I am sure, every writer desires, yearns and craves to create believable, rounded, and three dimensional characters that readers not just believe in, but also identify and follow through the pages of the book. Any exercise that helps us to develop characters is embraced by us.
I came across this exercise for Character Study in Writing Fiction. When we are trying to introduce depth into a character, we can use the following exercise.
1. Write a sketch of the characters as you see them: their physical attributes, their mental make up, their emotional needs and how they handle relationships and other problems.
2. Write a sketch of the characters as they would see themselves. What is the character’s opinion of himself/herself? How does he/she see themselves?
3. Describe a character that is opposite of the one you described in point 1.
4. Describe a character that is the opposite of the one you described in point 2.
5. Look at the four descriptions and underline the parts you find interesting. Amalgamate
This exercise is a wonderful way to analyze how our characters see themselves. It made me realize that the way I perceived my character/s is different from the way they see themselves. It’s so true of life and people. We seldom see people as the way they see themselves. Once we know how our characters really see themselves, it makes it easy for us to tackle their core beliefs and target their insecurities. We can add inner tension with more ease as we are privy to all the inner demons our character faces and tackles.
This exercise is also a wonderful way to give our characters plenty of traits that can make them more rounded, unique and individualistic at the same time.
Do you write a sketch of your characters, about their physical, mental and emotional traits? Have you ever tried any technique to get to know your characters better. Please share your methods with us.