Writing Exercises: Character Traits- Lesson 2, The Basics

Character Traits- Lesson 2, The Basics

We will continue on the creation of your little monster. The Basics tell as much about a person as any category. You will usually steal from your own experiences here without realizing it and that is okay. This is why the main advice for new writers is to READ. Through reading you visit the places and people you will later write. 

On the same workspace as last lesson, answer the following about your new bean:

Physical attributes/problems

Explain their entire physical look: Hair, eyes, height, weight, body shape, etc. What is their physical weaknesses or strengths? Are they athletic or a couch surfer?

Race is a person’s anatomical, cultural ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious and social affiliation. Where are their ancestors from? How do they feel about their race? If they are mixed race, is a point of pride or shame? How do they feel about their homeland and religion?
Socio-economic status

This is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education and occupation. Socioeconomic status is typically broken into three categories, high SES, middle SES, and low SES to describe the areas an individual may fall into. Additionally, low income and little education have shown to be strong predictors of a range of physical and mental health problems, ranging from respiratory viruses, arthritis, coronary disease, and more. Is your character generational poor, über rich, old money, new wealth, middle class, lower class, third world country, working stiff, etc.
Where are they in the world? How do they feel about it? Where do they want to go? A Midwesterner who longs to live in Paris, is different than a happy hick.

Let’s have some fun with your newly created  anthropoid. I will set a time and place. You write and see how they handle it. You will  be surprised how easy this is even knowing just the basics about them.
Your plot: The main character resides in a ‘cell’ with one tiny window near the ceiling and a barricaded door. They have a mattress in one corner and nothing else. Why are they there, what do they see and feel? How do they pass the time?
Then let them escape. How did they do it? Why did they do it?
Word count goal: 800 (but you can always do more).
Send me your stories if you want feedback, but most of all have fun!
(The entire Character lesson plan will be available after for one complete download and I do teach this 4-hour class live in person, send me an email if you want to be on my class notification list).