This week’s Primary Creative Writing Club is an inspiration-packed activity sheet from workshop leader, teacher, and writer Sarah Connors.
We Are All Different! – Creating Character
Hello everyone from the Writers’ Block After School Club. We are missing you and we hope you are well.
Today’s session is all about creating characters who are different from each other.
Have a paper and pencil handy.
Close your eyes. Open them and draw (with the hand you do not usually write with) the first thing you see. Set the timer for 1 minute.
Set a timer for 2 minutes and write down the names of as many characters you can think of from a book, TV series or a Film. They might be characters you love or characters that you dislike.
Look at your list. Think about your characters. Think about how they are different. Are they kind? Nasty? Brave? Scaredy-cats? Characters that differ from one another help to create great stories. If our characters are all the same, it makes stories less interesting.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Breathe out! Clear your thoughts. Open your eyes.
Choose three vegetables or pieces of fruit that are in you kitchen. Please ask parents/guardians first and make sure you wash you hands before you touch them.
Try to make sure your chosen items look quite different.
Lay them out in front of you and spend a minute looking at them.
For each of your items, choose a category from the following characteristics:
Hero Scaredy-cat Nasty one
So for example, I’ve chosen a carrot, a potato and squidgy plum. My plum is the scaredy-cat, the potato the hero and the carrot is the nasty-one.
Once you have categorised your character, give each one a human name.
10 minute writing exercise
Look at your chosen items again. What is it about them that made you decide whether they were a hero, scaredy-cat or the nasty one. Write a list of everything you can imagine about each character.
A pineapple might be a very prickly character who upsets people and therefore the nasty one
Your stick of celery might think they are superior to other characters as they are tall and look down on others or they might be tall and brave so therefore your hero.
Your raspberry might be easily upset by people. It’s easily squashed and therefore might be the scaredy-cat.
We now know what our characters are called. We also know if they’re a hero, scaredy-cat or the nasty one.
Now try to imagine them as humans. Use the texture, colour, size and shape to help you. Draw a picture of them as humans. Jot down any description or thoughts about each character.
This is my favourite task when I am creating characters. Take each character at a time.
Look at the Hero. What is he or she scared of. Make it surprising.
Look at the Scaredy-cat. Think of something that does not scare him/her. Make it surprising.
Look at your mean character. Think of something they really care about. It must to be something kind. Their pet hamster, for example, or a certain insect that other characters in your story might not care about. Make it surprising.
In just an hour, you have created three really exciting characters that are all different and have a surprising aspect to their personality.
Extra Fun during the Week:
Write a short play with your three characters. Imagine they have been set the task of tidying up a kitchen. The obstacle is that there is a BIG spider in the sink. Who will be in charge? Who will be scared? See what happens. Try to surprise your reader.
Create one character using stones and sticks from the garden. Give them a whole body. Could this character prompt a story?
Next week we will be writing poems about your three characters.
Have fun writers!