Creating Characters Class, Week 1

Posted by barb on Jul 14, 2004 in Writing |

I’m enrolled in a community education writing class, and the first class met tonight. It should prove quite interesting. The teacher is Elaine Raco Chase, who has written many books including romances, mysteries, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. She is the kind of person that I’d like to just sit down with and let her talk for hours and take notes. She wrote the first romance novel that made it to the New York Times’ Bestseller’s List. She wrote for one episode of Saturday Night Live during the first season, but was the only one not on drugs, so only lasted the one episode. She currently suffers from short-term memory loss, due to an accident with a drunk driver, after which she was in a coma. Her husband was involved in creating closed-captioning for TV. She had interesting stories about other authors (like Clive Barker’s fans coming up to him and pricking their fingers so he could sign their books in their blood).

Anyway, our assignment for the week is to pick a character-driven TV show, and observe the different characters, taking note of their age, description, body type, etc. We’re also supposed to start awakening our senses — paying attention to all sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Finally, we need to find a picture that resembles a character that we want to work with for the next several weeks.

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