Writing tip #1 – Creating a character

It’s hot. We’re all in need of some inspiration, instead of perspiration. Here’s the first of a number of writing tips that I’m going to start posting!

What do you know about your character? Do you favour the character sketch option – where you make a notebook with all the things the character likes and what they do, down to what their favourite records are? Or do you give the most basic of character description and leave it up to the actors to create the backstory? Whichever approach you go for you will need to know some basic info about your character, even if you never share this knowledge with anyone else. Just your knowing it will filter into your writing and create a richer, deeper character.

Some basic things to think about are:

Name / Age / Where they live / Where they were born / Job / Family / Physical description.

And some more detailed questions are: What’s in their pocket? / What do they most value? / What are they afraid of? / What music do they like? / Were they bullied at school? / Are they a nerd or a technophobe?

If you are the type of person who likes to do in-depth background creation – a good exercise is to interrogate the character – by asking yourself, (or getting someone to ask you – in the role of your character,) a quickfire series of questions, such as those above but add others, and see what answers you come up with. Pretend you are on a date with the character, or interviewing them for a job.



About 17Percent

A campaign to get more plays by women playwrights onto UK stages.
This entry was posted in Advice, On writing, writing tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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