Monday, June 21, 2010

Whoooooooooo are you? Who who? Who who?

Kiddies, as soon as I get my brain on my straight and my veins properly caffeinated, I'll be signing up for a creative writing class here at the local community college.

One thing I'm really looking forward to working on is character development. I tend to let such things fall by the wayside, shoved off the road by the barreling carriage of a good storyline, but then my characters end up covered in muck and faceless (well, not faceless, but there's all that mud, you know, and...clearly haven't had the caffeine part yet). Flat characters are unrelatable characters and a sign of sloppy writing. And while I don't mind the occasional Sloppy Joe, I do mind the occasional sloppy writing.

So question for all you lovelies out there: what are your favorite character building exercises? Maybe if I have a few in my back pocket I won't look like such a greenie.

6 comments:

rebel_of_nowhere said...

Personally, I like using the Enneagram styles to create characters, at least at first. Even though I'll later change their personalities, it's a good foundation, especially if you only have a general idea of what your character is like. It helps figure out their wants/needs/how they will go about achieving them. It also helps you see how they will interact with each other, depending on how they view situations, how they react, and what their tendencies are.

Another way I've found useful is making characters the complete opposite of yourself. It makes you think more about how they will act when you don't know; you have more to discover about them.

Or, write down random characteristics, habits, traits, etc. and try to put them together in a way that makes sense, balancing out strengths and weaknesses. It makes for some interesting characters, even if you make major changes later.

Just my ideas :)

Christina Lee said...

eek , on the spot. I just write down what they look like, hobbies, habits, strengths and weaknesses and how they handle crisis! good luck!

Christina Lee said...

hahaha I did think it, but didn't say anything!

Solvang Sherrie said...

I just write down their names and put everything I know about them on the page, how they relate to the other characters, likes and dislikes, no holds barred. I usually discover new things about them and their conflicts with other people in the story.

Lisa and Laura said...

Um, whatever you do, don't watch our vlog about characterization. However, the other YA Rebels have great suggestions. Our favorite thing to do is a good old fashioned game of 21 questions. Amazing how much the right questions can reveal about your characters...

Sierra Godfrey said...

Egads, I don't even have A character building exercise! I guess I think about them. A lot. Does that count?