Primary English Tips | Creative Writing: An All-Rounded Character

How to create All-Rounded Characters - PSLE English Composition Writing

Previously, I mentioned that while describing a character's emotions, it is important to talk about the Inside, Outside and Action taken by the character. However, emotions is only one aspect of character description and to create a character that readers can really visualise, the character needs to be TAMED.

TAMED?Not literally, of course (: but the character needs to be

 

Here is an example of how a character (Dave) can be TAMED:


"What should I do now? Should I make a dash for the staircase or just wait until the coast is clear?" (Thought) Dave tried his hardest(Manner) to focus as the questions swam in his mind. Beads of perspiration were forming on his forehead and his heavy breathing sounded thunderous in that confined space. Rubbing his clammy palms against his trousers(Emotions), Dave took a peek by pushing the closet door open(Action) gingerly(Manner). He could not be hiding in that closet forever. Those boys were bound to discover him sooner or later. With his heart beating wildly(Emotion), he made up his mind(Action). Just as he was about to take his one chance to escape(Action), the closet doors flung open and a pudgy face with a sinister smile greeted him. "Well, well. Look whom I have found," chuckled Jim the bully in delight as he whistled to beckon his sidekicks over. Dave gulped in terror(Emotion) as he could only imagine what was about to happen to him(Thought).


The above only describes the character, Dave, and Dialogue was the only component not used by the character. However, that component can be easily used in other parts of the composition. In fact, thoughts and dialogues are components which should be used in a light-handed manner as overuse may disrupt the flow of a story. My pupils find that this approach helps to paint a vivid image of a character's personality through a structured manner. For writers who are rich in content but lacking in character description, this is also helpful to beef up their characters easily.

If I was to identify the components for Jim the bully, it would be as follows:


"What should I do now? Should I make a dash for the staircase or just wait until the coast is clear?" Dave tried his hardest to focus as the questions swam in his mind. Beads of perspiration were forming on his forehead and his heavy breathing sounded thunderous in that confined space. Rubbing his clammy palms against his trousers, Dave took a peek by pushing the closet door open gingerly. He could not be hiding in that closet forever. Those boys were bound to discover him sooner or later. With his heart beating wildly, he made up his mind. Just as he was about to take his one chance to escape, the closet doors flung open and a pudgy face with a sinister smile(Emotion) greeted him. "Well, well. Look whom I have found,"(Dialogue) chuckled(Action) Jim the bully in delight(Manner) as he whistled to beckon his sidekicks over(Action). Dave gulped in terror as he could only imagine what was about to happen to him.

As with other strategies, practice makes perfect. It is important to keep practising to train the brain muscle so that this becomes more automated as you write along (: Keep calm and write on!


 
Primary School English Composition Writing Course
 

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Lily Chew

An English tutor on a mission to educate children; a blogger with a passion to share and grow the love of English with the world.