Imagine your favorite novel. Can you picture the colorful landscape; feel the atmosphere that envelopes you as you digest each page? The stage has been set, ready for the cast to bring this story to life. Your characters enter the scene, begin their dialogue, and the adventure truly starts.
No story is quite complete without good players. The next step in our creative writing adventure was to pick our cast. Once again, imagination was the key to choosing the best alter ego. The spark that would bring the flame to life.
Using the setting we had already chosen, each of us then had to define who our characters would be. Did we want to be children, adults, animals, faeries, elves, or trolls? Were we magical, normal, or something altogether different?
There were a few key points that we took into consideration when choosing our characters.
We need to know our characters’ profile. How did they dress? What type of home did they live in and did they have family? The more informed I am about my character, the more consistent I will be. It will also help with writing prompts, should I ever get stuck.
We need to know our characters’ personalities. Is my character a reformed thief? Does he constantly stutter or stumble to find the right words? Is she vain, selfish at times, or spoiled? Is she quick to anger, but just as quick to forgive? Does he constantly jump at opportunity without fully thinking it through? No character should be perfect, that makes them less realistic and harder to maintain. There should be something they struggle with and something they excel in; as we do in real life.
We need to know our characters’ point of view. Are they looking at their world as an adult, filled with responsibility? Are they a child, with few cares and only joy or lots of cares and trouble? Are they a wizard, filled with the dread of coming evil? Knowing how my character views his world will help me when it comes to writing.
We need to know our characters’ motivation. Does your character want to be the best detective in all the world? Do they wish to be the top inventor, the fanciest dresser, or to simply be left alone? Knowing what motivates a character helps to further give them depth.
Each person participating should have a brief “sketch” of what their character is like. How much that is detail written down will depend on the age of the person involved. No matter the age though, a little something should be entered. I have more elements about my alter ego than my seven-year old does on her’s, but she does have a few notes.
Remember to be creative and to use your imagination! There are no rules to the game. Your character can fly, swim underwater without aid, transport between worlds, and anything else you can fabricate. They can be very simple or very complex, it is all up to you. Still stuck? Dante’s Wardrobe might have some additional ideas to help you out!
The more details you can come up with, the easier it will be to write about “yourself”. The more background you can imagine, the funner it will be to share. Using their weaknesses, their strengths, and their goals, there is nowhere your character cannot go.
If you could choose to be different from what you are now, who would you be? Have you ever longed to have a special gift you don’t currently possess?