"God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. ..."
Your act of creation is like God’s in Genesis, an act of allowance, of letting...of surrender. Surrender to the story that calls to be written, surrender to how it calls to be written, surrender to the lives your characters choose to live. For, if you’re writing fiction, those lives are your story.
Just as the Creator in most religious and spiritual traditions allows you the free will to live your imperative and forge your story through the living of it, your call is to allow the beings who leap from your heart, mind and vision the same freedom. Gently guide when necessary, but allow them -- and yourself -- to experience their story as it writes itself onto the page.
William Faulkner recognized this when he wrote, "It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does."
Your job as creator, like William Faulkner's, is to let your characters and their story emerge from the formless void and to breathe life into them so that they -- and you -- can experience all they have come onto your page to live.
Let there be light...and there will be.
• Where are you not letting your characters tell their story and live their imperative?
• How can you free your characters to let them tell their story to you?
• Where are you being too controlling -- over your characters and over your story?
• Adapted from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write (c) 2008 Mark David Gerson
Free Your Characters, Free Your Story:
Spring Seminars & Workshops
Storytelling is about people living the same lives we live, experiencing the same emotions we experience, facing the same challenges we face. Storytelling is about fully embodied people who are more than characters. It's about readers who experience their lives through the lives of our characters.
Let Mark David guide you to free your characters and your stories this spring as you learn how to...
• Discover who your characters are and how they're living their stories
• Create rich, true-to-life characters who live rich, true-to-life experiences that leap off the page and into your reader's heart and mind
• Propel your stories from the mundane to the magical, from the predictable to the unexpected
Albuquerque Character Workshop
Saturday, May 1 ~ 10 am to 5 pm
(Discounted through April 26)
Santa Fe Character Seminar
(part of the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe)
Friday, June 4 ~ 3:15 to 4:45 pm
More information on all Mark David's events
Photo credits: Bald Eagle State Park by Mark David Gerson; William Faulkner from Mental Floss magazine