David performed a couple of sections from scripts he has written to allow us to examine the script and the characters being portrayed. We, as the audience, shared our different conclusions about the characters which was useful to understand how important it is to take time with scripts and novels to create real characters, who have layers to them which can drive the story forward.
Ultimately, the audience, whether sitting in a theatre or reading a book or watching a movie will take more pleasure from the experience when we have thought through our characters.
- Who are they? Honest, uncaring, cruel, devious, kind, passionate, boring… However we reveal our characters they can add nuance and depth to the story.
- What is the setting? The names we give our characters can place them at a particular point in time.
- What is the location? What is our character doing there? Do they belong? Are they out of place? Are they remembering other events in different locations, if so – are these likely locations for our characters to have been?
If at all possible, write out a backstory for your characters and their description. This can be added to at any time during the process as thoughts come to you or as you research and may provide a rich source for you to draw on as you write.
I found the day to be useful in thinking about how I am tackling the sequel to Fallen Warriors. The first novel was very much a character driven story, each person dealing with their own inner demons, the character journeys often driving the story forward in ways I hadn’t expected.
It was also really encouraging to be able to meet with so many writers who are each going through similar experiences and to be able to encourage each other. If you would like to find out more about the Association of Christian Writers and find out about membership and events you can do so here: http://www.christianwriters.org.uk/
Finally, David told us about The Watermill Theatre in Newbury that runs the Raising Voices critique service, reviewing scripts for a nominal £33 fee. Details can be found here: https://www.watermill.org.uk/raising_voices_2017
Also, if you are in a good mood, or perhaps even a funny mood, you might be interested in entering the ACW Comedy Writing Competition, to be judged by David Robinson. The theme is Bringing a Little Sunshine and they are looking for comedic sketches (maximum 1000 words) or comedic poems (maximum 24 lines.)
Details are here: http://www.christianwriters.org.uk/competitions