March 03, 2008

Characters - Part 1: Telling a Story with Fake People

Character Discussion

This week’s blog kicks off a discussion about characters. For the next few weeks we’ll study characters and determine what we like and dislike about them. Then, I’ll talk a little bit about the characters in the novel I’m writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts and get your input.

Fictional Heroes and Villains

Think of your favorite TV show, novel, or movie. Got it? Now, think of your favorite character from that story. Take a second to think of ways that your selected character interacts with the world around her or him. How would he or she order coffee? Handle a breakup? Treat an authority figure?

If you’ve got those things in your head, then take the next step. Think of someone you know—friend, co-worker, family member, acquaintance, enemy, etc.—that behaves like the character you chose earlier.

Did you find a match? At least in a general sense (certain traits, mannerisms) I’m guessing you did. Most great characters relate to our lives. What character did you choose? Were you able to find someone you know with similar traits? What were those traits?


Unknown said...

I dunno man, i think that you are just making stuff up, there is so not a resemblance between people i know and fictional characters.

i mean, that's a, uh, pretty big statement

-Jim from the office

J Sherer said...

Hahahaha. The Office is a great example of characters that we all know (particularly those of us who work in an office environment).

I know the characters that I really enjoy are characters that I compare with real people.

"Michael Scott is just like Bill."
"Sawyer reminds me of Jim."
"Sometimes I see Elaine from Seinfeld in Martha."

They don't have to be exact matches, but they've got to be close. Characters are generally exaggerated, too.

Thanks for the comment, Cod-wait... Jim.