TAKING A TRIP AS YOUR CHARACTER

Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my novelist once again. This has been a glorious week as Monday was the release of the third book in my novelist’s Musicology book series Musicology: Volume Three, Twist! One of my favorite and funniest scenes in this comedic series occurs in this volume which deals with a rock and roll fellow named Robbie Sexton and his strange but amusing proclivities. I for one roared.

I did too! I am Tucker and I am a Maltese.

Firstly, you cannot read. And secondly, I am still livid over that vile picture of yours you decided to photobomb my novelist’s post with. Shame on you, filthy cur!

I thought I looked cute.

No one thought you were cute. They were looking at my pictures and thought I was majestic.

I am cute.

Whatever. Without further ado here is my novelist.

One thing I found eye opening and useful as a writer was to travel somewhere through the eyes of a couple of my characters. Right now, of course, travel is sketchy. But I thought I would talk about this experience I went through that I thought was a whole lot of fun and useful when I was writing my book series Musicology.

Musicology takes place primarily in Burbank, California. The first part of the story where Max and Ruby are traveling around to find contestants takes place in different parts of the country. But the bulk of the story is in Burbank. However, there is an important and sizable chunk in the latter part of the series which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Living in the Northwest, Las Vegas is a relatively easy and frugal vacation. And Las Vegas is fun because it has something for everyone. Although I did have a dentist once who abhorred it. I, however, enjoy its imagination and even its garishness and as I was writing my books I thought, I have a chance to go there so I will experience my trip through the eyes of my characters.

While I was in Las Vegas, I took a lot of pictures of things one does not normally think of taking pictures of on vacation like the pattern of the carpet, garbage cans, long hallways, sconces, ceilings, shuttles, bedspreads, artwork in the room, etc.  I wanted to see the world through the eyes of my characters and have a vivid memory of the little things they saw.

In addition, I tried to experience Las Vegas in the way my characters would instead of the way I would. What do they eat and what do they think about what they eat? Are they concerned or not concerned about the price? What are things they might purchase or not purchase? What types of shows would interest them? Could they afford to go or not? How do they view the strip as they walk down it? What catches their eye? What repels them? What entices them? What does it lend to their ideas and ambitions?

I am not advocating to go out of your way and pay a lot of money to go on a trip and certainly not during Covid19. But if you do have an opportunity in the future to visit where your characters live or travel to, whether it be your own back yard or a destination location you happen to be going to I very much encourage doing so in the mindset of your character. You might think of it as method acting for writers. I found it to be one of my most enjoyable vacations.

My Books

You can check out my books Chicane and the first two books in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, and Musicology Volume Three, Twist! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will will Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: ELECTION (1999)-Prime Video

As many of you know, sadly and shockingly the actress Jessica Campbell died recently at the age of 38 at her home in Portland, Oregon. She had stopped acting and became a homeopathic physician. She was known for her role as Amy Andrews in the television show Freaks and Geeks. But she was most notable in her role as Paul Metzler’s angst-ridden sister Tammy Metzler who throws a wrench into things in the fantastic Indi film Election. When election first came out, I was fortunate enough to go to a question-and-answer session with Jim Taylor who co-wrote the screenplay with Alexander Payne (who also directed) and Tom Perrotta who wrote the original novel Election. He was fantastic to listen to. During the session we got to see the alternate ending of the film which is closer to the novel and would have been my choice over the original hands down. I will not tell you what it is and spoil things. But if you do watch the movie and would like to see the alternate ending here is the link. Election is a terrific satire with a terrific premise which is “So, is this a moral situation or an ethical situation? What’s the difference between morals and ethics anyway?” And it’s all played out in a high school during a student body president election. Attractive and ambitious Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is determined to become the student body president. But her teacher Jim McCallister (Matthew Broderick) detests her…or does he? Mr. McCallister sets out to find the perfect opposing candidate in likeable, popular, clueless Paul Metzler (Chris Klein). But when both Paul and Mr. McCallister manage to tick off Paul’s sister Tammy, all-out war ensues.

SMART MOVIES FOR SMART KIDS: WALT DISNEY’S ANIMATION STUDIOS SHORT FILM COLLECTION (2015)-Netflix

This really is a must see. A collection of twelve fantastic and different animated shorts from Walt Disney Studios. Some are Oscar winners like Paperman and Feast, some are poignant like The Little Match Girl and some are technically innovative like Get a Horse! All of them are worth watching for both kids and adults alike.

SCREENWRITINGU FREE CLASS FRIDAY: TAKING FEEDBACK FROM PRODUCERS

You can sign up for the class here. All ScreenwritingU classes are teleconferences unless otherwise specified.

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