You want to create a character for your story, but you’re stuck. You can’t think of one.

Keep reading to find out one trick that will give you oodles of ideas.

As readers, we find out about characters by what they do and say, what others say about them, what they look like, and what they wear. For instance, if a character slid into a darkened room and slipped a delicate porcelain figurine under his black leather jacket, you would probably have negative feelings about him; it sounds as if he’s up to no good.

If another character waltzed into the same room still wearing her sunglasses and tripped over the end table that held the delicate porcelain figurine, you might guess she was thoughtless or just klutzy.

MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL WRITING PROMPT: You want to create a character for your story, but you're stuck. You can't think of one. Use this trick to get you thinking about characters.

Here’s the trick: Check out pictures of people in magazines and newspapers. They’re real people, and you can guess things about them by what they look like, what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, and the expression on their faces. Do they look unhappy? How can you tell? Do they look stuck up? What are the clues?

Looking of photos of real people is a great way to find your next character. You can imagine all sorts of things about the person in the photo and then make your imaginings into a character in your story.

Now it’s your turn: Find a picture of a real person you do not know.  You can look in newspapers, magazines, online, or in a friend’s scrapbook.  Will you find a cowboy who looks lonely? Or will you see a pretty girl with a hard glint in her eye that warns people away? Then go a step further. Think about why the cowboy is lonely or the girl is mean. What made them this way? Write a short story with this new character in it.

Copyright © 2014 by Sharon Watson
Original image courtesy of Africa Studio, dollarphotoclub.com

Want daily writing prompts to tempt reluctant writers and delight eager ones? Find out more about Sharon’s daily writing prompts posted under “Dailies” and then “Daily Writing” on SchoolhouseTeachers.com or click here. 


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