Sunday, September 9, 2012

2nd Sunday Savors: Identity vs Essence

Oceanside, Oregon

As I mentioned in my RWA Recap post, I attended Michael Hauge’s workshop at the conference. The number one thing that sticks out from his class is Identity vs Essence, one of the key factors in demonstrating the hero/heroine’s journey.
Identity is the persona the character wants others to believe he or she is and many times believes this is who they are. Essence is who they REALLY are buried underneath the walls and shields they’ve erected over the years. Identity is who the character is at the beginning of their journey and Essence is who they are at the end when they’ve shed all their layers.
Everything that happens in between challenges their identity and eventually leading to essence. In romance, the guy the girl is with at the beginning of the story usually fits her identity, but the guy she ends up with is true to her essence.
Also Identity is a result of a wound from the past. Something happened to the character to cause them to be a particular way. For example a girl looks for a man with a steady well-paying job, because her father never could hold one down while growing up and her mother was forced to work all the time.
This concept changed how I approached the revision on my WIP especially as I’m a pantser. Before I used to have things happening to my heroine for the sake of adventure, but it did nothing to move her inner journey forward. Now when I’m thinking about the next scene I’m going to write or revise, I ask myself “What is this event going to reveal about my character’s strengths or flaws?”
For more information about Michael Hauge workshops and books check out his website Thanks so much for stopping by. 

PS. You may have noticed I changed the blog address. It used to be nw fantasy writer, but I write more than just fantasy now. I decided it was time to claim my author name and changed it. If you go to my old address it will redirect you here.

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