Have you ever sat down and wanted to write a novel or poem that others would read and be blown away? For a writer the drive to write can vary. However, writing isn’t as simple as vomiting your thoughts on a page. Even when the intent is to do just that, it has to be strategic.
The worst feeling in the world to an artist is when someone views you work and says “I don’t get it.” Did you ever stop and ask your self why your main character has set out to save the world when they’re an under paid, bag boy at Walmart?
The Dramatic Writer’s Companion by Will Dunne was written for playwrights and screenwriters though all writers can benefit from it. Don’t think of it as a book that will teach you how to write. It’s a resource designed to help develop your ideas. It starts from the very beginning in the writing process.
Let me give you an example:
- Build Your Character
Thomas Carter- Born April 17, 1987 in Huston Texas. Current age 28. Mix raced (Black/White) 5’11 approximately 162 pounds. Slim but not fit. Braided black hair, glasses, and a slight overbite.
Now I would go on to create my character by describing Thomas’ background, upbringing, siblings, work life, love life, etc.
- Get to Know the Character Better
Knowing the way your character speaks is important. The difference between “Hey,” “Yo,” “Sup,” etc for each character. Thomas is a character born and raised in a southern state. Though Huston has many cultures that blend into it, it’s no stretch to have him in conversation use a phase like “Hotter than two rats f***ing in a wool sock” to express how hot it is outside.
- Causing a Scene
Okay, so we have sat at our desk for a few minutes thinking about our character Thomas. All the things that make him tick and his motivations. Lets take Thomas and make something happen with him. The book offers a lot of questions and exercises to this affect. Most stories place the main character’s goals above all else. However, perspective is everything. Perhaps you decide that Thomas isn’t hero material but is a great Bard and can tell the tale of another character.
The Dramatic Writer’s Companion is not to be read like a book. It’s a collection of self-contained writing exercises to help explore your unique material. So the next time you find yourself with a little writer’s block pick up a copy and see how you can expand your writing.