Understanding the New Character: How to Make A Character Come to Life
It can be easy to put together characters by writing out bits and pieces of their lives, but the question is this: how do we integrate the characters we created into a story? In your story, you write using your own rules. In other words, these are your characters, and you have to have the ability picture them in real life. You may know your characters, but the reader has no clue who your characters are. It is important how you introduce these characters in a manner that makes your reader continue reading your writing. Your goal is to show what your characters are like and how they can be made into a great narrative.
The first step into making your character come to life is by imagining scenes. By that, I am talking about creating a place where an event occurs that will involve your characters. Take the traits of your character created using the skeleton, and gradually fill it in a scene. Imagination is key! The purpose of these scenes (or in this case, prompts) is to show the character's personality. Here are a few example prompts:
- Your character asks you where you want to go for a trip. What kind of a trip does your character suggest? What activities does your character want you and him (or her) to do?
- You lost your lucky t-shirt. Does your character help you out? Does your character show concern?
- Your character invited you to his/her house to play video games. What kind of a home is it (a house, an apartment, a trailer)? What items do you see? What type of video games does he/she have?
Using the made-up character, Mary Hammon, I will incorporate what she is like into these three prompts.
- Mary suggests on going to an art museum. She enjoys sculptures, paintings, and Japanese artifacts. Mary and I plan on checking out the clothing and painting collections of 20th century Asia, and afterwards, going to the museum's cafe and discuss what we have learned from the tour.
- As a kind and thoughtful individual, Mary shows concern and helps me find my lucky Van Halen t-shirt. She is aware of how much it means to me and helps me search through my cluttered room. We still couldn't find it, but I am still appreciative of her taking the time to help me.
- Mary's house is a small, single-story residence. When I walk through the front door, I am in the living room. In the living room is a cherry oak piano, a couch with flowery sofa covers and multi-colored pillows. On the left side of the living room, there is a flat-screen television that is at least 50 inches. I see Mary's XBox game console with two controllers. We are about to play Call of Duty, which is a bit funny, because in real life, Mary doesn't have a violent bone in her body.
Use one of the two characters that were created in the previous lesson and complete the three prompts. Afterwards, write a scene on your own using the characters.