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
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?
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!