Wow, what a week. I feel like I’m learning so much, and what’s more, I’m excited to use what I’m learning. This week, Coach Sol taught us about creating characters. No small job. I never realized how important characters were to a story. I mean, I knew, but I suppose they were always more of a means to moving my plot forward. Now I’m learning that my plot can grow organically out of my characters—if my characters come alive well enough.
I had a lot of fun conducting character interviews and writing character journals for my main characters. I haven’t even started my story and already I feel like my characters are living people.
Coach Sol says there are five different ways to characterize:
~Through physical attributes
~With clothing or the manner of wearing clothing
~Through psychological attributes and mannerisms
He said that instead of saying that “George was a big fellow” to try something like “When George came your way, you thought you were being run down by a truck.” Doesn’t that give you a different feel? Very neat.
Coach Sol told us to use different markers to characterize. He said to pay attention to simple things that can tell your reader a lot about your character. Things like fingernails. Public conduct with children. Accessories, gum-chewing what kind of car they drive, their mannerisms, what they eat and drink, their vocabulary. Their attitudes.
Coach said that characters of different cultural classes caught in a crucible (the environment, emotional or physical, that holds your characters together) are ideal for fiction, and for creating a great plot—which is next week’s lesson!
Thanks for making me stay at camp, Mom and Dad. I never would have gotten to know my new friends—my characters—so well if I’d left!
Your Creative Camper
What methods do you use to make your characters come alive? My favorite character is Hadassah in Francine River’s Mark of the Lion series. What’s yours?