Cw fiction characters13


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Cw fiction characters13

  1. 1. Creating Characters Creative Writing Fiction
  2. 2. Goals for Class Today (and our next story) Analyze memorable characters in order to inform our discussion about the elements of well-developed characters Understand the basic elements of characterization Generate characters, applying understanding of the elements of characterization Write a story with well-developed characters in order to show your understanding of characterization
  3. 3. First, let’s look at things from a reader’s perspective.
  4. 4. Quick Write (Writer’s Notebook) Who are some of your favorite characters from the literature you have read? Why?
  5. 5. Now, let’s talk about what writers do. Please use your Writer’s Notebook to record new information.
  6. 6. Finding Inspiration People watch Use your journal to note observations about people in various environments. Try to capture their personality, their appearance, their actions, and their mannerisms in words. Character notebooks Character boards on Pinterest Google character profiles
  7. 7. Remember… “Your fiction can only be as successful as the characters who move it and move within it.” – Janet Burroway You want unique characters, characters your readers will remember.
  8. 8. Credibility Aim for individuality instead of typicality, but remember “appropriateness.” Keep characters consistent with their environments. A Baptist Texan behaves differently than an Italian nun. A rural schoolboy behaves differently than a Harvard professor. Remember what is appropriate for your character; a reader can only suspend their disbelief so much.
  9. 9. Characters & Plot
  10. 10. Give Characters Purpose ASK YOURSELF: Desire: what does he/she/it want? Can the reader identify with this desire? (relatable?) What parts of your character support this desire? Contrast it? What would your character be willing to do to fulfill this desire? (Plot)
  11. 11. Major elements of any character Appearance Speech Thoughts (in 1st person narratives) Actions Other characters’ interpretations
  12. 12. Intricacies that define character Age Gender Race Nationality Marital status Region Education Religion Profession
  13. 13. Playing with Intricacies
  14. 14. Defining Gender (Discussion)  What characteristics stereotypically belong to each gender?  What happens when those stereotypes are broken?
  15. 15. Individual Activity – Gender (Collected)  Please complete on a separate piece of paper.  Write for five minutes in the first person, assuming the persona of someone of the opposite gender. You may employ or ignore stereotypes-your choice.  This can be a description, narrative, or a segment of autobiography, anything in prose form.  The main point is to completely lose yourself and become another. Remember that you want your characters to be unique, believable, and relatable.  If you finish early, work on another notebook entry, or try writing a piece from your own gender.
  16. 16. Discussion How did that exercise feel? What was difficult about it? How do writers successfully write from another perspective?
  17. 17. Class Activity - Age  Make a list of some of the ways a writer can suggest a character’s approximate age. (Wrinkles and gray hair are the most obvious. Many are more subtle.)  Make the best use of your powers of observation. The more precise the detail, the more convincing it is.  For example, appearance, hobbies, they technology they use…
  18. 18. Individual Activity – Age (Collected) Using the list of details writers can use to show a character’s age, please write a paragraph describing a character. Then, others will guess the age of your character. (Child, Teenager, Middle-aged, Elderly, etc.) If you finish early, go back to your WNB.
  19. 19. Showing (not telling) Emotions & Feelings
  20. 20. Naming Characters The names you choose have a strong and subtle influence on how your readers will respond to your characters. Names you give characters should not be drawn out of a hat, but carefully tested to see if they “work.” You may have to change a character’s name several times before you get it right.
  21. 21. Individual Activity - Worksheet Name the characters on your worksheet, keeping in mind that you can plant, with a name, a clue to their role in your fiction. Don’t think too much. Trust your gut.
  22. 22. Characters & Desire: Driving Plot Story Machine Cards On the yellow cards, list labels associated with what people/characters do (jobs, activities, etc.) On the green cards, list actions characters might take. These do not have to be associated with the labels on the other cards. In fact, it would be better if they were not. It’s ok to make these mildly odd or strange.
  23. 23. Shuffle the Story Machine  Shuffle each pack of cards SEPERATELY.  Now, ask “Why did Card A do Card B?”  “Why did the fashion model pick up the paper on the driveway?”  Continue to flip cards until you find a question that’s worth answering. There are many possible pairings. Reshuffle if necessary.  The event suggested by the machine may work best at the beginning of the story, but think of what would happen if you placed it at the end or in the middle.
  24. 24. Next story challenge: Write a short story with a well-developed main character, applying the elements we’ve discussed in class today. This story should clearly show, without “telling”: Gender Age Desire **Be sure to include a name that fits the character’s actions and personality.