Friday, October 23, 2009

Creative Writing: Characterisation

Character lost list
Activity: (This should take about 10 minutes to complete.)
Characters in stories are driven by a strong desire for something, just like people are in life. In stories the character goes on to achieve the desire or not. You may have noticed that in some of your freewrites that ‘you’ either did or did not achieve what you wanted.

A lost list of your character’s life is a good way to think about what has been important to your character. The reader wonders if the character will end up ‘finding’ those lost things. Or perhaps your character finds something valuable expectedly because of the search for the ‘lost things’. Why they are valuable and how the character came across them is interesting to readers as we gain insight into qualities of the character. The readers can connect with your character because they can appreciate his/her motivations and behaviour.

Write a list of things you have lost that were valuable to you. Freewrite about all of those things on your list.

Modelled response
My favourite t-shirt: I think my mum threw it out. It had a mighty big hole in the bottom of it. It was winter and I’d snuck the heater into my room, despite warnings from my mother against it. When I lent down to pick up something from the floor, the edge of it got caught in the spokes. I flapped about in a fright. I wasn’t concerned for my safety, but devastated that the flame was simmering the green fleece into black charcoal. A tried to cover up my deceit by sewing a leather patch over the hole that remained. Nobody was fooled, least of all my mother.

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