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Episode 10.4 Question

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Hi everyone! I recently discovered this awesome podcast and really appreciate the authors taking the time to provide it. Thanks!

I've started with season 10 and have a question about the episode 10.4 writing exercise that seems like it should be ridiculously straightforward, but I'm struggling.


Take one of the ideas you’re excited about, and then audition five different characters for the lead role in that story. Make sure they’re all different from each other.

Question: All the other exercises so far have actual output that you can read. This one is confusing me though as I don't know what I'm supposed to write. Obviously the quest giver exercise provider Dan didn't mean a literal audition in the play/movie sense (where I'd give characterX a copy of Hamlet and ask them to perform a couple of parts to test their acting skills), so what did he mean? What is the actual thing I should be writing? I'm flummoxed. Help!

Thanks for any advice. :)

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I will be honest, I have never listened to Writing Excuses nor am I a writer but when I read your post what came to mind was, perhaps, write a paragraph for each character that describes them as the lead character of your novel/idea/comic/whatever.

E.g. Wax, from the Era 2 Mistborn novels, might have had a paragraph along these lines:
An experienced lawman from the Roughs has to return to the city of his birth to confront the very situation that drove him to leave decades ago. The conflict of an old dog forced to learn new tricks while adapting to an uncomfortable, but all too familiar, environment can provide plenty of room for character growth. [etc.]

Whereas Marasi's might have been more like:
Young, inexperienced but full of knowledge, idealism, and foresight, Marasi would make an excellent lead character as she can provide the reader with a great sense of purpose. Her ability to see beyond the moment and plan ahead will allow for some great foreshadowing and plot twists. [etc.]

I might be playing the role of an casting agent trying to convince a director in those sentences haha but I think it might help you decide on the potential strengths/weaknesses of each character in the proposed role.


Or, you know, I could be completely wrong. Sorry if what I wrote is just absolute nonsense haha.

Edit: Just saw this was your first post! Welcome to the forum Roy! Happy to have you!

Edited by CaptainRyan
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On 23/03/2017 at 11:20 PM, CaptainRyan said:

write a paragraph for each character that describes them as the lead character of your novel/idea/comic/whatever

15 hours ago, Flynn said:

for each character, you write some of your story with them as the main character

I would say there is no wrong and right answer. I think these are both good responses to the exercise.

I am a great one for writing notes, mainly in the pre-writing stage. I tend to outline the first 1/2 to 2/3's of my stories then pants the rest. Also, I had the advantage that I was following the rationale of Season 10 from the start, so had begun outlining my story and had developed some character ideas. I wrote 70 to 90 words on each character, based on why I thought they were best for the leading role, pros and cons really. So, I guess I was more towards @CaptainRyan's approach. 

Good luck with the rest of Season 10. I found it an excellent idea and got a lot out of it. I've been writing for years, but I'm still catching up with RE these past 4 years. I've finished 1 to 10, then jumped 11 so I could be current with Season 12. I've learned so much - I share your enthusiasm, @Roy and gratitude to the RE team!


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Any while I'm on - I'll fly the flag for Reading Excuses. When you're finished your story, @Roy, why not come see us next door and submit it for a friendly and constructive critique? We have all levels of writers over on Reading Excuses, one of whom was published in February on a 3-book deal, another is self-published and working his third book towards publication. There are plenty of others though who are leisure writers, so there's no pressure.

Everyone's welcome :) 

Edited by Robinski
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