November 15th, 2011

Me typing?
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 6.24: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Writing Excuses 6.24: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime


Key Points: It's exciting and interesting to take a ridiculous, over-the-top idea and humanize it, to bring out the characters and story in a realistic way. Put people in incredible situations! Give your story a real core of emotion. For example, when a superhuman character looks at someone they are saving and realizes that they can never go back to that life. "You can do almost anything ridiculous as long as you go back to the core of emotion."

To flesh out the completely ridiculous premise, try "How could this possible have happened?" and "What are the ramifications?" Use the 1000 why's. Why is it like this, and how did we get here? Also, look at how it affects the richest and poorest person in society. Also, try "given this, what does the character want? Why?" Finally, look for the conflict. Where are all the points of friction?
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[Andrew] Sure. How about a story about a character who discovers that there's a pill out there that gives you the powers of a god?
[Mary] And you can pick the god.
[Andrew] You can pick the god, but it comes in pill form.
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[Howard] All right. Fair listener, you are out of excuses. Go write.