Mar 02 2012

How to Give a Character a Personality

One English teacher asked for an SN poster for his classroom.  Here’s a poster I made out of a much longer article on how to make boring characters interesting. As always, please feel free to give advice/feedback/creative insults.  Feel free to use it if you’d like.

Creative Writing Poster for English Classroom

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “How to Give a Character a Personality”

  1. B. McKenzieon 02 Mar 2012 at 12:41 am

    Some things that stick out to me:
    –Next time, I’ll try to incorporate some visuals into the margins. Maybe clip-art of someone playing a didgeridoo horribly or a criminal in a morgue.

    –I think it would help if the text were justified, but I don’t know how to justify text in Photoshop.

    –Not sure about the color scheme. My heart beats only for black-and-white and I’m sort of out of my depth when it comes to more creative contexts.

    –I don’t think the margins are consistent, particularly the left and right margins.

  2. Chihuahua0on 02 Mar 2012 at 5:45 am

    Nevertheless, it’s cool!

    I wonder what English class in my school would benefit the best from this. Permission to use it?

  3. steton 02 Mar 2012 at 6:17 am

    Not gonna win any art prizes, I guess, but honestly, B., that’s some of the best advice for writers in _any_ genre.

    And would you drop me an email?

  4. B. McKenzieon 02 Mar 2012 at 6:22 am

    “I wonder what English class in my school would benefit the best from this. Permission to use it?” Oh, yeah, go for it.

    “Not gonna win any art prizes, I guess…” What, lime green and navy blue on parchment isn’t working? Maybe I should stick to black and white. 😀

    Also, I’ve sent you an email.

  5. B. McKenzieon 02 Mar 2012 at 6:37 am

    I’ve redone the color scheme a little bit. I’ve replaced the dark blue headings with dark green headings and I think it is a bit easier on the eyes. Also, I added 14 pixels to the right side, which resolves most of the OCD issues I was having with uneven margins. (If you’re interested in the original, you can see it here).

  6. Chihuahua0on 02 Mar 2012 at 7:03 am

    I can say there’s an improvement. Less of an eye-sore.

    The choice of green-over-brown is interesting, but I’m not sure if it’s bad or good. I’ll see how it looks with a black-and-white printer.

  7. B. McKenzieon 02 Mar 2012 at 7:29 am

    I’m guessing that the green lines of text will look pretty bad if printed out in black-and-white. They’ll be too light to stand out against the black lines of text that follow them. However, I think that PERSONALITY will look better because it has a greater value contrast with the background than the green sentences do with the black sentences.

  8. Valkyrieon 02 Mar 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Could you refer to the character as “they” instead of “he”?

  9. BMon 03 Mar 2012 at 11:27 am

    “For point 1, dude-with-didgeridoo chats to the ladies while dude-with-tennis-racket looks on forlornly from the other side of the paragraph…” I love that.

  10. YoungAuthoron 03 Mar 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I personally read this every time before i write my story. so helpful 😀

  11. Indigoon 03 Mar 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I will now list playing the didgeridoo well at the top of my list of requirements for a guy. 😉

  12. shyvioletson 04 Mar 2012 at 7:25 pm

    All I really want in a many is someone who is clean, reasonably dressed, and wont eat my leftovers. The last trait is probably the most important one. :3

    BTW the green looks pretty good to me

  13. Indigoon 06 Mar 2012 at 10:39 am

    Won’t eat your leftovers? Lol I never even thought of that one! 🙂

  14. shyvioletson 06 Mar 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Well there is nothing I know of that is more annoying than a serial leftovers thief

  15. B. McKenzieon 06 Mar 2012 at 8:06 pm

    “Well there is nothing I know of that is more annoying than a serial leftovers thief.” In my defense, I am good at the didgeridoo. You’ve got to make choices somewhere.

  16. Grenacon 07 Mar 2012 at 2:21 am

    I will always eat your leftovers if you leave them unattended. No food goes to waste >_>

  17. shyvioletson 07 Mar 2012 at 6:04 am

    I don’t waste it. People just steal it before I have time to finish it. Leftovers thievery is a capital offense in my family. :l

  18. LoudNon 01 Aug 2014 at 9:41 am

    Another good example of a character making a decision most others wouldn’t is when star lord stays in the prison to retrieve his music in guardians of the galaxy.

  19. Joyceon 02 May 2019 at 8:48 am

    Nice poster! I love this website, I’ve accidentally found myself here so many times as I work on my story.
    For this and for all articles, it would be neat if you referred to the character as “they,” or switched back and forth between “he” and “she.” 🙂

  20. B. McKenzieon 02 May 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Joyce, especially since I’ve retired from blogging, reviewing around 1,000 articles from the last ~15 years for pronoun selection is not coming in the foreseeable future. Also, when somebody asks for 5+ hours of my time, I do generally charge, especially if the work is monotonous.

    In addition, in this case, altering a graphic from ~10 years ago is more complicated than editing a blog post. I don’t have the original file, nor the program I used to make it. I could recreate it in Photoshop or similar, but I don’t currently have a Photoshop license, which would cost hundreds of dollars. These would be some of the most expensive pronouns in the history of the Internet.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply