Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Forces of Nature in Your Stories by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ (mailto:shery@writesparks.com)

Nature plays a big role in stories. Nature can make a character more authentic because it can influence his/her action or behavior.

If you ever find yourself stuck on to how to describe one of your characters, add a force of nature in your character description. Describe how your character behaves or reacts during a bad (or good) weather.

Take for example a few movies where forces of nature were vital. Imagine how the characters and the plots would change if the following forces of nature were taken away:

~ the tornado in the Wizard of Oz
~ the lightning in Phenomenon (John Travolta)
~ the volcanic eruption in Dante's Peak (Pierce Brosnan)
~ the icebergs in the Atlantic in Titanic (Leonardo diCaprio)
~ the avalanche in Vertical Limit (Chris O'Donnell)

Try to substitute another force of nature in the examples above and see how it affects the story and the characters.

Try it yourself on the following:

1. Deanna Ball possesses a strong sense of duty. She's stuck in a traffic jam. Force of nature: Earthquake

2. Randall Graves is people-oriented and works well with others. He's in a bar watching afternoon football with friends. Force of nature: Snowstorm

3. Dessa Woods has an intimidating personality. She's on vacation with a couple of friends. Force of nature: Avalanche

4. Geoff Earhart is organized and methodical in his approach to everything. He's been ordered to recover a vital piece of equipment from a capsized ship. Force of nature: Lightning storm

5. Mac Taylor is the persistent type. He's been trailing a woman who looked like his best friend's dead wife. Force of nature: Torrential rain

Copyright 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

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