With descriptive writing we learned how to set the stage for a story.

Today, we are going to put actors on that stage - who is going to be in your story?

Character Development Exercise


  1. Choose a character image either from those provided  or from Google Image

  2. Fill out a character development sheet for them

  3. Write a brief (300-500 word) introduction or backstory in first person, as the character, explaining where you come from and how you think of yourself. Use the character development sheet to help you: what are your likes/dislikes, what are you proud or ashamed of, who are your friends and family, what's important in your life? Explain these things through your character's eyes.


Although you might not use everything on your character development sheet, it's there for extra inspiration if you get stuck.

If you are doing this in a group with friends, you can take turns hotseating each other. Hotseating is where someone sits on a chair and gets into character. Other people can then ask the person questions and they must reply as their character. Anything the person says whilst on the hotseat is what their character would say - not what they themselves think.

It is important to remember that a character might be very different from our normal personalities. Just like an actor playing the part of a criminal, a drunk or a saint - it is only acting and not what the actor truly thinks or believes.

The key to developing interesting characters is to get comfortable being someone else. It takes practice to give yourself permission to say, do and think things you might not necessarily believe in yourself. It is this conflict of characters, each with their own individual flaws and perspectives, that makes for good drama.