- Place this character in a situation showing the character's private persona (the real character when no one is watching).
As literary enthusiasts and critics, each member of the literary club is also a writer. During this week’s discussion, you will be working on development of a new character and plan to share with the group.
- Create a new character who
- is real or imagined.
- has a distinct manner of behaving or style of talking.
- is not an existing character in literature, movies, or television.
- Place the character in a contemporary setting facing a current-events issue.
- Narrate a 5-paragraph episode or vignette in either of the following:
- Raymond Carver's style
- Anne Tyler’s style
- Place this character in both
- a situation in which he or she plays a public role (the public persona shown to others).
- a situation showing the character's private persona (the real character when no one is watching).
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I hope this helps generate some ideas for your assignment. This is what I would write, based on "How to Write a Character Analysis."
The character is Jane (after Jane Austen). Ethically, she has a well-defined sense of values. She is honest. She works hard to show her value, but beneath the surface, she knows she isn't perfect; she has a hard time admitting defeat, and is very critical of herself, in private.
Wisdom: Jane's world is her classroom. She tries to learn from her mistakes and those of others. Jane knows appearances can be deceiving, but in her heart she sometimes repeats the same blunders in her faulty "reading" of others—because she wishes the world could be a kinder place. She acts cavalier, but is secretly very cautious, has trust issues, and fears being alone.
Motivation: outwardly, Jane is motivated by completing a task that is as perfect as possible. Privately, she believes she can only prove her worth to others by working extra hard. She is too tough on herself—even driven. She will work with passion on a project, but when it is finished, she must find another—secretly trying to be "good enough."
Behavior: Jane affects others in a positive way. She is a good friend. People find her to be a good listener. Even when things look bleak, Jane has a way of finding "the silver lining." Under her positive facade, she worries that she may never be happy when so many others have so much unhappiness in their lives. When she is overwhelmed, she will make up excuses to stay home alone so no one knows how worried she is.
Words that describe Jane are: friendly, unrealistic, insecure, caring, outwardly optimistic, fearful, disorganized, inscrutable, and "cluttered."
Items associated with Jane are: #2 pencils, books, a cat, plants, a Mac laptop, photos in her pocket calendar, a non-descript backpack, articles torn from the newspaper tucked in a journal she is forever writing quotes or website addresses in, a bottle of aspirin, and anti-depressants her friends don't know about.
Reading between the lines with Jane—beneath her friendly, disorganized exterior, there is a little girl who never imagined how cold and hard life could be. She has some trust issues, but is trying to have more faith in others. Jane is an expert in disguising her problems.
Jane is a round character; life has changed her, and continues to do so; she does not have a lot of self-confidence, but has more strength than she realizes. She feels she isn't very brave, but is working on it.
Jane lives in a modern time-period. For me, I feel I can make Jane more honest based on what I know.
The "author" thinks Jane has potential. She is not perfect and may get stuck on the details in life, but she is a decent person who wants to get along with others, and find a way to be happy. She may be conflicted between her hopes and the imperfections of the world. She doesn't have enough self-confidence. Jane represents the traits that many people have (and hide).
One of the things I have found in writing this is that it is hard to make characters interesting and three-dimensional. This is not something that can be done in an hour, but it must be read and reread to provide a continuous thread regarding the many aspects of your character. Diversity and realism are important I think, and a decided lack of perfection—perfect people are not nearly as interesting as those who are flawed. Logically, there should be a visible characteristic and an opposite "shortcoming."
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