Welcome to the thirty-ninth of our Creative Challenges. We’re focusing on key aspects of writing and storytelling – core elements that can always be found under the surface of every successful story in our eighth week of Creative Challenges: WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 39 is about characters in writing.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you prepare a creative piece, about:
A person or character who is always changing.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to characters in writing.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC39”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC39 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
Characters are the people or voices through whom we experience the story.
We’re often happy to see our very favourite characters endlessly reinvented by new tellings and actors – some may change significantly but within limits (DOCTOR WHO), and others might never really change at all (more than 50 years after their first appearances, JAMES BOND and BATMAN are always about 35!).
People understand concepts much better and more naturally through stories than anything else. Before science, all deep questions were answered by stories (myths, religion), and most still are: The Big Bang is still a story, so is evolution.
Almost all writing – even surreal comedy – explores the questions of “Who are we really, and why do we do the things we do?”
This challenge is designed to get you thinking about a very unusual type or person or character: one that changes all the time. These ‘shapeshifters’ are far more common in dreamlike story genres such as fantasy and science fiction, because most people simply don’t change much during their lives: a retired doctor once told me the only thing that changes human character in his experience was trauma. Nonetheless, change is the essence of drama, and your stories should typically embody the transition of a character from an initial state, to a changed state at the end of the story, in some important respect.
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!