Bringing a Story to Life: Rehearsing

An Empty Theatre StageI just handed Pin: Book 8 in the Metatron’s Army Series off to the beta reader.

It will be available December 15, 2018

Being so far ahead in the series enables me to work on a number of administrative details associated with being a writer.

Such as releasing videos on the paranormal aspect of how Metatron’s Army came to be and how it got its name on my Youtube Channel.

It also allows me to participate in something I call Rehearsals.

The practice grew out of the hours spent reviewing various scenes before bed.

This entire series has been like writing in reverse.  I saw the story first, with characters and scenes appearing and playing out like a movie.  The story evolved as I paid close attention to who they were and what was taking place.

One day while listening to music and playing endless Free Cell, a twist turned a sometimes-tedious activity into a wonderful writer’s tool.

Playing Free Cell while listening to music draws my mind to a meditative state which helps fuel the creativity necessary for writing, including nonfiction writing.

I was working on a scene that involved several characters.  This can be a challenge because every time you have to switch the point of view, you risk pulling the reader out of the story.  When the tempo of the song changed I found myself naturally viewing the same scene through the eyes of a different character.  This eventually evolved to the practice of telling the same scene or passage from the viewpoint of different characters.

This has been so successful it not only helped me clean up the scenes, it allowed other plot twists to surface.

It also gave me great insight into the other characters, to learn more about them.  Since some of these were secondary or tertiary characters, I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to connect to them as deeply otherwise.

As a story teller, I consistently saw the value of “hearing” the other characters’ points of view.

This often presents itself through “listening” to dialogue between the various characters in any scene.

The perspective gained from the practice has led to several alternative scenes and though the overall plot did not change, it did allow me to explore the characters in ways I hadn’t considered.  This allowed me to illustrate their ability to grow through the story and with the help of the other characters, who often see them differently depending on their relationship to them.

Adversary, ally, lover, friend, subordinate.

The more often I spent time on Rehearsal the more opportunities I saw to develop the plot and the characters.  As I followed up on these by adding scenes, I found myself growing more confident and a lot happier with my story and with who the characters were becoming.

Especially, Christine.

From that confidence, came an unconscious act.  I wrote from the character as and after they’d grown.  Since I write character driven stories, I was thrilled to see how it strengthened not only the characters, but the story itself.

It also gave me courage to write actions appropriate to a character who had grown, matured, developed self-confidence.  This was particularly fun when it came to

  • Her authority over others
  • Her interactions with other authority figures
  • Her actions as a lover who has more self-confidence

It was also fun to write the other characters’ reactions to her new behavior.

They could no longer pay lip service to the authority bestowed on her.

This allowed me to take various characters in directions I hadn’t planned.

I have really enjoyed Rehearsal and have created play lists I use just for this activity.

These playlists tend to be instrumental though I do have a few with vocals.  Typically, songs with vocals drive my motivation in a different direction, acting more to just get me in the mood to write.

The best part about Rehearsal is I can do it anywhere.

  • In bed before sleep
  • Outside while observing nature
  • While rereading a reread of a reread of a reread of one of my favorite authors

Any activity where my mind does not have to be totally engaged.

In other words, do not do while driving or operating heavy machinery.

The biggest challenge is exiting Rehearsal Mode and entering Writer Mode.

And on that note – it’s time to get to Promotion:  Book 9 which will be released March 15, 2019.

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