Character building

We’ve been looking at character and back-story at West Dean College. Here some ideas  which could be useful. Some are probably familiar – but others may help.

Interrogation – get a writing friend to quiz you, go all Mastermind and make sure know them better than a Wikipedia entry!


Musical mindset – is your character a Beethoven sonata in a plainchant world? Bebop or folk?


Headspace – if you could map the phrenology of your character, what would each bump mean? What symbols would you use?

Try out some textures – what do they feel like? Chamois leather, birchbark, sea glass. In different moods -cork, or slate or thistledown?


Cultural refs – is your central character a Renaissance Prince in a Revenger’s Tragedy? (Greg Mosse about Hamlet) A Goth in Cranford or Boadicea in Disneyland?

Gallery – a Caspar David Friedrich surrounded by Gainsboroughs, a David Hockney among Vermeers?

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