Monday, October 5, 2009

Cheryl Klein on characters

Cheryl's blog has a great list of things we need to think about when we're building characters. It comes from Joan Bauer, and includes:

1. Facts
-- Gender
-- Age
-- Ethnicity
-- Sexuality
-- Basic family situation
+ Who's in the immediate family
+ Their socioeconomic status?
-- Where they live
+ Rural, suburban, urban?
+ Region and country

2. Internal Qualities
-- Personality traits
-- Ethics/morals/values
-- Degree of self-awareness

3. External Qualities
-- Appearance
-- Manners of speaking/patterns of behavior

4. History (aka Backstory)
-- that is relevant to the plot or relevant to how your characters will act in that plot

1. Desire: What the character wants

2. Attitude/Energy: The attitude the character brings to the situation in which s/he finds him- or herself

3. Action: What they will do within the novel; the result of Desire plus Attitude

And three more questions:
1. What is the character's joy? What keeps him or her alive?
2. What is the character's pain?
3. Where did the character get his or her name?

Be sure to check out her blog for the whole thing.

No comments: