The Writers in the Grove weekly meeting will resume on Monday, September 10.
The prompt for Monday’s meeting was to write about a memorable dating experience in your past and it could be from the perspective of a good or bad experience.
It could also be expanded more broadly to be about any historical date observed or a date that is memorable in your life.
This week the group explored the question of how to create empathy for a less than likeable or flawed character in a story.
An excerpt was read from the book titled “Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective”, by Leslie Thomas.
This is the story of a man who became deeply concerned with the unsolved murder of a young girl, committed twenty-five years before.
He was a drunk, lost, laughed at and frequently baffled; poor attributes for a detective. But he was patient too, and dogged. He was called Dangerous Davies (because he was said to be harmless) and was known in the London police as ‘The Last Detective’ since he was never dispatched on any assignment unless it was very risky or there was no one else to send.
For additional reference we discussed a list of suggestions taken from a blog post on the website screencraft.org, titled 7 Ways Screenwriters Can Create Better Character Empathy.
Here is their list of possible ways to accomplish this for a flawed character:
- Mourning the loss of a loved one.
- Being the underdog.
- Being an animal lover or protector of innocence.
- Dealing with disease, addiction or other inner (and outer) struggles.
- Showcasing loyalty.
- Overcoming a fear.
- Being treated unjustly.
The prompt is to write an opening paragraph for a character who is not necessarily the hero type.
There were two prompts given for last Monday’s meeting:
- The play and menace of light.
- A vivid dream.
Prompt from last Monday’s meeting:
Imagine a court case involving the Scooby-Doo cartoon characters. What weirdness would the judge have to contend with when the teenagers and their dog testify in the case of one of the suspicious villains they helped capture.
The following was inspired by the prompt A First Event in Your Life, and is by Writers in the Grove member, Sandra K. Yeaple Serrano.
The first time, I knew I was different. The age was 5 years old, it was summer time, in Portland, Oregon, very hot, as so my child’s mind thought. It was colder under my bed, so I crawled under there, and fell asleep in the far corner, hiding in my corner. I was asleep and I woke with a start at the very bad dream I just had. So I went running down the stairs of our three story house, my grandfather had bought for my mom, when they all came from the Wyoming Territory back in his days. My grandfather had bought the house right next door for my Uncle too. But as I ran down the stairs calling for my mommy, I saw her on the couch folding the endless laundry she always tried doing, with all four of us kids. I was crying and she said, whats wrong? I said, I had a bad dream mommy, and she said to tell her about it, so I did. I told her that our dog Bell, had ripped open the screen top my little brother and I used to hold our lizards in their cage, as we let them get some sun. I said Bell ate mine too and spit it out on our front porch! As I cried to my mommy, She said that it was only a dream. And dreams we not real. I hugged her and said thank you mommy, I love you! She said you’re welcome and I love you too! We heard Bell barking and running around outside, so mom, and I got up and ran onto the front porch, to see what the ruckus was about. Bell was at the cage of the lizards we were letting sun bathe, just like in my dream, my mother and I watched Bell and she did the same thing as in my dream! She opened the cage by scratching off the screen, and reached in and grabbed a lizard, chomping on it as she ran over to us on the porch, and prompting spit out my lizard, right between my mother and me! I looked up at my mom, with my jaw hanging open, with a look of, I didn’t do it, on my face! Not to mention the look of shock and disbelief on her own face! That was my very first Vision God gave me, come to life!
- List two to three things you thought you would achieve in life but never did. Think of career goals or dreams you had when you were young.
- List two to three things you did in fact achieve that you never anticipated.
- Write about one of them or make observations on several of them and what it says about who you came to be.
- Gremlins in your house 🙂
There seem to be universal experiences we all have, such as setting a cup of coffee down and then not being able to remember where we left it. Or how the car keys keep getting lost. It’s those mysterious and unseen Gremlins in the house we blame for these acts.
Write on your encounters with these events and how they affect you and those around you.
The prompt for last Monday’s meeting was to write about a “first” event or experience in your life.
For example it could be about your first car, or your first kiss.
- Make a list of three or four “first” events or experiences from your life.
- Choose one from your list and write about it. Describe what you felt at the time or how it impacted you.
The prompt for today is:
Write about a childhood memory set in summer and an event or experience that taught you something you didn’t necessarily want to learn.