Writing Assignment Focusing on Character Development
Write a first-person point of view scene that is primarily driven by character development. This means, the narrator telling the story is part of the story. The narrator will use first-person pronouns: I, me, my, we, us, our.
Here are some prompts to consider:
- Write a scene about a burial of a grandma told through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy.
- Write a scene about a father in prison told through the eyes of a teenage daughter.
- Write a scene about an encounter with an alien from outer space told through the eyes of an alien.
- Write a scene about a teenage boy’s girlfriend told through the eyes of his mother.
- Write a scene about stealing a famous painting through the eyes of the thief.
You get the idea, right? Brainstorm a list of your own ideas, a variation of one of the above, or use one of the above ideas.
Length and Details
The scene should be brief–two pages–not a long story. However, it should also feel complete to the reader when it closes. It should have a beginning, middle, and an end. It should have an arc (climax) like Freytag’s plot chart. That means, your character encounters a conflict.
To help keep your scene brief, don’t include a lot of characters. One or two characters besides the narrator is enough to work with.
You may use direct descriptions that focus on the physical traits of the character and/or you may use indirect descriptions where readers decipher the traits of the main character via their dialogue and response to other characters and the situation.
Be careful to show the scene not tell it. After you’ve written your first draft, go back and find the places where you need to show more vs telling.
Final Draft Requirements
Follow these instructions for typing the final draft:
- The scene must be typed in a Microsoft Word file (.docx).
- It must have one-inch margins, be double-spaced, and typed in a 12 pt. readable font like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
- Indent paragraphs one tab, which is five to seven spaces.
- In the upper left-hand corner of page 1, type your first and last name, the name of the class, the date the assignment is due, and the assignment name. Example:
ENGL 1465 – Creative Writing
Writing Assignment: Character Story
- In the upper right-hand corner on all the pages, insert page numbers in the header. Type your last name in front of the page number. Example: Johnson 1
- Be sure to give your story a title. It should be centered over the text of the entire story on page 1. Do not bold, enlarge, or punctuate the title. Capitalize the first word and each important word in the title.