It’s People!

Posted 28 May, 2009 by DLWhite in Writers Write 1 Comment

Soylent Green. And Character Sketches. It’s People.

Lesson #3 is on character sketches– pyramids and notebooks and protagonist and antagonist. Creating sympathy and antipathy. Naming your characters— I hate bad character names. I just….I do. Don’t make them up.

One thing that I found interesting was that our instructor advised that you ‘write who you know’, or develop your characters from people you know in your life. Dice them up and put them back together again, change names and features and characteristics.


I prefer to make them up, completely. The problem with writing people I know is that I feel really limited by that, and stuck within the boundaries of who that person is. It’s hard for me to make them considerably different and unrecognizable– I just make the characters up.

I also have a hard time spewing everything a person needs to know about a character in the beginning– which is recommended. I’d rather find things out as I go along, adding to my knowledge of the character and using it all to discern this ‘person’. I think I’ll go through a few book and try to note where an author does this– I don’t think I’ve seen it often. The fun in reading is getting to know the chracters. At least I think.

So the assignment for this week is to write a character sketch, eithe protagonist or antagonist, in 100 words or less. The goal is to focus on the FLAW and not the BEHAVIOR. That’s hard. It’s easy to talk about what they do. It’s not easy to talk about WHY they do it.

I decided to sketch the antagonist for my sTori_Telling Lifetime Movie Drama Train’s a Comin’ Story of DOOOOM.

Antagonist- Amanda McBride

Amanda McBride is a recent college graduate who happens to be looking for employment as a Nanny. Her parents divorced when she was a child and soon after, her father disappeared. She seeks attention from men in inappropriate ways in an attempt to make up for the lack of her father in her life. Amanda is a perfectionist, used to getting her way, and generally doesn’t take no for an answer, often forcing her way. She is unstable, conceited, and obsessive, yet highly intelligent, driven and committed to the achievement of every goal.

Et voila. *shrug*

One Response to “It’s People!”

  1. I am not a writer, but a visual artist. We are often called upon to do character design and I guess I am both surprised and not surprised to find that your process in designing a character in the written word is not too different from my visual process. Anyway, I liked reading your thoughts and reflecting on my own.
    .-= Jay Zuckerman´s last blog ..12 Monkeys Stencil Graffiti =-.