The 5 'Ifs' and a Camel
|Hello, there, Cuddy!|
I’d like to say that I met this beautiful creature whilst on one of my healthy walks – but I was driving and just stopped to say hello. I know nothing about these one humped animals so I’ll call it a ‘he’.
He happily chewed the cud whilst I talked to him about characters. At least talking to the animals is better than talking to yourself, isn’t it? Unless someone walks past…
Back in the day, when I first started teaching, a colleague shared an excellent way of introducing the sensitive topic of ‘death’ to a class. I’ve used this lesson in a variety of ways since and most times it had super outcomes. And now, I use it as an exercise for myself when exploring new characters. I call it the ‘IF’ task. It goes like this:
If my character was a plant or a flower, what plant or flower would it be?
If my character was a sound, what sound would it be?
If my character was a household appliance, what appliance would it be?
If my character was a vehicle, what vehicle would it be?
If my character was a fruit or vegetable, what would it be?
Naturally, the reason for the choices has to be explained – to yourself or to a one-humped camel (dromedary – just to prove I know what it is called).
I love this exercise because it’s quick and fun. Once I know the basic traits of my characters I do (sometimes – not always) go deeper and produce CVs or Resumés for each character and have occasionally held interviews with them. Any method of getting to know a character is a worthy one.
You could also try the ‘IF’ task out on yourself. That is quite an eye-opener (if you're honest).
Have you tried this method before? Do you do anything out of the ordinary to get to know your characters better?