Saturday, May 04, 2013

Blooming: Characters

Hi, folks! I hope that you are having a good week. I am down with a bad cold and am wondering why I still have a jacket out in May. It was almost 40 degrees yesterday morning. Brr. I don't know how anything is going to bloom, but my friend the pecan farmer and children's author, Andy Sherrod, assures me that if the ground is warm, so stuff is going to bloom.  So how do you get your ground warm?

I will spend this month sharing prewriting activities that I use to ensure success.  This week I'm going to touch on prewriting characters. I'm going to give you serious activities to help! 

Scrap:  Gather together pictures that represent your characters. Building composites using one photo's eyes, another's nose, etc. works.  Try but there are many more stock sites. 

Personality:   I always take the Enneagram test for my characters. Also do the Jung Typology Test.  Here is a link to a bunch more personality tests, and, yes, I do use some of these.

Traits: Martina Boone offers this useful character trait  worksheet.  I also love these character questionnaires from the Gotham Writers Workshop. My best advice, look at a number of character questionaires and worksheets and then design one that fits your style.

Letter: Have all your main characters write you a letter telling you what they think this journey is about.

Act: Take an hour or a whole day and pretend to be your character. When you are done take an hour to write down what you learned from the exercise..

Cast: Go to and see if you can find the perfect actors to play the parts of your characters.

Journal:  Write a journal from your character's POV about the events of your story.  You don't have to go crazy here, you should do this until it is easy to produce interior thoughts from your character.

Interview:  Find folks who you feel may connect with your character and do character interviews of them.  (This always makes people cry -- take tissues and a Starbucks card.)

Okay, this feels like enough to get  your started.  Enjoy the blooming process. Do this stuff and when your start to write, your characters will pop off the page.  Guaranteed.

Come back next week for more blooming. Seize the day!

Doodle this week: "Swimming Fish."

Here is the quote for the week.

Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
Everything will be okay
Just keep swimming
Move your tail
And sure enough we'll find our way
Oh sometimes things look bad
Then poof! The moment is gone
And what do we do?

Dory, Finding Nemo (Thomas Newman)


Candilynn Fite said...

Love these tips, thanks!

MollyMom103 said...

Sure. :) Molly -- Cold makes the mind fuzzy, reduced to tips....

KatieC said...

What great tips! I will be using these :).

MollyMom103 said...

Glad you found something useful!

Vijaya said...

Get better soon, Molly. We've had a cold, stormy spring -- locals say it is unusual. But today the sun is out and beautiful.

Love all your tips, esp. having characters write letters. The things they tell you! Oh my!

MollyMom103 said...

I love it when they tell you everything.

We are also having a weirdly cool Texas spring, but you and I have seen those jacket worthy 4th of Julys in Seattle, so this is just nothing.

I am feeling a little better today. :)

Becky said...

WONDERFUL post, Molly! Thank you so much for sharing all of this great information--I am bookmarking your page for future reference! = ) Feel better soon!

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Becky, glad you found this useful. :) I am feeling better. I might even go for a walk!

Trudi Trueit said...

Fantastic tips, Molly!! I've got a cold, too. Achoo!