|Photo credit: Thomas Milne on Flickr|
This could be a really good test of characterization. In a hypothetical world where we are all copies, how would you tell your character apart from everyone else? Does he shuffle instead of walking? Does he keep his eyes low and shoulders hunched or is he brimming with confidence? What about the way he talks? Does he curse a lot? Does he stutter? Does he speak in short, abrupt sentences or long, eloquent phrases?
Since I’ve been rather philosophical and haven’t posted any exercises in a while, try this one:
Take two of your characters and pretend they looked and sounded exactly the same. Ask yourself how you would tell them apart and write down every difference you can think of. The way they hold themselves, the way they walk, they way they talk, how they would react to different situations—anything goes. If you have trouble differentiating between the two, you might need to work on a little more characterization.
Since I love The Hunger Games, I’ll use two of the main characters as an example:
Makes unwavering eye contact
Stands with her shoulders back
Walks with her chin up
Blunt—doesn’t really care about eloquence
Makes eye contact, then looks away
Soft-spoken, has a way with words
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
So lets see it, guys—how would you tell your characters apart?