Bring your character to psychotherapy!
As a therapist and writer, I work with other writers to aid character development for their novels and short stories. This work can help with stuckness when writing and can aid with the development of plot, story and especially dialogue. Combining my education and experience in the philosophical and the psychotherapeutic field, our dialogue will naturally lead to exploring what it is to be human at a deeper level, what matters to your character as an individual, as part of a relationship or group, as a gendered, political, and emotionally fragile being. This encounter provides an opportunity to examine all the experiential tensions that your character may be holding just by virtue of existing – in fact tensions that we all hold as human beings.
Fictional characters must appear real and believable for your reader to invest in them. Engagement in a session like this can help you really tap into the inner life of your character:
* Get to know your character that you are writing about at a deeper experiential level.
* Understand your character’s history, motives and aspirations.
* How does your character feel?
* How do they communicate?
* What is important to them?
* What triggers deeper emotions within them?
Get under the skin of your creation to aid your writing.
This work is moment to moment birthing so that the natural, unique qualities and quirks of your character can appear in a more spontaneous manner rather than being contrived or constrained by stereotypical descriptions.
How does it work?
You can book a one-off hour long session for your character. I don’t need to know any details up front about your creation. This makes it a more authentic experience for you and your character. You can arrive as him or her with whatever the character would like to talk about. The first ten minutes will be about you and I settling in and me explaining how I work. We will then get into session and I will work with your character for the remaining fifty minutes, in the here and now, in an authentic manner so you can tap into the character in an experiential way. You are free to record the session so that you can replay the dialogue and/or transcribe for further development.
I strongly advise transcribing the session afterwards as you will really get to know your character and feel them as you write. As you transcribe, other details and ideas will naturally come to you for further exploration and development.
“Thank you so much for the therapy session with my fictional character. It has been of great help to explore the character’s possible issues and consequently examine different perspectives. Not only has it been very inspiring as to what directions my narrative might take, it has been very practical as well. From our 50 minute session I have around 6000 words of dialogue which I can structure in several ways without losing a realistic flow. From this experience I can say it is a very exciting approach to fiction writing and I hope more writers will benefit from this experimental method.”