Developing a character
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Developing A Character. Created by: Mrs. Ross Influenced by several online searches . Getting To Know Your Character. A good author needs to know their character well enough to “speak” for them throughout the story

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Developing a character

Developing A Character

Created by: Mrs. Ross

Influenced by several online searches 

Getting to know your character
Getting To Know Your Character

  • A good author needs to know their character well enough to “speak” for them throughout the story

  • An Author needs to know the character’s strengths and weaknesses, attitudes, fears, obsessions, special talents and hobbies. Think about whether the character might have a favorite phrase, like “go for it,” or a habit of running her fingers through her hair whenever she’s bored.

  • A good Author can hear their character’s voice.

Let s see how well we know some popular characters
Let’s See How Well We Know Some Popular Characters…

Think about their…

  • strengths and weaknesses

  • attitudes

  • fears

  • obsessions

  • special talents and hobbies

  • favorite phrase

Developing a character

Knowing what you know about the character, could you predict what he or she might do in any given situations? Let’s share some examples with our group…

Can you name a character that you disliked in a story? What can you share about that character?

Let s listen to an excerpt from inkheart let s listen to how well the author knows their character
Let’s listen to an excerpt from Inkheart. Let’s listen to how well the Author knows their character!

On your white board, keep track of things you learn about your character and we’ll share and compare at the end.

Character sketch
Character Sketch

Who is your character? Let’s develop him/her and get to know them!

For now, just think and sketch… you will be given a character builder sheet soon to help you organize who they are

  • name and nickname

  • age

  • physical description

  • place you’d find this person at three in the afternoon

  • place you’d find this person at nine at night

  • employment

  • socio-economic status

  • beliefs and values

  • interests

  • obsession

  • long term ambition

  • favorite hangout—or place this person feels most secure

  • where this person lives

  • favorite food

  • kind of music this person listens to

  • favorite phrase or saying (reflect how this person talks)

  • talent(s)

  • weaknesses, character flaw

  • important relationships

  • pets (if any)

Developing a character

What’s going to happen to the character…?!?

Readers love character driven stories. They want to care enough about a character to find out what happens to them. Do they get what they want in the end? Do they grow through the problem or conflict they face? Can people relate to your character. This is a very powerful thing to accomplish. So what does your character need?

Emotional needs: learn to love again, trust others…

Physical needs: find a lost family member, learn how to walk again…

We need to give our character their needs and wants before we start their story – the story you write will be an attempt to meet those goals.

Let’s create a class chart of emotional and physical needs that we might want to “borrow” for our story!

Developing a character

What kind of conflict will your character need to overcome?

What do you want your reader to learn or take away from your story?

Let’s jot down as many ideas as we can think of in 5 minutes and then pick from the list we created!


External vs internal

What is your character’s conflict?

External vs. Internal


External Conflict takes place outside of the body


Internal Conflict takes place inside of the body/mind

Developing a character

Internal Conflict is called Man vs. Self

Man vs. Self

Some literary conflicts take the form of a character struggling to overcome fear, emotional damage or other crippling personal issue.

There are 3 types of external conflict
There are 3 types of External Conflict…

Man vs. Man

The most straightforward type of conflict pits the protagonist directly against another character with apparently opposing aims.

Developing a character

Man vs. Nature

This type of conflict pits a story's main character or characters against a natural force such as a flood, predatory animal, or disease epidemic.

Developing a character

Man Against Society

In many stories, the protagonist battles an unjust element of government or culture.

Stay in character
Stay in Character!

  • You know your character by now and should know how they would respond in a situation.

  • Your character shouldn’t suddenly act “out of character” – in order for your character to be believable and someone your reader cares about, they need to be consistent in their reactions, responses and attitudes.

Developing a character

A good author reveals information about the character little by little as the story goes, or it would be boring. This technique is called Direct or Indirect Characterization.