One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing since becoming an author is teaching writing classes. If you’d told me at the beginning of my career that I’d be able to take such a huge concept like writing a book and break it down into segments so others could learn the craft, I would have thought it impossible. Time (lots of time!) proved me wrong.
Last week, I filled in as an instructor for a friend who had to go out of town last minute. My topic? Characters. Perfect, because I love developing characters. Teaching the concept, a bit harder. But we had an awesome class. The students got the hang of the idea and soon we were discussing movies or other books with memorable characters and how they became so iconic.
Who can forget Scarlett O’Hara? Ebenezer Scrooge? Jane Eyre? The movie Braveheart or While You Were Sleeping? Die Hard? I’m sure you can come up with characters that stick with you long after you close the pages of a book or walk out of a movie theater.
The best part about teaching the class was the enthusiasm from the students. They may not be published, or even want to get that far, but they immersed themselves in the class. Had very well thought out remarks. Three hours flew by! Some even hung around afterward, still talking about characterization.
Writing can often times be solitary, but on the occasions where I get to be around people who love reading and writing, it fills my creative well. And as thrilled and awed as I am over the fact that I get to write books others will read, I love giving back. Sharing a bit of knowledge that has brought me to this place in life where I get to do what I love is a wonderful gift. I hope I get to keep sharing with others for years to come.
Who are some of the most memorable characters from books or movies you love?