A good writer can summon the right mix of words and creativity to bring any story or situation to life.
I think I’ve always believed that statement. But, in the past, I’ve been more comfortable telling true stories, derived from the vault of my memories. Less comfortable creating a set of characters and possibilities from scratch.
Recently, a voice inside has been telling me to try my hand at fiction. I decided to humor that voice. I registered for an in-person, six-week creative writing course in Scottsdale. It began in mid-September.
Twelve of us writers from all walks of life sit around an oblong table every Wednesday afternoon. Our instructor shares her experience and tools. She’s a writer, screenwriter, and editor.
She guides us through various writing prompts in the moment. We take turns reading our work to each other. Then, we disburse to craft something original for the following Wednesday.
One of our assignments was to create a detailed character inventory. To essentially build a character from the ground up–complete with personal history, physical traits, likes, dislikes, baggage, strengths, and weaknesses. The whole enchilada.
The idea might sound intimidating. It certainly wasn’t easy, but it was a lot of fun. Now, I’m beginning to write a story that features this character. Remarkably, I can envision this person in the world, though they exist purely in my imagination.
I don’t know where this exercise will lead ultimately, but I’m open to the raw uncertainty. For the first time in about a year, I feel a surge in creative energy to explore and try new things.
Time, trial and error will tell me whether I truly have a flair for fiction. When I’m ready to disclose more, I’ll share it here.