I hope everyone benefitted from last week's assignment. Of course, doing this kind of exercise may not help every writer, but the more we delve into our characters' minds and thoughts, the move alive they will be on the page.
I have another exercise for you. This particular exercise helped me learn more about my villian, which added depth to the story. My mentor asked us to write a conversation between our protagonist (mine is Akeela) and antagonist (Tzmet) and use ourselves as the moderator. Begin with a question for both of them. Here's what mine looked like:
Pam: Why don’t you band together and work to make the land and people prosperous?
Tzmet: There is no point to this discussion. I refuse to align myself with this uppity child.
Akeela: You don’t even know me.
Tzmet: I don’t have to. My father’s plan is perfect! Why should I deviate from it just to make you happy?
Pam: Okay, you guys, why don’t we just look at the possibility. That doesn’t mean we have to do it.
Akeela: Please, Tzmet. Talk to me. I know about you, how things were when your father was alive –
Tzmet: My father is still alive! Blood worms and swamp grass, why am I even talking to you?
Akeela: Maybe you owe me.
Tzmet: What could I possibly owe you?
Akeela: You killed my father.
Tzmet: Such a lie. I don’t even know your father.
Pam: We’re getting off the subject. Let’s list some advantages to working together, okay?
Akeela: In the battle at Tindan. You killed every man, woman and child there. The only reason I am alive is because Krezma saved me.
Tzmet: Don’t speak that woman’s name to me!
Pam: Guys, come on.
Akeela: Okay, let’s talk about working together.
Tzmet: Please. It will do no good.
Akeela: Maybe it will. I mean, let’s look at what we can do. I can talk to fairies. I can also see auras around living things. That could maybe help with communication between villages.
Tzmet: And why would we want to communicate between villages?
Akeela: What if someone needs help?
Tzmet: Such tender mercy! What will it get you but a bruised heart and lighter purse? People who need will take advantage of you every time.
Akeela: Did that happen to you?
Tzmet: Shut up, you vile creature!
Pam: Maybe we should keep the name calling to a minimum.
Akeela: Combining our strengths can only benefit us. Think about it. You can still live in your castle and you won’t be afraid.
Akeela: You can have the freedom to come and go without people being terrified of you.
Tzmet: I like that. People being scared of me, that is.
Akeela: And you won’t have to be alone. You would have friends.
Tzmet: What would I need friends for?
Akeela: Everyone needs friends.
Tzmet: I’ve never had a friend. Friends betray you. They leave you. They take advantage of you and bleed you dry. I will not show weakness in this way.
Akeela: I’m sorry for you.
This is where I found out my villian was lonely. As you can imagine, it changed the way I handled her. Now, it's your turn. Write the conversation and let us know if you discovered anything or how it helped you.
Don't Plant Trees!
3 years ago