Developing Characters

Daily Prompt

WN #18: Lifting a Line

Look through your notebook at the lines you highlighted last week.

Write one of them down again in your notebook.  Imagine it has now become the first line of a new story and begin adding on to it.

Class Chain Story: any updates?

Don’t forget!  Cromaine Library is having an annual writing contest.  Consider submitting.  The deadline is Monday.  Please use me and your peers as a resource if you want any constructive criticism!

Here are the activities we started Tuesday that you can continue work with today.

Activity #1: Character development

  • Flip to a new page and write the name of a fictional character at the top, a character you have already created.
  • Now, create a character dossier.  Get to know your character as well as you can.   Then, use this information, add it to a piece you have already written with this character, or consider writing a new piece with the character.
  • To be a truly descriptive writer, you need to know your characters deeply.  This is an exercise that can help you do that.  You may be surprised what you learn about your characters.

Activity #2: Plot development

  • There is a concept called the Hero’s Journey.  The concept is that all stories have 12 stages.  It’s a more elaborate version of the “mountain” plot line you’ve all seen.
  • Take a story you have already written or an idea you have and see if it contains all of the 12 stages.  If not, what could you add to make your plot richer and more complex?

Activity #3: Setting development

  • Select one setting for a piece you have already written (look back through your old daily prompts for inspiration).
  • Make a five senses chart (see, hear, feel, smell, touch) and fill it out, being sure to have at least a few items for each sense.
  • Next, take these descriptions and write a vivid paragraph describing the setting.  Consider whose point of view you want to tell it from (is it you, an omniscent narrator, a character?).  Do you want to use first, second, or third person point of view?
  • Another interesting activity that develops both character and setting would be two have two different characters describe the same setting.

As you write, I will continue conferencing.

Happy writing!

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