Uploading my lesson plans each week is proving somewhat more time-consuming and impractical than I thought.
So here is the first in a series of bumper uploads on different themes:
This time lessons Six, Seven & Eight - Creating Characters.
Lesson Six: Introduction to Writing Characters
Creative Writing - Introduction to writing character2.pptx
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For the Second Activity, students were asked to imagine their character in an unusual scenario and to write a short piece about what might happen. As expected, students' imaginations ran wild and the results were funny and thought-provoking.
Lesson Seven: Writing Characters Part Two
Creative Writing character Lesson 2 - no photos.pptx (Powerpoint Trimmed - pictures removed)
Creative Writing character Lesson 2 photos.pdf (Pictures for printing - large file)
- What is their name?
- Where are they from?
- How old are they?
- What is their favourite pastime?
- What do they do for a living?
- What is their most precious secret?
- What is their fondest desire?
- Flesh out some extra details eg
–What is their favourite colour?
–What sort of music do they like?
Once they had completed this activity, they were asked to write a short story about their character.
They could write whatever they wanted. For those looking for inspiration, the following ideas could be used as prompts.
- What’s the story behind the photo?
- A typical day in their life
- The day that changed their life
- Their dream.
Please note that I have included a sheet of photographs for use in the lesson. I do not own copyright on these pictures, so please keep the original URL on the PDF to credit the original photographer. If you are the owner of any of these photographs or an authorised representative and would like me to remove them, please contact me.
Lesson Eight: Writing Characters Part Three
Attached Resources:creative_writing_creating_characters_lesson_3.pptx (Powerpoint)
character_chart.xlsx (Spreadsheet that can be used to keep track of characters)
character_chart.pdf (Printable version of character spreadsheet)
To help students do this, I used an activity I learnt from Steve Bowkett at NAWG's Festival of Writing.
Students are given dice and they use these to quantify different aspects of a character.
For example, throw 1-3 and your character is female. 4-6 and you will be writing about a male.
For other, quantifiable characteristics you can assign a number from 1 to 6.
- Young Adult
Students then wrote a short story about the character. Again the powerpoint contains some prompts.
Getting to know their characters intimately is one of the most important things that a writer can do. To that end it is worth spending some time thinking about the details, large and small, that make them who they are.
These details help you write real, authentic and consistent characters. They may even give you story ideas. Many of these details may never be written down (I have no idea if I will ever tell the world DCI Warren Jones' favourite colour - but I know what it is!), but knowing them can make your character more real to you and therefore, more real to your readers.
To help you keep track of your characters, I have uploaded a spreadsheet for you to fill in. Or of you prefer, a PDF to print out (although It's a bit small - if you can print it on A3 it's a bit easier on the eyes).
As always, please feel free to use any of these ideas and let me know if are any use to you. I have several more lessons to upload when I have time.