Saturday, May 18, 2013


The Saturday Workshop is a new feature at FLASHY FICTION. We will explore the writing process, developing certain elements that we can use in future prompts.

Today, lets develop a character.

It's easy to put a character into our stories, but it is more satisfying to establish one of substance.

  • Decide who your character is. Male or female, young or old. 
  • Will your character be the protagonist (hero) or the antagonist (opponent)?
  • Give your character a personality. List qualities a good person may have. Make another list of qualities a bad person could have. Use these to add flair to your characters. Remember, no protagonist is perfect. An antagonist is not purely evil. Find a mix of qualities that make your characters more human. A 60% to 40% ratio will keep your characters well rounded.
  • Create an appearance for your character. Observe people around you. What features appeal to you? Which turn you off? Look at magazine and television and list desirable and unwanted traits. Give them quirks that make them unforgettable. Maybe they twirl their hair, or pluck their beards. They could be a loveable drunk, or just a nasty person
  • Be creative with the name. Keep a note book of interesting names you hear or see and try to use them in your characterization.
  • Put some meat on his/her bones - Flesh out your character. Give your characters background. What is their sexual orientation? Do they have political leanings? Practice any religious beliefs? Create interesting jobs. Do they have a hobby? What kind of music, movies, books, etc. do they enjoy? How do they treat people who can do nothing for them. Do they do the right things when no one is watching?
  • Don't let your character be predictable - don't be afraid to be surprised by what your character is capable of doing, good or bad. 
As an exercise, use these ideas to create and post a profile for a character.  Write one for a hero. Write one for an antagonist. A love interest? Try using one (or all) of these in your next attempt at FLASHY FICTION .

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