Wednesday Writing Prompt: Where in the world is Character Sandiego?

The two main elements of a scene are often considered character and setting.  WHO is in the scene is important, but just as important can be WHERE they are.

Lets look at the Star Wars prequels. (No, please, come back, this is worth it, I swear! )

The first movie has its final pivotal fight in a factory.  Force fields come and go, large pits abound.  It forces the action to move in fits and starts. We see Darth Maul, waiting menacingly. Obi Wan, stalking back and forth impatiently. And Qui-Gon, waiting in peaceful mediation.  The setting is controlling the speed of the action, and giving a specific lens to view the characters through. We are given a view of their character in how they interact with what the setting is doing to prevent them from giving them what they want.  (Side note . I’ve often heard that to write a good story, figure out what your characters want, and then do everything you can to prevent them from getting it. Jerk move, writer person, but it works)


The final movie has another pivotal fight scene at the end.  We’re on the surface of a volcano planet. The ground is breaking and moving, hot magma bursts up from underneath, poison gas clouds waver to and fro.  Moving platforms out of an old console game float here and there.  The action is fast, there is almost no break, and the two fighters, Anakin and Obi Wan, are moving constantly. Their dialogue is just as hot and quick, panting for breath, and not getting the time to think between words.  Which is completely what I blame the second lamest line in the movie on.  “It’s over Anakin, I have the high ground.”  (I mean, cmon dude. lets go back to that first fight.  You were IN A HOLE, well below Maul, hanging by one hand, and you won. Of EVERY Jedi out there, you should know how much bantha dung you’re shoveling.)


Long rant short, the setting was very much a character in these regards. It impacted the scene, impacted the way the other characters interacted, and showed us sides of the characters we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

So, for today’s prompt, click the link below.  It’s going to take you to some random google street view, somewhere in the world.  It’s an interesting game, that asks you to click on a map of the world where you think you are.  Today however, you’re not playing the game.  Go to it, go to a random place, and look around.  you can walk (it’s Google street view) around, and find a spot somewhere that looks interesting.  And take a couple of your characters and place them there.  Either at random, or, if you have a scene that’s causing a hard time, move the scene there, and write!  You probably won’t use this scene, and that’s okay.  But I want you to pay attention to how the characters interact, how using the scene may change the way they present themselves, the pacing of the scene, the feeling of action or lack of.  Let me know what you think of the prompt after, and feel free to share your location and what you wrote in the comments !




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