Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Beatles - I'm Only Sleeping AND Monkey Wrench

Today's exercise: Think of a monkey wrench. Imagine it jamming a machine--some massive steam engine of gears and rubber belts. Watch the whole thing explode.

Now suppose that you are a giant steam engine and think of your personal equivalent of a monkey wrench. What would end your sanity and make your whole mind go left-handed? Keep that little pearl of wisdom to yourself.

What you should do next, however, is write a brief character sketch. Write up a reasonably normal character--perhaps a librarian. Now think through the librarian's life and find their monkey wrench. Find out what would bring them down. Find out what sort of thing in the world pushes their button just right that they have the potential from its influence to go postal. They might not go postal...but they have the potential.

That's getting in the direction of a tragic flaw, or the thing that makes a tragic hero truly tragic. I'll be asking you to combine this exercise with the nobility exercise in a couple days. I'll do it with you. We'll see what we can create.

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