Our third Elemental Drama episode is a Q&A, featuring Tananarive Due. The questions are from the attendees at the Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat:
- Rather than having a protagonist change themselves, can elemental drama have the protagonist change others?
- What happens when a character refuses to learn, refuses to overcome their flaw(s)?
- What are the lines between drama and melodrama?
- Do you have tips for describing body language that communicates character states?
- Are there cases where you should not show character growth or change?
- How do you keep it realistic when writing a character who undergoes a great change?
Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:27 — 13.4MB)
In preparation for next month, and Elemental Issue, define both sides of an issue about which you’re passionate. Write down the arguments in favor of the side you disagree with, but don’t use strawman arguments.
Ghost Summer, by Tananarive Due
Focusing on elemental drama can be tricky. Remember, elemental drama is basically “character change.” A great many stories use character change in some way—it’s almost ubiquitous. In this episode we’ll pick at the ubiquity, and look at the many different ways in which character change can be featured, and what sort of tools we have at our disposal to make this happen in our stories.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:16 — 14.7MB)
Take two scenes, each with a different conflict—a logistical one, and an emotional one—and blend them into a single scene.
Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal, narrated by the author. In two weeks, Episode 11.44 will be a Project In Depth on this book, so if you want to do the homework, now’s a good time to start.
The word “drama” gets thrown around a lot. What do we mean when we use “drama” as an elemental genre? For us, Elemental Drama focuses on one character’s transformation, and how that transformation affects everyone around them.
This is a narrow definition of the word, but it’s a very useful way to look at books where the character journey is what has us turning pages. We talk about the tools we use to write these stories, and what kinds of things might trip us up.
Credits: this episode was recorded by Jeff Cools, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:22 — 11.3MB)
Let’s foreshadow the failure state: look at something you’ve recently written, and then go back and insert a character who represents the failure state that your protagonist must avoid.