Our January assignment is a 250-word character sketch.
A character sketch can be defined as a brief description that summarizes the key personality traits, background, behavior and nature of a particular character.
But I especially like Alyssa Darby’s definition: writing a character sketch is painting a mental picture with your words.
In learning to write a character sketch, you are learning how to make a character real and memorable to your reader.
With a 250-word limit, the focus of the piece must be narrowed down to just the character being highlighted, and perhaps immediate surroundings, if relevant to the character.
This is not a story. It is not a vignette, which is a scene from a story. It is intended to capture the essence of a particular individual.
Imagine you know someone very special or colorful, and you want to describe that person so that your reader can see and know that individual from your description. This should go far beyond what the person looks like physically, although that would be part of a character sketch.
You might find it helpful to begin by making a list of the character’s emotional, physical and personality traits, background, any hardships they’ve endured, how they act around others, etc. Then use the information from this list to aid you in crafting a snapshot of your chosen character. As you write, imagine someone is asking you questions about this individual, and make sure your piece answers those questions.
At our meeting, everyone will have the opportunity to read their piece if they choose to.
Hope to see you there!