Character Study # 1 – Gaspard

Character Study # 1 – Gaspard

I’ve met some people through one of my writing groups, and we’ve started an online role play via Discord. We’ve taken characters from our books, thrown them all together, and laughing at the chaos. It’s been a very refreshing approach to writing. I’ve had to stay on my toes, and speak in distinct voices for the two characters I brought in.

Which brings me to Gaspard… I’ve changed this character’s name so many times in the last three months I’ve spent working on this story. His attitude and motivations have changed. He went from being the antagonist to the protagonist (he was always the protagonist; it was simply buried under complex backstory that has since been cut to make his role more definitive). His appearance, his mannerisms… basically everything but the gloves he wears has gone through revision!

After the Revision Workshop with Kate Finegan I decided to rework the beginning of my story to introduce him immediately, and set the scene better.

Exercise #1 – Lighthouse


I’ve been taking part in an online workshop series about the editing process. During the first session we discussed reviewing the content while keeping your “lighthouse” in mind. The guiding light. The goal. The reason you started writing the project, be it an idea, concept, or full scene. From there remove elements that don’t fit in to that progression. I absolutely loved that idea, and it’s helping me re-work the first half of my piece.

For the second week, we did some peer review of our projects and were asked to review what we liked versus what stuck out like sore thumbs. Compare what fits the narrative to what we’re questioning the purpose of or are not pleased with. Does the piece work without those things? Do those things work on their own? Should they be enhanced or removed entirely?

Lots of good questions to consider.

An exercise suggested during this session that I found fascinating involved writing around obstructions. Impose a rule (e.g., only use dialogue, change the perspective, switch to a different character, etc.) and re-write a scene. This can offer fresh insight and allow you to identify the crucial details that work in both instances that are necessary to be included. It also breaks you out of your comfort zone, which is something you might unintentionally find yourself clinging to when writing a long piece.

Something I’ve always wanted to try, was to use my Tarot cards to help set a framework or outline for a scene and then stick specifically to that.