Faber Session 13 – Character


Ok, well last nights cake was Lemon Drizzle….mmmmmm :)

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Class was all about character, one of my favourite subjects ;)

A few things that were discussed:

Characters need to be balanced. They need to have positive and negative traits to make them believable.

What’s your characters blind spot? What can’t they see?

It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike a character – you need to understand them, and so does the reader.

Characters need to have a sense of who they are. How is their sense of self constructed? What defines them?

A character must have a past, vulnerabilities and a world view. Push them to their limits!

Someone suggested the Who Are You exercise which is apparently a recognised psychological test. I’ve never heard of it, but, the hubster has agreed to have a go with me at the weekend (I’ll report back lol). What you do is ask someone Who Are You 20 times and they have to respond with a different answer each time. Apparently the first 10 times are usually pretty easy, but after that it can get very difficult to define yourself. This test can be used on your characters :)

Have you ever tried the Who Are You Exercise?

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26 thoughts on “Faber Session 13 – Character

  1. Agree! I did this with someone who was trying to craft a character. I told him to give me one word that best describes himself but is not his profession (eg. A Scientist – because he is absolutely innovative and makes his own gadgets). Then half an hour later, asked him again to give another word. This helps to strengthen the base of the character! :)

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  2. I really like this exercise. It seems pretty cool! Being that I tend to write from the hip, I have a difficulty knowing my characters until many, many words in. This seems like a good test so that I can jumpstart my characters’ personalties a lot sooner.

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  3. ‘Who are you?’ sounds like a fun exercise. I will definitely be trying it on my characters!
    I’m also glad that you mentioned characters having both positive and negative traits. Too often, in some books I read, I am confronted by characters who simply have no flaws. In my opinion, that gives them no room for growth or change! To that end, my own characters always have a dark side. That darkness is what seems to make the words fly onto the page. I want to see them prevail over it. :)

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  4. I’ve never tried the “Who you are” exercise, but I always find it helpful to interview a character when I’m stuck on who he or she is. I find it really helps me to discover a lot about them that I didn’t know before.

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  5. Pingback: Put some flesh on the bones of my dreams « Dianne Gray author

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