Wednesday, 17 June 2009


(Listening to - Foo Fighters - Have It All)

As ideas for my latest project (scif fi novella) aren't exactly flowing at the moment, I decided to revisit something I did with my novel, Solus. Namely, scenarios.

For those unfamiliar to the idea, it's simple. You take a character and plonk them down into a situation and see how they deal with it. For example, in my novel I subjected my three MCs to the same three scenarios (seperately).
The first had them waking up after being beaten and locked in a cell that they had to escape from. The second required them to buy a specific item from a canny trader. The third had them facing off againt a small band of roving bandits.
They helped a great deal with my characterisation and even helped drum up several ideas for the plot.

This novella is a Sci-Fi, so the scenarios will be different (may just write one long one), but the idea is the same. Currently, I intend to throw him into a dead spaceship with failing life support as it drifts toward a sun, and see what happens. Peril brings out the best in my characters, y'know.

How about you? What do you do?



bettielee said...

That is a great idea! I start to scribble thoughts, but often as I write, I find them organically. I feel like the first draft is where I get to know them. Often on rewrite, I find it very easy to change dialog, knowing "so n so would never say that!" or "this is a good bit of dialog, but this sounds more like so-n-so"

I base a lot of it on what they are wearing and how they feel about it. Sometimes it also helps with backstory.

misa101 said...

that's pretty much how I do it. My secondary project I am working on right now sprung from the question "what's the worst dinner with the inlaws scenario ever?"

Anonymous said...

Oh, a fun idea!

I always feel like I'm getting to know my characters. I think I actually kind of do that sometimes. I take them and plop them into various scenarios in my head, stretch them, see what comes up. Take LOTS of notes on them--details that won't ever end up in the ms more than likely, but I know them. I work really hard on back-story. Who we are is where we come from, in a way. And even though most of it never comes up I think it's vital for really knowing your characters.