I spent three hours writing the perfect poem; tweaking the verses, deleting and undoing, searching my mind and thesaurus for all the right words…
Then another seven days timing, recording and listening to myself, memorising the words and still mixing them up, pacing and reciting, before a mirror making sure I got my expressions right…
But when I stood on that stage for two minutes, I knew I was hooked.
That rush of energy,
That strangely beautiful catharsis,
They sealed it for me…
And I fell in love.
With spoken word poetry.
So I’m writing my first story; the first one I’m determined to finish, and now I’m at the character profiling stage. Yay!
The most important thing I’ve learned about creating good characters is making them relatable. As such I need to ask these questions about my main characters:
-Can they exist in real life?
-Can I relate to their goals and motivations?
-Do I emphathise with them? Am I rooting for them to achieve those goals in spite of the odds?
If I can answer YES to all these questions, then I’m on the right path to having a great character.
But here’s one other interesting question I found to be essential in creating great characters.
-What do they carry?
I had to answer this question literally. What do they carry on their person? In their purses? Wallets? Pockets?
I realised that the things people carry say volumes about who they are, without the writer having to spell it out. For example, I always carry an umbrella and a shawl in my bag no matter the season or weather condition. I believe that says I always want to be prepared for the unexpected. It shows that I’m a planner and I always have a plan B; I can get as far as Plan E. It also shows that I am cautious and can also be very pessimistic.
I could go on and on just with the umbrella and shawl but you get the point.
The things they carry
Even little things such as a lighter, green lipstick, or an old faded note, have big things to say about those who carry them.
Quote: Tell me what your character carries and I will tell you who they are. – Glory Mafor 😉
Food for thought: What do you carry and what does it say about you?
She looked at me and was like,
“What were you thinking when you called him?”
And I was like,
“Like seriously? Like what are you talking about?”
Then she like rolled her eyes at me, and I hate that. Like, you know, when she looks at me like she’s so much better than me.
Then she’s like “You what? Like, you mean you don’t know what I mean? Like really?”
Yeah… That’s how silly we sound when we say “like” after every three words, in places where it doesn’t even make sense.
Guys let’s be ‘like’ more conscious about our language. 😉
I have recently been taking creative writing classes, to learn more about the craft and become better at it.
Now, my first major assignment is to get a fresh story idea that I will work with through out the course and emerge with a finished story at the end.
I have been sitting home all day, thinking one up.
I can be a perfectionist at times, and want to have a perfect story that has never been told before, but this is not one of those times. I don’t even have ANY idea, talk less of wanting the PERFECT idea.
I keep asking myself, where did I get those other stories?
I’ve thought back to what I was doing in any of those moments when ‘inspiration struck’, and it turns out there’s nothing special about them. I was either reading, having a conversation, doing a chore or sleeping. All of which I did today, hoping I could catch that ‘inspiration struck’ moment.
Clock’s ticking, deadline is in less than 24hours.
So, for heaven’s sake, where do I find the story?