Writing Tip #71

Take a bad habit of yours and turn it on its head.

I'll share an example. One of my bad habits in writing is the tendency to fill a character with too much angst. Especially if that character is a lot like me. Check out my post on that here.

This morning I was adding to a story map for a future idea and I came to a character who in many ways resembles someone like me. I thought, How do I make this guy who's going through the most intense and dramatic thing in his life someone we won't get tired of but rather root for?

As I was "casting actors" for their roles in this story, I thought that I needed to change things up with this part. So who did I cast?

Will Ferrell.

Everything suddenly changed when it came to this character in my story.

His character arc and journey will be the same. But imagining Will Ferrell as the character changes things entirely.

No, I'm not going to make it out to be like a Saturday Night Live skit. No, the character is not going to randomly say things like "I need more cowbell."

The thing with Will Ferrell is that you can't help but love the guy. You can't help but smile at him, even when he's being serious. Maybe it's because he's been so funny 95% of the time. But having Will Ferrell in mind when it comes to this character gives it a whole new breath of fresh air.

The tendency to go full-on angst is suddenly gone. Now the tendency will be to go full-on funny (something I've never done). I'll say right now, this won't happen, especiallly not with the journey this poor guy is about to go on. But having some levity in the midst of the darkness--that's something that will be necessary for a story like this and a character like that.

We'll see if Will Ferrell shows up when its time to actually start filming (writing). I hope he does.

So why Will Ferrell? Well, someone once said I reminded them of Will. I still don't know if that was a compliment or not . . .

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