April 22, 2008

poetry for character development 3

Your characters have a way that they do things that may be a very different approach than you would take as a person yourself or as a writer trying to fix script issues. Sometimes, it's best to get out of the way and let them fix the problems themselves.


In the voice of your lead character, address an obstacle blocking your lead from getting what they want. Maybe your lead wants to seduce his/her lover. Write a "how to seduce" poem in their voice. Maybe your lead wants to kill his/her enemy. Write a "how to get rid of so-and-so" poem.

Use the form and structure of the below poem as your guide.

How to See Deer
by Philip Booth

Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,

lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods

Inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,

and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.

Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;

make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,

drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen

trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.

You've come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to

new shapes in your eye.
You've learned by now
to wait without waiting;

as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief

things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.

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