Journal Entry #15

In class we discussed plot and character development. Although we were advised to do our best for our stories, we eventually went over how to develop a character. We also went over what makes a scene, a scene, and why they come about. For example, usually scenes are created from emotions, either ones we’ve experienced or seen others experienced, and this creates the scene. The scene consists of the place and the characters. In class we went over character development, by asking the main question: How do we know people? Of course, knowing someone is difficult, but we’ve experienced getting to know someone, and forming friendships. The reaction we have towards someone or seeing their choices they make helps us know who they are. We also learned that most characters have an arc (they’re bad but turn good at the end, is the typical scenario for many stories and movies, but serves as an arc); and the characters experience and learn something about themselves and the situation they’re in. Characters in stories are also influenced by something, be that external or internal factors. But also these influences can also tell us, the writer, and the readers about what the character(s) may want. How we picture them is what we essentially get from them. And of course, in a short story, getting to know someone quickly is through dramatic situations. I also learned that as a writer, we have to make sure the reader cares about the character (maybe they’re evil, so we hate them but we care that we hate them, or they’re good and we care about their future and feelings). A plot and a character (development) are completely different in short stories. Short stories focus on the characters while the plot develops around them, rather than the other way around. We also went over revisions for our short stories, and although my group members said it was great, I still need to develop my characters more, and revise various things. From what we learned in class, I was very surprised. I never learned about character development, aside from describing their physical features, I never learned about describing or developing a character through their reactions, their choices, etc. I feel what we learned is challenging, as I usually write stories based around a plot, not on a character. But I can use what I learned to strengthen my story and characters. At the moment, my characters are a bit underdeveloped and I intend to develop them more. I do have to remember that characters in a short story are the primary focus, but to also remember to continue placing the reader in the scene. I’m curious but also challenged to make my story better.

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