Jun 20

Six characters in search of a story

Six characters in search of a story

(With apologies to Luigi Pirandello)

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Give the members a list of six characters briefly described. They must use ‘Character Questionnaires’ to add at least 6 -10 characteristics to the profiles each character (no more than 15-20 minutes).

As they build up their knowledge of the characters hopefully a story-line, or at least a genre will start to occur to them, into which they might fit these people.

  • Self contained, says little but seems pleasant and happy with own company.
  • Forgetful, unpunctual but always thoughtful towards others if at times appearing somewhat interfering.
  • Witty, articulate, sometimes sarcastic, but quite popular despite having quite strong opinions.
  • Enigmatic, always somewhat vague about the past but seems well travelled and experienced.
  • Chatty and gregarious, trusting and at times perhaps a little naive but educated and well read.
  • Sometimes suspicious and wary of others but interesting and quite good company if now slowing down a bit with age.

When finished ask them to jot down one or more ideas for a story/genre using at least five of these characters very briefly ie just a sentence: a spy story set in the 1960s; A modern murder mystery….

Ask each person to share one or maybe two of their characters at this point depending on numbers and time.

Write a short story, the opening of a novel or a play, or just an outline plot using these characters. (30 minutes)

Share and discuss.

 If time, choose one character from each story and ask everyone to answer a few questions from the character questionnaire eg Has this person got a good sense of humour? What is this character’s favourite food? What type of home/neighbourhood did this character grow up in?

Match answers to the writer’s and see if their character is coming across as they expected.

 


(Copy for writing group members):

  • Self contained, says little but seems pleasant and happy with own company.
  • Forgetful, unpunctual but always thoughtful towards others if at times appearing somewhat interfering.
  • Witty, articulate, sometimes sarcastic, but quite popular despite having quite strong opinions.
  • Enigmatic, always somewhat vague about the past but seems well travelled and experienced.
  • Chatty and gregarious, trusting and at times perhaps a little naive but educated and well read.
  • Sometimes suspicious and wary of others but interesting and quite good company if now slowing down a bit with age.

 

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