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Beginners Class Lesson 1- Characters

Lesson 1 (Week 1) Characters:

When you write a story, you need to give your characters personalities. The more interesting and unique the personality, the better. Also, you have to give the characters personalities that fit the plot. You have to make sure the characters act/behave according to their personality unless something changes them, in which case you have to show that the character was changeable. If your character undergoes a change, you have show in it advance so the reader will be ready for any change and will accept it. A reader won't accept a sudden change.

Physical appearance. Give your character a physical appearance and get used to it so you can easiy describe the character where you have to. If you don't know what a character looks like, how will you write what he looks like? Know your character as if you have seen him/her.

Live with your characters! Get to know them well. Think (daydream/roll play) about your character. After a while you will know your character so much, you will be able to tell how the character will act in any situation.

Know your character's background. Know what your character's life was like before the story started as well as what it's like now. Where did he/she live before. Where does he live now? How did he live before? How does he live now? Who did he live with before? Who does he live with now? What kind of relationship did he have with his family/friends/neighbors/colleagues/classmates/teachers/etc. before and now? How was he in school? Did he like studies or not? What was his favorite subject? Least favorite subject? Did he have any hobbies in the past? Does he have any now? Did he like sports or play any sports before? Now? If he didn't like sports but played them, why did he play them? Ask yourself other questions about your character, what ever comes to mind and write them with their answers.

Assignment 1:
For Assignment 1, For you main character answer the above questions as well as write at least 20 more questions and answer them. (questions should be both about the past and present. If the answers are different, write what or how the character changed.) Post these to the board. (Do as much as you can. As you write the story, you will get to know your character more so if you can't answer any questions now, don't worry about it. Also, you can always change the character's personality as you write, so you don't have to stick to the original personality). 

Optional assignment: For your antagonist*, write the same questions you wrote for the protagonist and answer them.

*(Don't know who the protagonist/antagonist is? The person your story is about is the protagonist. He can be a good person or a bad one. The person who causes problems for the protagonist is the antagonist. He can also be good or bad. If the protagonist is a good person, that doesn't mean the antagonist has to be a bad one. If a girl wants to go to a certain college but her parents don't want her to go and try to stop her, both may good but one is the protagonist and the other is the antagonist. Also, the antagonist can be a person, animal, or thing. The weather can be the antagonist. A police dog causing problems for a criminal can be the antagonist.