Creative writing workshop: Keeping up appearances

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By Teresa Saunderseducation journalist and children’s writer

Invite your class to create their own individual and exciting characters


Our Creative Writing Workshop series looks at story characters in depth and detail, providing exciting opportunities for children to explore their favourite character – and create believable and interesting characters of their own. This article concentrates on the appearance – how writers use physical appearance, clothes and accessories to create distinctive characters.

Creating thrilling, unforgettable characters is the essence of good storywriting. Think of some firm favourites – from Alice in Wonderland to Tracy Beaker, Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Hercules to the great Gandalf – and see how they move their stories along, generating atmosphere, drama and tension, stirring their readers’ imaginations and orchestrating their emotions. Explain to the children that great characters are not just conjured out of thin air – writers go through a range of different thought processes as they pursue their ideal character.

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