Monday, January 26, 2015

Be Your Character's Life Coach, with Terrel Hoffman

Having trouble with your characters? Our OCCRWA February Online Class can help!

Terrel Hoffman is here today to talk about the online class she'll be teaching starting February 16, 2015:

WHO YOUR CHARACTER THINKS SHE IS MIGHT NOT BE WHO YOU THINK SHE IS

Who are you?

Who do you think you are?

Is who you think you are who you really are?

Are you sure?

Read the questions above again. Slowly. Now, apply those questions to your characters.

Who you are is an amalgam of every experience you’ve ever had. Everything you’ve thought others think about you. The same is true of your characters, if you’ll let them experience their lives.

Who you are (as in who you really are) is deep inside you. And that authentic person cannot be revealed unless you give her (or him) space.

That’s the idea behind life coaching. It’s a process of discovering the person you were always meant to be, discovering the path you were always meant to take, living the life you were always meant to live.

That’s what you try to do for your characters, right? You want your characters to be three dimensional. You want them to be memorable, believable, realistic. And yet, what if that realism is something you can’t reveal without understanding everything that ever went into creating your character as she is today?

You don’t need to go deep into your character’s Freudian psychology, or know who her 3rd- grade teacher was, if that stellar individual didn’t contribute to your character’s persona, nor do you need to be your character’s armchair therapist. Coaching is a process of asking a series of powerful questions and listening carefully to the answers. Each question’s response leads to further questions.

With Be Your Character’s Life Coach you construct your characters from the inside out.

You probably know what your character’s wound is, where it all started. But what if your character’s behavior and choices led her to the event? Now I’m not talking about rape or war or other catastrophic events as being your character’s fault. But even with those, the events in your character’s life that precede catastrophe can reveal how your character might deal with it afterward.

So, if you aren’t who you think you are, how do you discover who the real you is? And how do you dig out from underneath all the false “you”s to reveal the bright and shining authentic you?

When you write your characters, that’s what you’re doing, right?

Why not make it realistic? Internally consistent? Organic? Why not also make it fun, thought provoking and surprising too?

With this class, and the exercises in it, you’ll discover how persistent and sneaky your character can be to make sure she gets in her own way. You’ll expose the stories your character has told herself that cause her to believe being stuck is okay. And you’ll discover how your character can grow over the course of her book to attain the balance needed to allow her authentic self to come forth to achieve her happily ever after. You’ll also discover how your character can fail to grow, can reinforce her stories, energize her sneaky side, and so continue to live an inauthentic life. Which is what villains do, right?

I hope you’ll join me for Be Your Character’s Life Coach. But I need you to know, this is a demanding class. As with any life coach, I ask the questions, but you, and your character, do the hard work after the session is over.
 
Be Your Character's Life Coach, with Terrel Hoffman, starts February 16, 2015 and runs through March 15, 2015.
 
For more information and to enroll go to the OCCRWA website.