A WRITING BLOG About Playing Around with a Story Line in Different Literary Genres and Different Literary Modes
Writing Leap #23 Enhancing Characters with Lists
It’s lovely when your character evolves under your very “writing pen.” Making a List of his or her traits can deepen the process. Sometimes listing vivid physical descriptions, passions old and new, peeves, grudges and talents can trigger new ideas about the person you are creating, even as you jot them down.
Making character lists can evoke inner valleys and hills that may not even appear in the story. But they may deepen your overall perception of how your character experiences his or her life.
Keep the items on your list brief! Otherwise you might as well write a paragraph.
I really get to know my characters with my lists.
The Story Line is
Here’s my list for my character Cap’n Hatch
84 years old.
Medium build, in good physical health, energetic
White hair that curls over the rim of his baseball cap–that he wears backwards
Born and raised in Nantucket
Grew up learning lobster fishing from his father
Has always loved the sea because it takes him away from people
A successful fisherman
Bonded with his golden retriever
Shy with girls when younger
In school together with Grammy Apple when they were children.
She showed him a magical world where he could hear the conversations of fish and mermaids
When they grew up he asked her to marry him.
She loved him like a brother and married someone else.
He never got over her.
Outwardly very grouchy and has that reputation around town
Secretly conducting an internet romance with 86 year old lady from Boston
Terrified people will find out and laugh at him because of his age.
I am adding and crossing out on this list and others as I write. In daydreams and on the page. I love my lists.
Happy Writing all you Creative People,
LINKING THE ARTS
Good Verb: to spark, as in one list item can spark the next and the next and the next
This journal is meant as a means to organize an autobiography. But I think it can be used to explore character traits in your fictional character as well.