Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tips for Writers Part Six - People Plotting

Some writers get at least part of their inspiration from pictures, paintings or photographs. Photographs of people are easy enough find online and another good writing exercise is to take two people and imagine a situation were they might meet. They could be stuck in an elevator for ten minutes and have to strike up a conversation or a have minor car accident on a deserted road, then have to exchange insurance information. It could be anything, entirely based on whatever you think the characters might be like, from the impression you get from the photographs. 

Then to make it particularly interesting, you can have the two people discover that they have an unexpected connection, in which they learn they are long lost siblings, have the same type of dog, are both looking for the same treasure or whatever idea you come up with. If you handed the same pictures to two different writers, they would doubtless invent widely differing personalities for their imaginary person, but whatever you come up with will be unique to yourself.

Another idea is to set up an imaginary dinner party at your house. The guests could be celebrities, movie and TV actors, characters from books, comics, cartoons or movies. These could be characters you like, admire, find irritating, or even detest, it’s really up to you. What would they have in common, what might they talk about, agree on or argue about? You choose the guests based on the dynamics that might occur from having them all in the same place, at a truly fascinating imaginary party.

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