Develop your characters through dance
Thanks to Rhay Christou, author and writing teacher at www.MargieLawson.com, for introducing me to this short video below showing a fun and creative way to develop your characters.
Actor Kevin Cox offers advice to other actors that can be beneficial for writers, too. He says we should be able to express our character physically. He suggests dancing out your scenes—try different styles of dance like hip hop, ballet, tango, salsa, waltz, etc. Give your dance the attitudes of your character. This will help unlock your body and open up your potential to connect with your character. If you have two characters in a scene dance out one character’s part then dance out the other character’s part. How do they differ? What did you learn?
Once you’ve got the dancing down and you’re still in your character’s skin, close your eyes and ask some questions. What do they feel in the moment? How are they moving? What do they taste and hear and smell? If they opened their eyes right now, what would they see?
Watch this 3-minute video and then read on:
I just tried this (in my side yard where no neighbors could see me) and discovered the following:
* My protagonist feels heavy in her body when she’s with the antagonist she is attracted to (she’s not overweight so this is a reflection of her emotional state);
* She feels lighter in her body and soul when she’s with her ex-boyfriend who she is also attracted to.
* The difference is the antagonist leans in on her energy, he is trying to get something from her and wants to control her. Her ex-boyfriend wants her to be herself and to fulfill her potential but only so that it completes her and not him. Wow. Love it. And this is just the surface stuff…I bet if I dig deeper into the dance, I find more.
Try the exercise and tell us what you experienced in the comments below.