Writing a character description

This applies to characters in nonfiction as well as fiction. If you use an adjective to describe a physical attribute, make sure that the phrase is not only accurate and sensory but also fresh.

He appears as a cardboard cutout rather than as a living, breathing character. When the phone rang, did your cousin ignore it or jump up to answer it, looking relieved for the interruption? How does the author use their dress, words, and deeds to show their personality?

How to Create a Character Profile

The analogous relationships you establish have to be earned. A man who was the Bully of humility. The heat is oppressive, sweltering and exhausting, it sticks to the skin and makes ovens out of parking lots. Which items is she practically giving away? George Eliot clearly differentiates the two sisters, the pious Dorothea and the more worldly, salt-of-the-earth character Celia in her classic novel Middlemarch: Offer concrete information, engage us with moment-to-moment details, tell us about each detail, and how they affect the senses.

Even a simple adjective can strengthen a detail. One technique that many writers use with success is to create a character profile for the main characters in the novel.

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Character profiles are especially helpful for novels which involve several main characters and for stories which use multiple points of view.

When Dickens introduces a character, he typically gives the reader multiple details. To slow down the motion in other words, to add emphasisshorten the sentence. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison does exactly this on the opening page of her novel, Jazz: If you change an attribute of your character, be sure to update your Character Profile Worksheet right away.

Which niece gets the Steinway? Compared with her, the innocent-looking Celia was knowing and worldly-wise.

Let your character host a garage sale and watch her squirm while neighbors and strangers rifle through her stuff. Often this means breaking a large, generic activity into smaller, more particular parts: If you want to bring things to a stop, try replacing a conjunction with a comma: The characters in our stories, songs, poems, and essays embody our writing.

It can help flesh out a cardboard character and even make you think about facets of his or her personality that you had not considered before. Select physical details carefully, choosing only those that create the strongest, most revealing impression. If I were to rewrite the phrase today I might say something like this: Some of his published fiction can be found at www.

It gives the writer a chance to deconstruct a specific, subjective event and recast it into something familiar. Depending on the genre in which you write, you will create additional sections on the Character Profile Worksheet.

But there was something in the air, a sad note the weather played upon the instrument of the bone-stretched skin. Do they make us participants in the story instead of mere observers? They are our words made flesh.

Instead of following the Mass, she used to gaze at the azure-bordered religious drawings in her book. She looked as if the nimbus of humanity were fading away and she were turning monkey.

In order for readers to enter the fictional dream, the activity must be shown. Works resulting from this mindset offer very little descriptive assistance for the reader, and a lot of later embarrassment for writers guilty of these storytelling snafus.

Say something that both reconstructs the subject and enables the reader to see the world in a new, yet recognizable, light. Which one will fight hardest to keep the dog? The novels of Milan Kundera use little outward description of characters or their actions.One of the most important elements in a novel or short story is characterization: making the characters seem vivid, real, mint-body.com technique that many writers use with success is to create a character profile for the main characters in the novel.

Print this page to complete the form for each main character you create. IMPORTANT: Note that all fields are optional and should be used simply as a guide; character charts should inspire you to think about your character in. Title – Writing a Character Description By – Darcy Nickel Primary Subject – Language Arts Secondary Subjects – Grade Level – 3rd – 5th Topic: Writing Character Descriptions.

Instructional Objectives: Students will identify the information needed to create a good character description.

Writing is an account of how people think. As a medium it's intrinsically empathic; it communicates patently human sensibilities. In order for a story to work, it needs to feel like real life, even when it’s actually something quite different.

The more detailed and rich your descriptions, the. If you’re writing a first person narrative, avoid having the viewpoint character describe themselves in painstaking detail. for me at least, character description is generally a way to bring in all sorts of other things: to hint at and establish relationships between characters, for instance, and to tell us about the viewpoint character.

Writing character profiles is an easy way to invent characters and to come up with short story ideas or start a novel outline.

Use these helpful questionnaires to begin.

Writing a character description
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