Character is a person created for a fictional piece but can also be a selection of traits that make them a person a certain way. Such as a character could be stubborn and so could be related to a strong minded character.
We put this skill to use by first being asked a series of questions so we could create our character to then write a story about the character. Some of the questions asked included:
What’s their name? – Tessa Weir
If money was no object, where would they live? -Thailand
Do they own a pet?- A pet husky
What is the worst thing that could happen to them?- That she doesn’t accomplishes her dream
If you gave them £100, what shop would they spend it in?- A record shop
What makes them happiest?- When everyone else is happy
These question, along with others, were used to help us create a bigger image of what type of character we have and their personality.
“Cause I’m as free as a bird”, one day Tess you’ll be free and living the life you’ve always dreamed of. For now, you’re stuck in this small suburb town outside of Chicago. Everything about this place is normal, all I want to do is leave. You’re not normal, with your head full of red hair, emerald eyes and short stubby figure, you are nothing like any of these tall, athletic, blonde or brunette rich girls. You’re Tessa Weir, a 19-year-old women who lives with her divorced mother and works as a waitress in a rundown diner on the highway.
My character description piece is straight to the point and quickly creates an idea for the reader of what type of person my character is and her feelings about everything in her life. I also wrote it as if it was a diary entry so you get a personal perspective of the character, meaning the reader gets a wider range of emotion towards Tessa. However I would of described her in a more expressive way so the reader could get an idea of her feelings towards her own body in a greater way.
Nick Hornby’s piece in High Fidelity inspired me to write my piece like it is because Hornby writes it very straight to the point in a clear first person manor so the reader quickly understands who the character is and the feeling towards everything.
I’m OK looking; in fact, if you put say, Mel Gibson on one end of the looks spectrum and say, Berky Edmond’s from school, whose grotesque ugliness was legendary, on the other, then I reckon I’d be on Mel’s side, just. A girlfriend once told me that I looked like Peter Gabriel, and he’s not too bad, is he? I’m average height, not slim, not fat, no unsightly facial hair, I keep myself clean, wear jeans and T-shirts and a leather jacket more or less all the time apart from in the summer, when I leave the leather jacket at home. I vote Labour. I have a pile of classic comedy videos- Python, Fawlty Towers, Cheers and so on. I can see what feminists are on about, most of the time, but not the radical ones.
You can see that Hornby’s piece is snappy and allows the reader to understand the character and all the interest they have. Also gives the reader an idea of the characters past because of the talk about his old girlfriends. It relates to women by how he understands feminist but not radical feminist, creating a wider audience. Also the vocabulary makes it easy for any reader to understand by using a modern choice a words so its easy to understand and relate to.
The plot of a story is what happens within the book. There tends to be a structure to how a book is written. You have act one which is the introduction to the characters to then when something goes wrong (climax), we also find the characters need. Act two has the obstacles and a build up of the climax. Act three is how the climax ends up and what the future holds. The example we were giving was from a diagram explaining the ideology of the plot. It shows the idea of how a book can be written.
Setting is the surroundings where a certain scene takes place. The setting creates an overall image for the reader of what the story is like and how it could play out. Also a setting can make the world in the book more realistic.
We put this skill to use by writing a piece in our story that focuses on the setting.
Sitting on the small grains of yellow sand, Tessa placed her headphones over her red frizzy hair and put Grateful Dead’s, ‘American Beauty’ cassette into her Walkman as the purple sunset fell over the city she so hoped to leave. The autumn cold brisk wind flew around Tess as she sat watching the seagulls dance around the evening sun. A small metal structure by a local artist, placed in the sea, shone the light of the sun, as it ever so often caught the eye of the dreaming Tess. Salt from the cold autumn sea bringing back the memories from the days out with her parents getting fish and chips and seating on the benches along the sea front. Tessa sat on the beach alone, her only company were the seagulls in the far distance’s. There was no sign that see was in a republican ran country or even in America just that see could see her the sunset, she could see her future. Her way to dream of all the amazing adventurers she’s going to have and the people see will meet along the way. And every night when the sun set, Tess knew the days of freedom were coming closer.
My piece has a lot of description, the words especial give an idea of the atmosphere and what the surroundings are like. Writing the season that it takes place in allowed me to quickly create of an idea of what animals and smells would be in the setting. Plus by saying how the country was run gives the reader an overall idea of what the entire country is like.
I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard … My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires—all for eighty dollars a month.
F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘The Great Gatsby’ describers the setting in a way that I myself like to read and also can create an image of what you would expect it to look like. Fitzgerald also does an amazing job in creating a very vivid idea of what the entire surroundings are rather than just the characters living space. The chosen vocabulary not only gives an idea of what the settings are but also what the character thinks of them.
- Hornby, N. (1995), High Fidelity, Victor Gollancz Ltd
- Fitzgerald. S. F. (1925), The Great Gatsby, Charles Scribner’s Sons