June 4, 2012
Sometimes the most effective way of conveying a character’s feelings is to project them onto other people, animals, objects or spaces. Here is an exercise I find effective in developing this skill.
In a single paragraph describe a room from the point of view (POV) of a character who has just learned that his/her mother has died. The trick is to describe the room WITHOUT mentioning the mother’s death or using such words as “depressed,” “sad,” etc.
In another paragraph describe the same room only this time from the POV of someone who has just won the lottery. Again, do not refer to the win directly or use words such as “happy,” “I’m rich!” etc. Describe the room, the atmosphere, lighting, furniture, etc, that would be indicative of someone who has just discovered his/her life has been changed in a momentous way.