2 May 2020 - 11:05 am

Writers’ Asylum: Love in Mind: Prologue

Welcome to the Asylum. Take a seat, make yourself comfortable. The doors are closing behind you and you’re going to be here a while.

This time, we will be exploring the human heart in all its sweet, painful glory. Through five challenges, we will delve into a single story, with each challenge building upon the last. The challenges are a thousand words or an hour long each, whichever you reach first. There will also be an extra facet for each challenge, to push you even further, should you wish to take it on. 

But first, let’s talk about the world in which your story will take place. You can choose any type of world you wish, from any era, so choose something that interests you. Is it contemporary or historical? Futuristic? Set on Earth or another world entirely? Is there technology or magic? How real are gods and monsters? 

Once you have picked your world, focus in on a single place: a place where people live, love, and die. It might be a city or village; a space station or a castle. Have an idea in your mind of what sort of place this is, whether it is one of hope, or toil, or gradual disintegration. Does the sun shine? Does it rain often? Is it lit only by distant stars? 

In this place, choose a single person to focus on. This person is in their twilight years now. Think about who this person is and the path that has led to this part of their story. In a moment, we are going to take five minutes to note down some key elements about this character.

Here are some questions for you to consider when defining your character. How has this person made their living over the years? What sort of person are they, what sort of person have they chosen to be, and what kind of person does the world see them to be? What kind of morality do they hold themselves to, and have they always lived by it? Has it been easy to stay true to themselves, or have there been some hard choices along the way? Compromises? What has been the biggest learning curve they have had to journey through to get where they are today?

As they enter the twilight of their life, what kind of position does this person find themselves in? Do they have a family? A partner? Who are the people still in their life and do they have people they are estranged from now? What sort of person are they attracted to? What kind of attraction appeals to them most and how easily does it happen for them? Are they a romantic person or do they look for something different? How many people have they loved in their life so far and do they have any left to give? 

Now take five minutes to make some notes about the character. Write down as much as you can, to prepare yourself for the challenges to come. The first one starts very soon. 

Let’s get started!

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