Being imaginative is key in the creative writing process. Imagine how bland Oz would be, had Mr. Baum lacked vision. How different would Middle Earth seem, had Tolkien not developed such a vast world in which to place his characters. Like Alice, we must go “down the rabbit hole”.
The first step in developing our creative writing project was not to choose our characters. It was to pick the landscape in which our characters would dwell. Within the right setting, a character lives and breathes; they come to life and jump off the page.
Do you want a character that dwells amidst the ocean? Perhaps they are huddled in the center of the earth, floating among the clouds, or utterly alone in a frozen wilderness.
What dangers will they be forced to overcome? What hazards await them? What lessons are to be learned? These are all important to the setting of your character.
Should you lack vision, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is the perfect book to help you out. This glossary is filled from cover to cover with every imaginary place ever listed in the history of literature (well, practically)! The problem will be narrowing down your choices.
Each person who is participating, should start with picking a landscape in which to set their character. From there, they are encouraged to add details that pertain to their environment. This will help you to remain consistent throughout the year and help you come up with writing prompts, should you ever get stuck.
As I mentioned yesterday, everyone here is joining in on the project. My husband and I have a much more detailed view from which to work. Our oldest daughter is eleven, so she too was encouraged to be much more thorough in creating her character’s world. Our other daughters are a little too young to go into much detail; however, we did encourage them to write some. Our son isn’t doing much at all (as he is only five) but he did inform us that he is from Planet Angry Birds!
No matter where you choose to place your character, remember to be creative. There are no rules to the game, you are free to have fun. Chicago is not just Chicago, but a breathing city where the buildings have come to life and are using people as food. The center of the earth has become the melting pot for all sources of chocolate and your character will mine its depth in search of liquid “gold”.
Experiment, innovate, and dream. There is no place your imagination can’t take you. The bigger you dream, the more complex the backdrop; the easier it will become to develop your character.
If you could pick a world in which to abide; which world would you choose? Would you pick danger, magic, or do you prefer peace and comfort?