Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What you know to be true

Molly O'Neill, an editor at Harper Collins, blogged about certain beliefs we might have. You'll want to read the whole post, but here are her questions for how we might enrich our characters by understanding their beliefs.

Here's part of the post:

So if you're in the mood for a writing exercise, take the main character(s) in whichever book you're working on right now. And wherever you are in the story right now, be it beginning, ending, or murky middle, pause and ponder these questions. (If you're revising, rather than writing, try asking question #1 twice, at both the story's beginning and end, to get a good glimpse--hopefully--of your character's full arc/growth.)

1. What thing(s), minor or monumental, does your character know to be TRUE in this moment? What, for her/him, is unquestionably beyond doubt, certain with every cell of his/her being, beyond all hesitation--simply and inescapably and absolutely true?

2. [This one's my own addition.] Does anyone know that your character believes the above to be true? (Who? Or if not, why not?)

3.What was the dumbest thing that your character once believed to be true that s/he later learned wasn't entirely true...or wasn't true at all?

Visit Molly's blog.

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