Finding Your Character

From the Hobbit to Harry Potter – from Dorothy to Dexter – it’s the depth of character that draws the reader in. And only you, the writer, can develop that dimension.potter

Here is a simple exercise to help you “find” your character:

In 100 words or less describe yourself, a family member, someone you know, or a fictional character. (Use a picture if you have one.) Include something from each of the following:

  • Facial features: voluptuous lips, chestnut eyes, bent nose, tousled hair…
  • Physical traits: stumpy legs, clenched fists, olive skin…
  • Sensory: raspy voice, heavy-footed, speaks with a lisp
  • Emotionalย  features: neat freak, coffee addict, generous, rude
  • Smell: repulsive body odor, smells like the sun

Watch redundancy and look for the strongest verbs/adjectives to get your image across. Take your time with this. You want the reader to “see” your character through your words – no graphics and special effects here!

Have some fun with this. You may surprise yourself!


Tune in next week for more on developing your character…

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3 thoughts on “Finding Your Character

  1. Emily is 15 years old. She has a round but unyielding figure. She is athletic despite her surplus density and stands 5’3″ high. Her limbs are sturdy and compact with thick fingers and toes. Her hair is a deep chestnut brown and cascades down her back, culminating just below her buttocks. Her slightly bulbous nose rests between high cheekbones that nudge at her penetrating gold specked chocolate eyes. Her eyes generally dance and display her inner jocularity. She has inherently lustrous skin, unblemished by teenage acne. Her small lean lips, that are almost always drawn in a smile of mischievousness, rest on a dimpled chin.

    Emily has a refreshing aura and a contagious spirit. Her voice is resounding and clear as she sings or raps her way around the house. Emily is a student of the arts, majoring in special effects makeup. She is always experimenting with new techniques and presentations of herself. We never know what she will look like each day when she graces us with her presence. Despite all of this, Emily has a dark side. Her highly creative mind sometimes exhausts her brain to the point where she takes to her bed for days at a time. She does not shower, she eats only sugar filled foods, spends endless hours texting her more morose friends and obsesses about imagined disorders she may develop.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great start. Now for the pain! See if you can say the above in 100 words (you now have 227) without losing any imagery. (Yes, editing and polishing is oh, so painful – but oh so worth it… the reader will thank you!) Get rid of the extras… you know the drill, Kathi! See what you can do ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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