Are you working on a novel?
Allow me to share with you something my writer friend over at Ye Olde Blighty shared with me.
She showed me a place I never would have thought to go to: a screenwriting workbook. “The Screenplay Workbook: The Writing Before the Writing,”to be exact. By Jeremy Robinson and Tom Mungovan.
“The Screenplay Workbook” has many helpful tools, one being the “Character Development Worksheet.” This tool helps you do something that is crucial to novel writing — knowing your characters so well, even if it is info that never ends up coming out in your book.
Maybe your protagonist is Alicia, and your story takes place when she is in her 60s. And though it may never come up in your novel, it can be helpful for you to know that she got her first period when she was 12 and visiting her grandmother in Missouri, who had a pool, which Alicia never went swimming in during her visit when the temperature was 92 degrees because she couldnt figure out how to put a tampon in. Maybe she had no mother or older sisters to teach her. And maybe she was too afraid to ask her grandmother because the woman was super intimidating.
You might even know that Alicia’s grandmother was intimidating because she became tough from raising 6 younger brothers with no help from her alcoholic father. The reader may never know this, but you will know all of your characters’ history thoroughly.
What do these things say about Alicia? Perhaps that she is shy, maybe a little bit lonely? Now the bigger question: how will we see this play out in her 60s? Will she be stronger? Will events happen in which she regresses, despite the fact that she is a grandmother herself now?
Anywho, “The Screenplay Workbook, Character Development Worksheet,” will aid you with prompting questions to help you get to know your characters intimately, from general questions like what are their greatest fears and what are their greatest strengths, to specifics like any allergies they may have and what their favorite movie is.
Check it out!
- Character Workbook: Universal (berinkinsman.com)
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