Place this character in a situation in which he or she plays a public role (the public persona shown to others).As literary enthusiasts and critics, each member of the literary club is also a...

Place this character in a situation in which he or she plays a public role (the public persona shown to others).

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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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I do not think you are going to get a 5 paragraph example of the above assignment, but I'd like to encourage you to work through this exercise yourself.  Based on the fact that it is for the "Literary Club," I think the point of the assignment is to get you to explore your own creative side and to "think outside the box."

That said, let me help you think of some places to start.  Because you are to come up with a character who does not already exist in literature, movies, or television, why not base your character on yourself or someone you know.  In fact, if I was the one doing this assignment, I'd have the easiest time writing about a character who highly resembled someone in real life who annoys me.  I personally have an easier time writing creatively when it is backed by a strong emotion such as annoyance or even anger.  Then, you can even exaggerate the little things that bother you to create in your character an even bigger personality.

Perhaps think of a scenario when you felt particularly annoyed, and embellish the details to lengthen your story into 5 paragraphs.  THen, when it comes to the "public vs. private" personas, you have the opportunity to show the inner monologue of his or her brain while making your life miserable.  I think if you make it partially personal and partially an exaggeration (and perhaps humorous), you'll find the assignment nearly writes itself.  Just keep in mind that you are not slandering nor disrespecting anyone in the class or school.  My thought is to think of a generic person (like bad drivers or people who talk through movies) and make him or her complex and real.

Have fun with this.  What a great exercise.

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