Stuck on character? Use a simile.
- My character is like a shark: sleek, aggressive, willing to go after what s/he wants, dangerous.
- My character is like a Siamese cat: aloof, gorgeous, lovely to touch but untouchable, owner not owned.
- My character is like a goose: big, silly, aggressive; but in a group, s/he cooperates by sharing the duty of being the lead flyer.
- My character is like Santa Claus: overblown clothing, overweight, jolly, generous, administrator and loves to correspond with people.
- My character is like Marie Cure: dedicated to her work, loving wife, humble.
- My character is like Elvis Presley: talented, charismatic, gorgeous, athletic.
Use a simile to jump start your characterization. Choose an animal, historical figure, movie star, family member, or anything else to get you started. Feel free to create riffs or diversions on the theme; this is just a starting place.
Of course, you can also do the opposite.
My character is not like a horse; instead, s/he is slow, clumsy, weak, easily trained to follow orders and a couch potato. Of course, you’ll put this character on a horse farm, surrounded by the sleek race horses for a nice contrast.
4 responses to “My Character is Like a (Fill in the Blank)”
Great tip. I love how, not only can those similes help a writer get a better handle on a character, but they could also prompt some neat little details about a character’s living space, clothing, habits, etc. Maybe the sharklike character keeps a large saltwater fishtank full of spiny sea creatures, for instance.
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