We had a blast this morning in our second creative writing workshop. The theme was “characterization”, and we focused on getting to know our main characters as intimately as possible. I started off by asking the kids who their most favorite character in a book was, and why. Not surprising, but there were lots of references to The Fault in Our Stars (can’t blame them), but of course I brought up my all-time favorite character– Atticus Finch. We talked about what makes a character “unforgettable”, and how important it is to make a character realistic. Such a cool group of kids!
It is so tempting to just jump in and start writing once you have an idea, but any writer can tell you that is dangerous. Creating a character is is important that some writers don’t bother mapping out their story– they just spend that time getting to know their narrator and let the story go from there. No matter what your preference, working on a main character is crucial. I created this graphic to help the kids “get to know” their main characters:
Then we talked about some key terms: protagonist and antagonist. This group was smart enough to figure out that the protagonist can sometimes be his or her own antagonist at times. They also keyed into stories where the antagonist wasn’t a person, but a thing or entity.
As the kids worked on their character charts I went their their story arcs and gave them some feedback. I cannot wait to see where these stories go!