Day 155: A Small Crack in the Case!

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Day 155:  A Small Crack in the Case!

Day 155.  Finally.  I had a breakthrough with the male character I’ve been so stuck on!  Poor guy.  I’ve known what he does but not why.  Which is a big problem.  I can’t get to the why without knowing who they are.  Who someone is—their background, upbringing, relationships, experiences, etc.—determines how they act and what they do and what they say in any given situation or circumstance.  It has made writing his dialogue a challenge because he’s just a shell, a catalyst, a prop to move forward plot and my character in her story…until now.  Now, he’s starting to form.  Now he has the beginnings of some life in him.  I’m starting to find his legs.  He still needs knees, shins, ankles, feet, toes, toenails, socks, shoes and a pair of trousers, but he’s getting there.

My writing space - Finally something worked!

To make a small crack in the case of this character I resorted to what I know best—acting.  I pulled out a list of questions I ask myself when I develop a character as an actor—the physical, sociological and psychological make-up of any fictional or real being you’re trying to embody.  But in this case, I’m not trying to portray this character as an actor, I’m writing him.  Of course, there are questions like this that writers who aren’t actors use all the time and trust me, I’ve pulled out every writing and screenwriting book I own just to try and shake something out of me.  But for whatever reason, nothing has created a real breakthrough except this specific tool from my acting training.  Just 10 questions in I yelled out to my empty office, “of course, that’s who you are!”  As if I’d known all along.

Clearly I was in serious resistance to making any decisions around this character.  Was it simply a fresh way of looking at him?  Was it the familiarity of the acting tools?   Was it going to happen at that point no matter what exercise I used?  I don’t know.  I’m just glad something worked.  And now I need to get some pants on this man.  Pages begin tomorrow!

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…familiar tools in one area of expertise that might help crack a case in another.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.

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