#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: The Grand Reveal

Writing Advice Wednesday

It’s exercises like the one below that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of different writers.

This week, it’s time to let it all out…

Writing what is said and what is revealed

Write a dialogue between two people in a grocery store. They only have enough money to buy one small container of ice cream. They will have to share the treat.

Quickly write their argument, debate or negotiation with each other over which flavor to purchase. But allow the characters to talk only about the ice cream choice. Let everything else lie just below the surface of the conversation.

What flavor is each person’s favorite? What can you tell us about their philosophy of life as they debate the relative merits of their personal choices?

What does their preferred ice cream flavor say about what they value or enjoy in life? Make each person passionate about his or her personal favorite.

How does one person try to persuade the other? What tactics and strategies are used? How does the other person respond? How is each choice defended or promoted?

How is the flavor finally selected? What does their argument say about their relationship and relative status or power? Are they equals? Are they partners in crime? Are they in love? Are they friends? Are they competitors? Are they afraid of each other?

How can we intuit information about their relationship in their manner of debating and selecting the ice cream choice?

What flavor is finally purchased? How was it selected? Who won the battle? What was the final deciding factor? Why?

What are the consequences? How does this choice affect their relationship? How can we figure this out by how they respond to each other in the final purchase process and aftermath?

Arguments about seemingly mundane or insignificant things are a good way to show who a character is underneath his or her façade.

A personal and very specific argument about ice cream or whose turn it is to walk the dog can reveal volumes about who someone is, what they value and what kind of relationship they have with someone else.

Use this technique to show us what is under the surface of your character.

Describe a scenario in which your character argues with someone about an insignificant matter that reveals larger issues and looming power conflicts below the surface.

Video Essay of the Week

This week’s writing exercise is all about the control of information, as is Alex Garland’s sci-fi masterpiece Ex Machina. Lessons From The Screenplay tells us more:

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, it’s time to think about other people and not just yourself…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

 

#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: Losing Control

Writing Advice Wednesday

I hope you’ve been enjoying Writing Advice Wednesday for the last few months, It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.

This week, it’s time to really let loose…

Describe what makes you explode

Write about something that makes you furious. It can be a work situation, a political issue, a personal dispute with someone, an aggravating annoyance of modern life, an unreasonable demand made upon you, an infuriating relationship or anything else that raises your blood pressure and makes you want to scream!

Take seven minutes and describe as completely as you can the source of your ire and outrage.

Is your anger generated by a specific person? What does he or she look like? What exactly does the person say or do to drive you mad? Describe the physical circumstances of the dispute or bad blood between you. Be as specific as you can.

Is your anger generated by an issue, situation, or annoyance of modern life? What is it about those circumstances that is so

unfair, unreasonable, outrageous or personally offensive?

How does your anger about this make you feel? Does some kind of fear trigger your anger? Be as florid and passionate as you can.

Now take seven minutes to argue and rage from the opposite point of view. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes or on the other side of the issue.

Describe yourself or the situation from the opposing perspective. Be as detailed and cutting as you can.

Make just as strong a case why you are totally wrong, misguided, insensitive or uncomprehending of their position or situation.

Discuss in detail why you are deluded, naïve, selfish, stubborn, shallow or ungrateful. Be as passionate and as convincing as you can.

Great writers argue just as ardently for their villains as they do for their heroes. Even though the villain may be wrong, destructive or deluded, he or she must have a strong personal rationale for all actions and choices.

Explore what fear might be driving the antagonist’s behavior or position. Be zealous on his or her behalf. Suspend your judgment and personal opinion and really try to see the world from your antagonist’s point of view.

Write down all the reasons why your antagonist believes he or she is justified in taking action against your character.

Outline in as much detail as possible your antagonist’s rationale. Describe why your antagonist truly believes he or she is right.

Video Essay of the Week

Speaking of antagonists, Lessons from the Screenplay reminds us of one of the best examples in recent memory:

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, you’ll find out just how much a simple conversation can reveal…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

 

#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: Taking Out the Trash

Writing Advice Wednesday

I hope you’ve been enjoying Writing Advice Wednesday for the last few months, but I’m trying something different for the rest of the year’s posts. As well as a relevant video essay I’ve found, I’ll be giving you writing exercises to perform, if you’re keen to either get some practice, or need some motivations to start a new script or novel. It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for plenty of other people.

This week, your rubbish. That’s right, yours!

Describe what your trash says about you

Objects can define people. What people buy, what they own, what they use, what they keep and what they throw away can tell a very interesting and illuminating story.

Take a look into your own trash can (not your wastebasket, the big barrel you haul out to the street). Or, if you live in an apartment building, the bags you dump down the garbage chute.

Mentally examine the items in your personal garbage. Pretend you are an archeologist or an anthropologist.

What does this garbage reveal about your lifestyle, ethnicity, gender or marital status? What clues about your love life are in the trash?

What does the trash say about your income level?

How could the garbage be a clue to how much money you spend?

What does the trash say about the composition of your household? What kinds of personal and family clues are in the garbage barrel?

What kinds of food items are in the barrel or trash bags? Are there the leavings of home-cooked meals, convenience foods or take- away containers? Are there any junk foods, fast food or snack items? What kinds?

What was wasted? What was used up except for a few crumbs or dribbles? What does the garbage say about your culinary skills?

What does it reveal about your time pressures or stress levels?

What kinds of papers or packaging materials are in the trash? What does the garbage say about your purchasing habits? How “green” are you?

If someone rooted around would they find personal correspondence in the trash? What about bills? Could someone tell if you are in debt by looking at the trash? How?

What does trash say about your health? Drinking habits? Personal hygiene? Vanity? Pets? Children? Secrecy or security precautions?

Could someone tell if you are male or female by looking at your garbage? How? What would tip them off?

Now write about what’s in your character’s garbage? What would your character’s discarded items tells us? Answer all the above questions for your character? How do trash items define your character?

Discuss your character’s household and personal habits based solely on the items found in the garbage. Be specific.

Can you write a comic scenario involving your character’s garbage? Can you write a sad or serious scenario?

Can your write a scenario where your character has a profound realization, makes an important discovery or has a personal epiphany by looking at or emptying the trash?

Video Essay of the Week

You’d be surprised how much an exercise like this will reveal- Film & Stuff’s excellent essay on a scene from The Incredibles backs up what I’m talking about:

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, you’ll be provoked…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: Talk To Me

Writing Advice Wednesday

Welcome back to Writing Exercises! Hope you enjoyed the last few weeks of Halloween fun and Community-themed content, but now it’s back to the writing gym!

As well as a relevant video essay I’ve found, I’m giving you writing exercises to use if you’re keen to either explore and experiment or need some motivations to start a new script or novel.

It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.

This week, you’ll be writing about talking:

Create Distinctive Speech Patterns

Each of your characters should have a distinctive way of speaking. A reader should be able to tell who is talking by the dialogue alone, without necessarily looking at the character’s name.  Check out Talk Like a Gangster on Types Tuesday.

Use the following exercise to practice creating a distinctive “voice” for each of your characters.

First, find a physical practice subject. Cut out a series of comic strips (all featuring the same characters) from your local newspaper, buy a comic book, or find a series of comics on the web. Use comic strip characters you don’t know well but which interest you visually.

Block out or white out the dialogue in the individual speech bubbles. Photocopy the story panels with the now blank bubbles.

Look at the visual element of the comic, without the words. Note the style and tone of the drawings. Re-imagine the characters and story. Make it your own.

Fill in the blank speech bubbles with your own imaginary dialogue. Find a different rhythm and sentence construction for each character. Make your characters’ speech patterns reflect how they look visually.

Is one character’s speech more verbose and flowery than another? Is another character crisper and minimal in the way he or she speaks? Does one character joke in order to make a point? Does another preach and scold? Does another always try to impress?

Experiment with different speaking styles. Be consistent in creating each individual character’s way of communicating. Make each character’s speech pattern reflect that specific person.

Can you make the visual images work with the dialogue? Can you use the visuals as an interesting counterpoint or contrast to what is being said?

What happens when characters have a serious discussion in a silly setting? What happens if they have a silly argument in a serious setting? How can you reveal character by small discussions or ridiculous disputes that reflect much deeper underlying concerns?

For example, create an argument about taking out the kitchen trash. Make the deeper underlying concern about a larger issue in the relationship or a more fundamental personal dissatisfaction between the two.

Now how can you apply these principles to the characters in your screenplay? How can you make each of your characters’ speech patterns more distinctive?

How do their speech patterns reflect their individual personalities? How does it match or is it at odds with their physical appearance?

How can you use setting or location to underscore, be a counterpoint or comment on the discussion?

How can your characters reveal themselves by the mundane or foolish things they argue about? How does the argument reflect larger disagreements?

Video Essay of the Week

How Characters communicate tells us everything about them, from how to talk to others and also how they express themselves (or avoid exposing themselves.

We communicate with family members in a different way to friends than with enemies, for example. This excellent video essay talks us through the different ways three brothers communicate on the road-trip of a lifetime in Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited:

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, we’ll be writing about… nothing…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: Silence Is Golden

Writing Advice Wednesday

I hope you’ve been enjoying Writing Advice Wednesday for the last few months, but I’m trying something different for the rest of the year’s posts. As well as a relevant video essay I’ve found, I’ll be giving you writing exercises to kickstart you out of a slump or inspire you to reach higher or dig deeper. It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.

This week, stop looking at your screen!

Fill the silence with your own story

We consume hundreds of thousands of “story bites” every day without ever really noticing.

Newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio and the Internet stream millions upon millions of words into our brains telling us all manner of factual, fake, and fictional tales.

While your own story is taking form, I strongly suggest you undertake a media fast. What is a media fast? It is similar in concept to a food fast.

Dietary fasting helps lighten the body’s physical load and allows it to rest digestively. Taking a break from all the stories in the media can lighten the load on your brain and allow more space for your own story to gestate.

For years, holistic physician Dr. Andrew Weil has recommended occasionally taking this kind of a media break. He believes media fasts are an integral part of good health and are outlined in his book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

Dr. Weil writes: “I think it’s useful to broaden the concept of nutrition to include what we put into our consciousness as well (as into our bodies).” He writes, “Many people do not exercise much control… and as a result take in a lot of mental junk food.”

I strongly suggest you take a break from all factual and fictional media stories for the remainder of this writing program. (Except, of course, viewing for specific assignments.)

Don’t read the newspaper or any magazines. Don’t watch any television news or entertainment programs. Don’t listen to talk radio. Don’t cruise the Internet for news, entertainment or research.

Don’t read any other books, fact or fiction. Don’t even read the jokes and stories people send via email.

When you have downtime or a few spare moments simply allow yourself to be surrounded by silence or instrumental music. Keep the din of media story words completely at bay.

Why is a media fast important? First of all, it will help you feel calmer, more relaxed and focused. Still the relentless media clatter and make more time for idle silence, quiet moments of reflection and staring off into space.

If you find more quiet time to daydream, muse and think, without media distractions, your story will begin to fill your head effortlessly. Listen to your story whispering to you.

Turning off and tuning out all those competing stories will help you tune in and communicate more clearly with your characters.

Don’t forget to get more sleep and allow your unconscious mind to do its important work.

I cannot stress enough that proper rest is a crucial tool to aid your imagination. Do you dream at night? Write down your dreams. Are there any specific dream images or fragments that stick with you after waking? Write them down.

Think about a story problem before going to bed and see what emerges. Write down your first thoughts on waking.

Don’t worry about being politically or socially irresponsible or missing out on important news during your fast. It’s impossible in today’s invasive media world to miss truly significant events. Believe me, someone will tell you if anything really important happens.

Give yourself the gift of a few weeks of silence to allow your story to fill the void you create by turning off the chatter of media stories.

Allow yourself to be bored. Stare and think. Be still. Be at rest.

Listen to the quiet inner voice that is your creative consciousness. Allow your own words to fill the stillness and listen carefully as your characters begin to speak more clearly!

Video Essay of the Week

But before you take a break, here’s an excellent video essay about reactions, not words:

Let me know how you found your media fast by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. .

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

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#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: On The Job

Writing Advice Wednesday

I hope you’ve been enjoying Writing Advice Wednesday for the last few months, but I’m trying something different for the rest of the year’s posts. As well as a relevant video essay I’ve found, I’ll be giving you writing exercises to perform, if you’re keen to either get some practise, or need some motivations to start a new script or novel. It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for plenty of other people.

This week, get to work!

Describe your first job

Remember the first paying job you ever had. Write down as much as you can remember about your first work experience. Write as quickly as possible and don’t worry about style, tone or form. Just write.

Describe how you obtained your first employment. How did you find the job? Did someone tell you about the opportunity or recommend you for the position? Who was it? Why did they help you? Did you ask for help? Did someone refuse to help you? How did the job search make you feel?

What prompted you to go to work in the first place? How old were you when you got the job? Was this first work experience something you enjoyed or dreaded? Why? Why not?

How much money did you take home in your first paycheck? How did you spend the money? Or did you save it? What were you saving for? Why?

Describe the sights and sounds of your first job. What did your first workplace look like? Was it a small space or a large one? What was in it? What kind of tools, equipment, items or merchandise did you work with?

Where was it located? How did you get to work? Was it close by your home or a long distance away? Did you travel with anyone? Who?

Describe the people you worked with. Who were the most memorable personalities on the job? Who did you become friendly with and whom did you avoid? Why?

Did you get into any clashes, conflicts or arguments on the job? Why? What happened?

Was anyone particularly kind to you or unusually nasty? Describe a memorable incident (good or bad) on the job. Who, if anyone, do you still see? Who would you like to see again? Why? Or why not?

How did you leave that employment? Did you quit or were you fired? Why? Did you get another job or have another offer? What was it?

Did you move up in the same company? What was your next position?

How did you feel about leaving your first job? What did you learn from this experience? What made the experience most memorable?

Now write this exercise from your character’s point of view. Did you learn anything interesting about your character?

Video Essay of the Week

Sometimes you make your own work before you need a first job, like Mark Zuckerburg and Eduardo Saverin did in The Social Network:

Let me know how you found your media fast by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, we’ll be talking trash…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

 

#WritingAdviceWednesday – The Character Map: Fear

Writing Advice Wednesday

What better time than Halloween week to discuss fear- an important part of my Character Map eBook.  Below is a short excerpt.

The Character’s Fear

There are nine specific types of fears which can drive characters’ actions.

At the deepest root of all these fears is: How the character believes he or she is or might become unloved or unlovable.

The character asks: “What must I hide or deny so that others will love and/or accept me? If others knew who I really am they would surely turn surely away from me.” This is the secret doubt or dread the character must face in order to live in his or her true self (instead of the false self of the mask). The character’s fear is that deep anxiety, worry, self-doubt of inner shame that prevents the character from making a Leap of Faith toward the true self. Indeed, it is only possible to be truly loved by taking the chance to be one’s self.

Indeed, it is only possible to be truly loved by taking the chance to be one’s self. It is only through honesty, openness, and vulnerability that intimacy can be built. Without such intimacy, there can be no real love.

Fear and Shame

A character’s fear is the greatest burden he or she carries. It is the yoke the character cannot escape. It defines the secret shame that character never wants to face or acknowledge. It is the unspoken reason the character truly believes he or she is (or could be) a disappointment or disgrace to others (and therefore could be or become unloved or un-loveable).

It is the unspoken reason the character truly believes he or she is (or could be) a disappointment or disgrace to others (and therefore could be or become unloved or un-loveable).

What secret fault or failing does your character hide? Does he or she ask— Am I unworthy of love? Will I ever deserve love? What must I do to win or work for love? What do I have to do to prove I am loveable? Will I always do or say the wrong thing? Am I such a failure or disappointment that I will never be loved?

Choose one of these questions and force your character to confront this issue in all his or her dealings with others— and especially with the antagonist. Force your character to risk everything in facing the fear behind the question. Unless your character faces his or her fear or secret shame, your character will never be free. Your character will constantly be forced to cling the mask and seek its “protection.” A character that hides a secret shame will never be able to live a truly authentic life. As long as that fear and shame exist.

Fear Drives All Conflict

Whenever you are having trouble with a scene, a sequence or an act, ask yourself— How is the character’s fear manifesting itself in this situation? How is the character denying, avoiding, camouflaging or hiding the fear? How is the character trying to cope with or manage the fear? How is the fear tempting the character to get into trouble? How is the character facing the fear? Or, how is the character surrendering to or personally manifesting the fear?

You can purchase The Character Map at the ETB store for more insights in creating a three-dimensional, engaging character that will help you craft the best character you can.

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#WritingAdviceWednesday – Structure in Chaos

Writing Advice Wednesday

Following on from yesterday’s post about Community, this is an excellent opportunity to share Film&Stuff’s video essay about the Season 3 episode “Remedial Chaos Theory”, which supports the point that great ensemble shows provide a group of people that aren’t quite whole without every group member. This episode is perhaps the best of the entire show, and a testament to the character work on Community:

Tomorrow we’ll be expanding upon this most important factor of ensemble series by examining the need for every group to have a leader (or first among equals), especially when you’re stranded on a desert island…

If you’re on Pinterest, why not follow my Pinterest board full of useful writing advice? It will be updated weekly, so you can keep track if you ever need an excellent video essay or some relevant advice about problems you are facing. You can always drop me a line at etbhelp@gmail.com with the subject “Ask Laurie” and I will do my best to answer it. I might even include it in an upcoming edition of Writing Advice Wednesday!

#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercise: Love Is In The Air

Writing Advice Wednesday

I hope you’ve been enjoying Writing Advice Wednesday for the last few months, but I’m trying something different for the rest of the year’s posts. As well as a relevant video essay I’ve found, I’ll be giving you writing exercises to try if you’re keen to think about your character romantically or need the motivation to get unstuck.

It’s exercises like this that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.

This week, you’ll be writing about what makes the world go around:

Describe your first kiss

Take a moment and remember your first romantic stirrings. Who was the object of your affection? What did that person look like? What made this individual so attractive to you?

How old were each of you? Under what circumstances did you first notice this person? How did you meet? Who made the first move? How did that first kiss happen?

Describe as completely as you can all the circumstances leading up to your first kiss or first romantic encounter. How did you lose your heart to this person? Why did this person seem entirely unique and wonderful to you?

Were you both equally entranced with each other? Was it a surprise you didn’t expect? Or was it a long- time secret crush?

How did that early romantic awakening feel? What was it like physically? What was it like emotionally? Were you nervous? Excited? Scared?

Describe the steps leading up to the physical romantic encounter. Where there false starts or mixed signals? How did you feel afterward? Did the magic moment meet or exceed your expectations? Did it somehow disappoint?

Was it a chance or unexpected encounter? Or did you spend time dreaming, plotting, planning and fantasizing about how to make it happen? What, if anything, did you do to take the initiative?

Take 10 to 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Do not censor yourself; write whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about being articulate, artistic or even interesting. Just write.

Let your memories flow. Make your descriptions as detailed and personal as possible.

Now describe the same event from your character’s perspective. How is he or she chasing someone in the story? How is your character trying to seduce someone?

This may or may not be a romantic chase or physical seduction. It may be a psychological dance between two male rivals in a business deal. What are the actions or maneuvers the character takes to win over the other person?

Next, describe the same event from your antagonist’s perspective. What is the antagonist’s psychological dance with the protagonist? How is the antagonist chasing or seducing your character?

Remember: Writing exercises are like priming a pump. They are meant to get your inspiration flowing. They help you gain additional insight into yourself and your character.

You may or may not be able to use any of this material in your story. Right now, don’t worry about what is useful.

Enjoy the process. Expand your imagination. Have fun! Takes risks. Play with your characters and story!

Video Essay of the Week

I’ve done some work with Pixar University in the past, and they continue to produce some of the best storytelling and character work in Hollywood. This is a great examination of emotions, like love, involved in the movie Inside Out:

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with these writing exercises. The next few articles are going to be holiday-themed. When we return, we’ll be discussing, well, discussion…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

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#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercise: Risky Business

Writing Advice Wednesday

If you like these writing exercises, they form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course. Go from the shred of an idea to an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.

This week, you and your character will be taking a gamble:

Describe a chance you took

Sit back and remember your most risky behavior. It could be an act of rebellion, a gamble (successful or unsuccessful), a brief adventure, a moment of daring, a crazy scheme, a wild leap of faith, a transgression, a crime, or any other reckless activity.

What exactly did you do? Did you get away with it? What consequences did you pay? Was it worth the risk? Or did you have regrets?

Describe as completely as you can a situation when you left caution to the wind. Who or what prompted you to undertake this dicey activity?

Was anyone else involved? What was their contribution to the situation? How did you feel before, during and after taking the chance you took?

Can you remember what the day was like and what you wore? What are your other sense memories (sight, sound, and feeling) of that risky moment in your life? How did the situation or activity engage all your emotions?

Did you make a personal leap of faith to do this? Did the activity make you feel stronger or more confident?

Did it make you feel foolish? Was there a letdown afterward? Was there relief? Was there exhilaration? Write about everything you felt.

Was this activity something you agonized about and summoned the courage to undertake over time, or was it an impulsive action taken in the heat of the moment?

What made the experience memorable?

Take 10 to 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Do not censor yourself; write whatever comes to mind. Don’t be worried about being articulate, artistic or interesting, just write. Let your memories flow freely.

Now write this exercise from your character’s point of view. What is the riskiest thing your character does in the story? How does that make your character feel?

Ask your character the same questions above. Your character should have several risky moments in the story. What are they?

Video Essay of the Week

Tony Gilroy creates something unforgettable with the film Nightcrawler. The video essay talks about “empathy” but I believe the key is vulnerability.  We are interested in a sociopathic character because we see flashes of his vulnerability (his desperation driving him to take more and more risks in pursuit of a story – and keep his job),

Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. Next week, things take a more romantic turn…

Until then, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going!

– Laurie

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