About Lesson 3 -- Character

Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
  • Relate a short, dynamic interplay between two characters.
  • Dramatize "real" humans in form and behavior.
  • Appraise character and characterization on an intellectual level.
When writing about a character (the person), you must characterize (illustrate and make the personality real) that person using every tool at your disposal.

You will have the makings of a character when you can fill out this sentence: (Name) is a (adj.) ___-year-old (noun) who wants ____________.

Example: Jeremy Glazer is a beligerent 17-year-old basketball player who wants respect.

Five-Minute Exercises:
  • List the contents of a woman's purse.  wallet, make-up, pen, tissues, nail clippers, sanitary napkins, chap stick, digital camera, head phones, cell phone
  • List what a man carries in his pockets.  cell phone, wallet, chapstick, change
  • List the contents of a person's garbage can.  tissues, empty cup, crumpled paper, movie tickets, banana peel, receipts
I just liked these because it's true: Maya Angelou is credited with saying that you can tell a lot about a person by how he/she handles rainy days, lost luggade and tangles Christmas lights.  Dave Berry is reported to say that you can know a lot about a person by how he/she speaks to a waitress.


1. Creative Writing Assignment ~ Topic: Character (50 points -750 words).  For this assignment, you will create two character sketches (250 words total), and create a 500-word story.  Follow the directions listed below:
  • Character sketches: Follow the advice earlier in the lesson.  You might begin with a list of traits: looks, "feels," sounds, describe the characters "taste" in things, smell - or their overall sort of ambiance.  Now, turn that list into a sketch, as if you're describing this character to someone who doesn't know them yet.  The link above gave you an idea of a shape your sketch might take.  Do that for two characters and keep that work to a page.
  • Create a story: The idea here is to show these characters interacting with each other, speaking, acting and reacting to the other person.  Invent a setting for them and see what happens.  If you need a launch place, put them in a car or in a boat.  Write 500 words (about two pages).

This weekend I stressed myself out.  It was completely unnecessary, but that is what I do.  Needless to say, I asked my teacher for an extension on my homework.  It was due Saturday, but she allowed me to turn it in on Monday.  Which I did.  I was honestly about to give up.  Which is what I do, but I didn't.  I pushed on and completed my work. Woo!  I hope you enjoy it.


3 comments on "About Lesson 3 -- Character"

Holly wrote: February 9, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I can't wait to read what you came up with!

Busted Kate wrote: February 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Whoa, smart person stuff here! I'm also looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Is this class just for fun or for overall schooling? Good luck!

Ashley wrote: February 10, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Good for you for pushing through. It's always the hardest part!

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Twitter Goodreads RSS Email