Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Deeper into character

First of all, thank you and hi! to Nellie59 who posted a little fan note on the Teacher as Host blog entry a couple of weeks back. It is just great to know that Creative Writing: the Matrix has been proving really useful to her in teaching creative writing... if anyone out there has found favourite exercises in the book, or devised variations they'd like to share please get in touch.

I am thinking that at some point I will do Creative Non-Fiction: the Matrix (or some such title), from the many exercises I amassed (is that how you spell it?) in years of teaching Journalism & Professional Writing. It would include feature writing, travel writing, life-writing and other miscellany [have to add blog writing!], including a bit on copy writing... all 'creative' but not the usual thing people get in creative writing classes... yet it is not essays, reports or academia, and people do need-want help in these areas. What do you think, as teacher-writers?

Communicating with a fellow writer Peter Ward; I have just reviewed his book -- Dragon Horse on Amazon. We were talking about deepening character, how to.
The Matrix book has 4 exercises on character (p. 53 onward), but those are pretty basic essentials -- never hurts to go back to basics though! Then later there are 4 more called Deeper into Character (p.84); The Dream and The Scar could be particularly useful if you worry that your characters are too thin. However, some genres don't want deep-deep character (hello, Dan Brown). I think depth of character means dwelling for quite some time inside and with a character's head and heart (hello Marilynne Robinson's Gilead).

More to say on character, but that will have to be next week.

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