my class notes taken each time there was a lecture. I hope some of what was shared on this blog has helped someone along the way.

Telling him I would take this class again my instructor asked why. Simple answer really. Every time a class is taken over, I am starting at a different place with a better understanding of what I am trying to accomplish. I have never worked this hard for a writing class in my life. That is a good thing, right?

By doing so I had growth in my writing.

Inner Life of A Character

The Inner Life of Your Character

These are the notes from my Character Development class , week 6

One must try to write the character to where the reader can

-relate to the them

-knows someone like them

Outer life vs Inner life

Outer life- it is more the physical description, the surface details of one’s characters

Inner life-this tells the reader what the character is about

Works of fiction is bringing intimacy to the pages. As writers it is our job to foster that which will help

fast forward our characters.  We are in charge of creating a character it is not for our readers to do that.

Writers tend to stop with the basic character description without giving them life. Is the dialogue

believable? In the speaking one can give more details of our characters. The reader when reading must

feel our characters are real or could be real live people that they can come across in the street.  You need to cover every aspect of their lives, go the extra mile when dissecting them.

Imagine them as being your heroes that you had growing up. What did you look up to them, what was it about them that made you want to be like them? Use this for your villain and hero if you can.

Conversation focus- By observing what they talk about. Can you get a vivid image of what they are saying?

Try listening to people talking as you go about your daily activities. Try to really listen for just a minute

or two.

Allocation of time- How does your character spend their day. What is their norm and routine? How much time is spent doing each activity? What are their habits? Do they have regrets? Do they hold

grudges? What do they do and why? Do they have any dreams and if so of what? What are their goals?

These are just some of the questions we can ask about our characters to make them less superficial.

Every character needs change in the story but it is recommended to make it slow and gradual instead of

all at once.

A way to kick-start the inner life of your characters is ask some of the questions below

-What makes them afraid and why

-What lead up to this?

-What is important to them?

-What secrets/quirks do they have and why

-Three or four words to describe them

-Are they successful in their endeavors and why

-Do they act one way to some and different to others?

-Are they materialistic?

-Show don’t tell their clothing, how they carry themselves, how they speak and what kind of person they are.

These are just some ways to bring the inner life of your character to the fore front.

Use this with each of your major characters. If you use it for the minor characters, you might derail the story.

I have two more sessions left and this class will be done.