Thursday, April 28, 2011

Character Sketch Exercise

On a whim this morning I assigned my kids an RPG-based writing exercise. The conversation went like this:

Me (getting ready to leave for work): "Hey kids, I have a writing assignment for you."

Them: [Groans] "Ugh."

Them: "Uh, is it D&D related?"

Me: "Yep!"

Them: "Yay! Alright!" and "What is it?" (now with enthusiasm)

That's good, right? The RPG is working its magic. So here's the assignment I gave them: they have to write a one- or two-page story about what Raze, the man with the eye patch, did after he finished making the deal with Elerisa and left the museum. Since they weren't with him after he left, they get to make it all up. What I've challenged them to do is to show me what kind of person he is through his actions, rather than telling me what kind of person he is. Show, don't tell. This is advice I received from my friend Adam, whose wife Kristi - another player in the older Pathfinder game I run - is an author. I think it is a splendid idea and will help further develop my kids' writing skills. What I'm leading them into is writing character sketches (or portraits), but I don't need them to know that. As far as they're concerned, they're just writing stories.

And writing adventure stories is fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment