September 30, 2010 2 Comments
It’s an old song from The King and I and it was the theme of my day. I’ve been working on the exercise for Secret # 18 to get to know my characters prior to diving into the plot and scenes of the story I will create. Today’s character was the romantic hero and I learned a lot about him.
He’s an Aries, he was born in the year of The Rabbit, and he was involved in local rodeo events during his teens. I’m not sure who his best buddy is yet, but I know his dreams and life goals, which means I know his identity, and why the heroine wants to avoid him.
Starting tomorrow, I’ll be attending the Emerald City Writers Conference and know it will be fabulous. I’ll spend the whole weekend refilling my storyteller soul, surrounded by writers who understand the best thing we can do for our characters is make their lives miserable. We give them a glimpse of bliss, then burden them with conflicts and choices to clear all the crap away and make them worthy to achieve bliss.
Michael Hauge states this brilliantly. When we first meet our characters what we see is their identity. Only by breaking through their identity do we get to their true essence, and it is that journey that is the story.
This is mirrored in life. When we first meet someone, we are seeing their identity and we are only showing our identity. When we see others within conflict, that is when we see their essence, and it may not be pretty. When we are in conflict, we may not be pretty either. What’s inspiring is when we see how conflicts can form bonds. Conflicts shake us out of complacency, and bring our true essence forth.
Like stories in a novel, we are transformed by conflict. Which means we’ve changed and we begin again, getting to know ourselves and others. “getting to know you” is always a new story.