Friday, February 6, 2015

Writing Excuses Master Class - Q&A on Ideas

I am a bad blogger who didn't blog last week (or most of this week) - shame!  I will have to work on that.  At any rate, I'm planning to skip the Writing Excuses writing prompts on the "wildcard" weeks, at least as far as the blogs are concerned, and will only be focusing on the master class ideas.  I've also gotten my writers' group at work started on them, which makes me happy.  This week's prompt ties into some of the things I do with character development, so I'm excited to see how this turns out:

Take one of the ideas you're excited about, and then audition five different characters for the lead role in that story. Make sure they're all different from each other.

I'll be focusing on the camera shop of horrors, and I'll be auditioning for the role of the keeper of the portal, who is forcing the employees of the camera shop to keep the portal open for nefarious reasons.

ENTER Dennis - Caucasian male, looks late-twenties but is actually much older, handsome as the devil, tall but not intimidatingly so, with piercing blue eyes.  He strolls onto the stage and sits casually in the folding chair, crossing one Armani-clad leg over the other and straightening his jacket collar.  He smiling winningly.

AUTHOR:  Dennis, tell me why you want to control a time portal, and what you'll do to keep that control.

DENNIS:  (with a throaty laugh)  Why wouldn't I want to control a "time portal", as you so charmingly put it?  A window into the distant past that allows one to travel to and fro on a whim, learning from the mistakes of one's forefathers and finding new and exciting ways to exploit them?  It's a dream come true!  And once one is in control of such a find, why, there's no reason to allow anyone else to even know about my little secret, much less defend against it.  So long as it stays well-hidden, there's no need to fight.  And the best way to keep something hidden is to keep it to oneself.  After all, the only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead.

AUTHOR:  OK, that veered into creepy.  Next!

ENTER Alyss - African-American female, early twenties, with a perpetually worried look on her face and her eyes hidden by large glasses.  She clutches a tablet in her hand, scrolling through a page and doesn't even look up as she passes Dennis.  She sits on the edge of the vacated seat, leaning forward to rest her elbows on denim-covered knees, and remains absorbed in whatever is on her tablet.

AUTHOR:  Alyss, same question.

ALYSS:  Huh?  (blinks owlishly at the author, then sets the tablet on her lap as she comes back around to the real world)  Oh, right!  Well, a time portal could be one of the biggest breakthroughs in historical research!  Just think, we could go back in time and actually find out some of the biggest mysteries in the world!  We could actually watch Kennedy's assassination, and how the moon landing was faked, and how 9/11 was really the result of a years-long conspiracy amongst the top tiers of the government!  The only people who wouldn't want to have this information out in the world would be the liberal media, with their bias and their determination to hide all of the parts of history that don't fit into their neat little narrative.  But we'd show them!  We'd show them all!

AUTHOR:  Oooookay then.  NEXT!

I think I'm going to stop things here, as I'm having a really difficult time coming up with different characters for this.  I may come back to it, though, because the exercise itself is really cool.