In my writing fantasy class, author Ellen Kushner came in for a visit and talked about characterization. She shared with us a fun and amazing little game which she dubbed “The Character Game.”
The Character Game is a way to get inside a character’s head particularly if you’re starting a novel or feel like your characters are flat and not fleshed out enough.
Very simple. Only two people required to play, though you can have many more.
Author-Player decides on a character and will then have to answer all questions as if they are that character.
Question-Player then proceeds to bombard Author-Player with questions. These questions CANNOT be plot questions. Think more like “first date” getting-to-know-you type questions.
“What’s your favorite color?”
“What do you eat for breakfast?”
“What’s your least favorite smell?”
“What’s your favorite holiday?”
Those types of questions.
Rough game time is 20-30 minutes, and by the end of that time, most authors have an epiphany type moment where their character is suddenly a fully actualized real person.
Trust me, it works!
And it’s fun!
Anyone want to play?
I totally want to play! I was too shy to speak up in class to volunteer to do it so we should do another night like last night and play the character game. It would be AWESOME.