Creative Writing: Crafting Complex Characters (Quickly) for Short Fiction

Benjamin Woodard, Writer, Teacher, Critic, & Editor

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8 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction and Overview

    • 2. What is a “Character Bible”?

    • 3. Round Vs. Flat Characters

    • 4. Archetypes

    • 5. Building the Character: Highs and Lows

    • 6. Building the Character: The Speed Date

    • 7. Building the Character: P.O.V. Paragraphs

    • 8. Results and Closing

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Project Description

Class Project: Create a quick character bible.

We will achieve this goal through three steps:

  • First, we will talk about good and bad traits and come up with virtues and vices for your character.
  • In part two, we will to go on a speed date with your character in three different ways. 
  • Finally, you will write two paragraphs to explore your character's point-of-view

After completing these steps, you should have a pretty good handle on who your protagonist is, his/her/their history and future, as well as the way the character’s beliefs and opinions change with age (and with youth). Congratulations: you’ve crafted a round, believable character.

Now go write your story!

Links to stories discussed in our class videos:


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