EXERCISE - CHARACTER INVENTION INTENSIVE
Johnny Cash once sang, “flesh and blood needs flesh and blood” and so do characters need characters. It took me forever to realize this. Characters need characters to respond to, to interact with, to care for, sometimes to flee from.
So for fun, let’s create a bunch of characters, quickly.
Get a small stack of scrap paper or those index cards. Give yourself 2 - 3 minutes for each of the following drawings.
1. Draw a self-portrait again. Use one of the drawings from exercise 8 as a model if you like, or create some new symbolic way to represent yourself.
2. Draw the “low self” that we wrote down in exercise 2
3. Draw any figure of authority
4. Draw any monster or real jerk
5. Draw your “high self” from exercise 2
6. Give any one of these doodles a spouse or parent
Let’s play some games with these characters. How might one be related to another? Put some of the word balloon/ideas you’ve got lying around over some of their heads.
I’ve drawn a figure of authority here- the FASHION POLICE! And I’ve thrown the “When oh when” spider-man word balloon over his head, and immediately I wonder, is this his main concern? Is he ready tom comment on the costumes in all the superhero flicks? I could imagine later moments with my cinemea obsessed character and this character, through mere combining of things I’ve generated have lying around, creative fires are being lit and and my store being wildly expanded.
This method of attaching and expansion seems silly here, but it works equally well for graver stories or images. The characters and obsessions YOU harbor will create their own fire.
In chapter 6 we’ll detail many more ways of experiementing and engaging with these characters.