Creating Real Life Characters

Week 2 Creating Real Life Characters

These are my notes for the second week of my Character Development class


The key thing to look for in a character- What do you notice when you see someone for the first time?

Do we try to describe the person’s characteristics below?

– physical
-personality
-speech- type of speech/ do they stutter/ accent etc-
-clothing
-their habits

What aspect do we pick up first?

Notice after you make a list what you thought of first when you evaluated the person.
What did you include? What did you leave out?

What would I notice about me from someone’s else who would be looking at me?

Characters: We have to make them believable and enjoyable.  Even the villain has to be constructed this way.  If we fail then the characters fall flat. 

Example of habits: twitch, limp, wear the same outfit repeatedly in a time frame.
curves her r when she speaks etc

If we just describe by appearance it makes our characters one-dimensional.

No matter how strong the plot or theme is,  it makes our character undeveloped which leaves readers bored and confused.

Try to get more personal with our characters:
-do they laugh a certain way
-do they have a quirk that makes them different?
-do their lip droop due to a stroke or accident?


Action driven plot- writers who write this way draw from their left side of the brain. They think in a linear function sort of way.  They like structure. They have little trouble expressing words/ descriptions but have trouble finding the right words. They have rational thinking and focus on reality.

Character driven plot- These writers have feeling, creativity and imagination.. They use the right side of the brain. They love the beauty of the language. They are subjective.  They are random and disorganize but see their story as a whole.

Character Driven or Action Driven? Which one is your main guy or gal?

Take the following test and see where you fit.

Answer these questions about your cast members.

1- Protagonist’s overall story goal

2- What stands in his or her way of achieving the goal?

3- What does he or she stand to lose, if not successful?

4- Flaw or greatest fault

5- Greatest strength

6- Hates

7- Loves

8- Fear

9- Secret

10-Dream

This was to show which way we lean in our writings.

If you answered 1-3 and had problem we have no dramatic excitement about our character. We are action driven

If we answered 4-10 with ease Then we are character driven in our writings.

If we answered all ten with ease then we write both ways.

If we fail to do 4-10 with ease, more likely our character is action driven, which means they are arranged in order and have conclusion but lack the human element and hence losing the audience attention. You will lose 70 percent of your readers.

Is the description of your character just surface information or does it hit the core?

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