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Getting the words down. posted 13 December 2004 in Writing TipsGetting the words down. by Fell, Peralogue

I generally work by point-form. I work as a graphic designer and did some earlier studying through the National Screen Institute of Canada, so my approach is oriented towards an always-overall ideal or lesson to be learned. I think story is one of the greatest mediums for conveying new information and ideas — as you can play with comparitive and expositive elements, as well as human drama, to really get people into a new frame of mind, or to share new ideas with them. Which is definitely why I dig Bakker's Prince of Nothing series now.

I essentially build up a philosophy to convey, some sort of "moral" of the story, then run abstractions of situtations that would help demonstrate and educate the readers through expositions or comparisons, as stated above. I can relate to them in real life, then wrap them in a fantastic setting or world which would server to greatly aid in the storytelling, à la Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Once I've got some situations plotted out that will aid the overall point of the tale, I can begin to fill in with characters, and they just sort of intuitively fall into place. Following the best design and Joseph Campbell's work on story and the Hero's Journey, you generally want a character that can be relative to the reader, in affect allowing the character to become sympathetically bonded to your espected readers. Thus, when the character undergoes strife and subsequent change and metamorphosis, the reader can share an aspect of this spiritual and intellectual exercise.

I believe it's the storytellers' role to bring about slivers of growth and the opportunity for change in his or her readers by stretching the limits of perception and experience — to live vicariously via the fictitious lives of these abstractions.

I tweak characters in my mind for months, and flesh them out accordingly. I hate clichés and refuse to ever use the good versus evil schtick. There is no such thing as evil, there are only characters in pain, and the levels of perception which you allow characters to see that in others, and to react to that, will be dictated by just how narrow-minded and naïve your characters are to the rest of their world.

And you can never write a character smarter or more profound than you are as a person. view post


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