6_1 Getting Started

Individual Deliverable 6:  Getting Started

From:     Lani Uyeno
, Manager

To:         Hali'a Interns

Subject: Getting Started and Drafting

“Reveal your character through actions, dialogue, appearance, and crisis. Remember, CHARACTER IS STORY. Characters aren't merely pegs to be inserted into a preconceived plot. Characters are living, breathing people who have made your life more interesting, and who will make your story more interesting as well.” (Michelle Richmond, Memoir Writing Teacher at Gotham Writers' Workshop)

To begin Individual Deliverable 6, your third memoir, think about the following:

We all have a wide variety of characters who were either present throughout a large part of our young lives or who, though merely flitting through, still left behind an indelible memory because they affected us in some way. 

Take yourself back to childhood and think of those whose faces, words, or actions are most readily conjured in our mind.  Make a list of all those who fit into the category.

Think of one or two incidents that would help bring these individuals to life for your reader.  Try seeing them in action.

·      Names.  In fiction, the choosing of a character’s name is of prime importance.  In memoir writing, it is chosen for us, but the person might prefer to be known by a nickname.  What is your character’s name?

·      Physical Appearance gives clues as to someone’s personality.  Looking back, did your influential person see, to be always smiling?  Did your aunt have a bump on the bridge of her nose?  Describing a physical appearance enables the reader to see your character more clearly.  Think of the physical traits that capture the person.

·      Clothing makes an obvious statement about us and sometimes about the times we live in.  When you think about your influential person, what kind of clothing do you remember him/her wearing?  Write for ten minutes about that.

·      Mannerisms/Body language:  was your special person always picking up clutter?  Or did he/she sit upright with hands folded?  

·      Character Traits:  show what your character is like by having him or her in action by means of a scene.  

When you have completed your draft, move on Draft Sharing.  Be sure to complete your draft before moving on. Please review the Daily Assignments listing for draft due dates.