Creating Characters

peopleIf we have trouble creating characters, there are many different ways to do it: (The Character’s name is… let’s say, Bob Blank)

1. Use lists. Fill in the blanks

  • age
  • position/ job
  • wants
  • fears
  • in wallet/purse….
  • brief physical description
  1. Get a name and jump in. Start to write about the character and discover her or him as you write.

Bob Blank opened the front door and____________

  1. Use poetry and music to come up with a character. Find all the words that you can associate with a character. Listen to your favorite song and think of the character that comes to mind.

What kind of            Tree                         is Bob Blank?people

  • Cloth
  • House
  • Car
  • Weather
  • Smoke
  • City
  • etc
  1. Use real life. Sketch a person and give her a different name than her real name. Or use a combination of people.

Bob Blank is just like a relative of mine, my________________

  1. Use description. Create a picture in your mind

Here’s what  Bob Blank looks like _________________

  1. Use a combination of methods and decide that one key thing that says the character.

This is the defining characteristic of Bob Blank. If I could only say one thing about Bob Blank, this is what I would say and you would know Bob Blank fully.

___________________________

  1. If you’re an artistic person, draw a picture of your character. If you’re not an artistic person, do it anyway
  1. Pull out a character from your own past, perhaps a family member.

Bob Blank reminds me of a family member or Bob Blank reminds me of a characteristic of myself

  1. Create characters from dramatic needs in your story, such as an evil antagonist.

In my story of Bob Blank, there needs to be a

  • Hero
  • Mentor
  • Trickster
  • Shadow
  • Herald
  • Threshold Guardian

This character is needed for dramatic reasons, to deepen the story, to make it interesting. Like the old saying “When the story gets boring, bring in a man with a gun.”

  1. Create characters from psychological needs in your story, e.g. a jokester to lighten the mood.

Considering my audience’s reaction to the story of  Bob Blank, their psychological needs, I should develop a

  • Hero
  • Mentor
  • Trickster
  • Shadow
  • Herald
  • Threshold Guardian

Simpson peopleIn case that’s not enough ways to reveal Bob Blank, here are a few more:

  • 1. conflict with environment
  • 2. by action
  • 3. by self discovery
  • 4. by tags
  • 5. by motivated action (he did that to annoy her)
  • 6. emphasize dominant characteristic
  • 7. use opposites, contrast
  • 8. Names – what name says the character
  • 9. conflict in story
  • 10. moment of truth
  • 11. confession
  • 12. give person chance to make a choice 13. reveal by exposition
  • 14. description
  • 15. narration
  • 16. by action
  • 17. by character’s feeling about himself
  • 18. attitude of others toward character
  • 19. thru environment of story–“he enthroned himself in a chair,”

Images courtesy of:

simpsonstrivia.com.ar  /chara

Advertisements

6 responses to “Creating Characters

  1. Ed–a very practical piece, with lots of good ideas. I have been having trouble with a character, but will use some of your suggestions to flesh him out. Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s