I’m still going through Victoria Hanley’s book Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like To Write, which is a super user-friendly book packed with great advice and lessons on writing.

She has a lot to say about about creating a character.  One pointer was to focus on allowing your descriptions of their appearance to characterize them.  This was followed by a couple drills.  I wanted to continue this exercise and do a couple more practice activities!  Feel free to join in with some of your own 🙂


A Gymnast

Not much characterizing~ Ginny had strong legs and ran to the bars.  She wore a leotard and hair spray. She had blue eyes.  She was performing for the judges.

Characterizing~ Ginny ran like no tomorrow toward the bars, every step pounding the floor mat.  Her neon leotard sparkled as did the glitter spray in her hair.  Her blue eyes narrowed with the focus of a cat about to pounce.  This was her moment, her time to wow the judges, and she was ready.


A Karate Student 

Not much characterizing~ Pedro was a small child and performed his form in karate class. He had dark eyes and still had baby teeth.  He wore his karate uniform.

Characterizing~ Pedro trudged his bare feet along the ground as he made the motions of the form, curling and uncurling his small toes.  His dark eyes had a habit of wandering, and his mouth slightly gaped open revealing his baby teeth, as his mind was someplace else.  His uniform had dirt smudges scattered across its white fabric, since he loved playing outdoors even if it was just 5 minutes before he had to leave for class.


A Grandma

Not much characterizing~ Ellen danced with her grandson.  She had white curly hair.

Characterizing~ With a bounce in her step, Ellen boogied with her little grandson.  Her hair was unkempt with white curls sticking out here and there like random waves of energy.  She had too much to do in life to spend time styling her hair.