Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is it what you think it is?

Wow, I feel a lot better today. I've just finished a presentation where I got to teach a 10-minute lesson to the class (last presentation and I feel like a weight has been taken off my back). I decided to do an activity on characterisation, and I gave the students a set of four cards which I created myself that depicted four entirely different characters. The reason for these cards were to get the students to give the characters a role (hero, villain, sidekick or love interest).

I got a lot of great feedback saying that it was a great activity (not that I'm bragging). My aim was that it helped the people think about twisting character roles. So, when creating a story do you always know who the hero will be?

Every story has two different perspectives, but most are only told from the good guy's POV. Wouldn't a story be very different if the story was told from the villain's side, would they actually get the reader to sympathise with them?

By giving the villain a motive and purpose it's helping to create a new depth to the character and story, afterall aren't we, as writers, always trying to come up with new twists and create 3d characters.

So, when working on a novel try to tell the story from the bad guys POV, even if it's only a paragraph. Try and see why he's doing what he's doing (unless he is 100% evil) and I'm sure you'll see the story in a different light.

4 comments:

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

It's interesting you say that, Cheree. I too often favour the bad guys in stories, and I think it's because bad guys are so much more than what meets the eye. They have the big dark secrets - the traumatic inner conflicts. Motives that a 'good' person could probably relate to if they were given the chance. They're so INTRIGUING!

Lydia Kang said...

I'm old fashioned, I like sticking with the good guy's(or gal's) POV. Sounds like a cool exercise! I should do it for my next WIP.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great advice, Cheree, and a great post! :-)

Deb Salisbury said...

Great post! I like to split time with the good and the bad characters - each sees the story differently. Sometimes they don't even see the *same* story.

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