Character Sketch Writing Techniques

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Have you ever been given an assignment of story writing? If your major is literature, then I’m sure you would have been. And, the most important thing while writing a narration or a story is character sketching.

Writers and storytellers have spent thousands of years creating compelling characters and stories, weaving amazing tales from seemingly thin air. It’s an art, to be sure, and a difficult one to master at that. The first (and most important) tip you can get for improving your character sketching, is to never stop practicing and never stop finding examples of what you want your writing to look like.

Most of the students, while writing a narrative essay or fictional story, fail to develop their character. And, what happens next? They lose marks.

However, you need not worry, as this article contains all the basic and necessary information that you need for effective character sketching. Even if you’re planning to seek help from a professional essay writer, I urge you to read through this article word by word. So you can know what to expect and be able to send the right instructions to them.

Construct a background: First, a character is a fragment of a reality, so it is a fruit or reflection of the presented universe. The nature of the whole narrative exists in symbiosis with the character. What is the character's past? What made it what it is? What are the reasons for it existing in that environment?

Separate your character’s traits: When developing your character, separate your character’s traits into four groups:

  1. Physical (height, weight, eyes, hair, beauty, etc, etc,)
  2. Mental (intelligence, stability, worldview, goals/dreams, etc, etc)
  3. Personality (hobbies, flaws, opinions, voice, habits, etc)
  4. Other (This vague group includes mostly personal things: family, past events, their voice (not their talking voice, but their word choice).

Treat them as real: Treat your characters as if they are real people. Give them backgrounds, characteristics, religion, morality, flaws, etc. Never use them for your purposes only, but rather make sure they always react according to their character.

Think of different situations: You should look for different situations where that character interacts with others and note down the adjectives and verbs that come into your mind. She might have been kind, hurried, brusque, silly, … then look for other examples in the story with the same characteristics. Don't forget to quote so you can justify your character sketch. Then use a compare/contrast method where other personae in the story discuss your character and use that example to elaborate.

Create a character that can really relate to: This is very important while creating a character. Take Harry Potter for example, Harry Potter is such an awesome character, not because he can cast magic but because he’s someone we can relate to. In the Sorcerer’s Stone, many of us know what it’s like being bullied in school, not fitting in, living at a home where we don’t feel (or know) we’re not loved.

Assign your character a goal: Give him or her an important problem (goal) that is hard to solve. Present them with non-obvious challenges and decisions to make that reflect your theme.

Create a balance: Writing characters and character development is all about balance. Meaning, a writer must portray the character the way it needs to be perceived by the reader, yet leave some room for imagination.

I hope the techniques I have presented will help you when you create a character sketch, either for your high school essay or for a fictional story. However, remember one thing! actions make the noise, not words, so think carefully about how your characters are going to react as you toss them into hell. They can stumble and fall, but don’t let them sit on the pity pot for too many pages.

Additionally, for your practice, you can contact online essay writing services and request them a sample of character analysis essays, narrative essays, and some short stories. This will definitely help you. Otherwise, you can hire a professional essay writing service to help you with character sketches.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

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