Creating characters is one of the first things we do when planning our stories at the Storymakers Writing Club.
This is because when you consider character and setting, it can spark an idea for your story and there are a number of ways to come up with characters, my favourite being use of images or pictures.
This was a painting my son did at school when he was in Reception. I immediately fell in love with the little guy.
Believe it or not, it is supposed to be a self-portrait, but I can assure you this little dude looks nothing like my son, then or now.
If you find an image like this or create a character in your mind, you need to bring them to life. They need, not only a name, but a whole backstory and in order to make them real, it’s important to consider the little things that make the difference – pet hates, strengths and weaknesses, any quirky little things they might say or do or even a party trick that they might have up their sleeve. You can have so much fun creating new characters this way. Not only do you give them an address, a family, medical history and hobbies, you bring them to life.
At the Storymakers groups, we often interview our characters.
We fill out profile sheets that include everything from name and age, to hobbies, favourite foods and even aspirations. And my favourite, ‘have they got a secret?’
By doing this, you begin to see how they might fit in to a story. Creativity sparks creativity and before you know it, you have a story that you can’t wait to get down on paper.
This little guy became Hugo, and he stars in a story about a mis-fit boy and his superhero mis-fit dog.