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05 Jun

WHAT DOES HE FEEL? WHAT DOES HE DO?

First, figure out what is the next thing that happens in your story.  This is the next beat, or the next plot point, as your protagonist struggles to achieve his or her goal or desire, and to avoid his or her problems.  Usually, the protagonist will fail, and more than once, before the climax of a story. […]

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14 Apr

USING PHOTOGRAPHS

Your assignment this week will help you start to think about character and point-of-view.  First, find a photograph with at least two people in it.  They may not be famous people, or people you know, so no family vacation photos and no Benedict Cumberbatch.  You can rip something out of a magazine, or print something from online, […]

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25 Jan

INTERIORITY

Each person sees the world in a different way, and so does each character.  Point of view doesn’t just mean first-person or third-person, it’s the his unique, perspective of the protagonist, the strange blend of what he or she sees, hears, feels, smells, tastes, remembers, dreams about, worries about, wants, wonders, fears, or, to put […]

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24 Sep

CHARACTER-BUILDING QUESTIONS

Answer the following questions in your notebook or on a separate sheet of paper.  You do not need to write in full sentences.  If you don’t know, skip it and come back, but don’t skip too many– just go with your instincts. What color is your hair? What color are your eyes? You have a […]

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04 Apr

INTERVIEWING YOUR PROTAGONIST

“It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.” – William Faulkner This week in workshop, I asked […]

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20 Jan

THE MIND OF THE ANTAGONIST

In fiction, the antagonist is the opponent or enemy of the protagonist, but that doesn’t mean the antagonist is purely evil or bad.  In fact, it’s much more interesting for your story if you can get to know your antagonist as a complex, deep character, rather than a simple enemy.  In order to develop this […]

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24 Sep

IN MEDIAS RES

Today we learned about in medias res, a literary technique where the author begins the story in the middle of the action, rather than beginning at the beginning.  We looked at five examples of novels that begin in medias res: Everything You Need to Know to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss, All the Right […]

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10 Jun

VILLIANS

Cruella De Ville? Voldemort? Darth Vadar? Who is your favorite villain in fiction or film? Any particular moments you remember clearly? And while you’re at it, why do we love those villains so much?

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