The Character Sketch

Show! Don't Tell!

Creating Your Character Sketch

I. Select a Subject

II. Create a Description

III. Include Action

IV. Develop a Character's Speech

V. Include a Setting


Pre-Writing Questions for the Character Sketch

A Person Who Made a Difference

1. Name a person who has made a difference in your life and explain what the difference has been.

2. If the person is a family member, where do you see him/her most often? If the person is not a family member, where did you meet him/her?

3. What do other people think of this person? What might other people say about him/her?

4. Picture this person. Describe him/her in as much detail as you can. Include facial features, physical appearance, clothing, manner of speech.

5. How does his/her appearance reflect his/her personality?

6. When you picture this person, what do you think of him/her doing?

7. Describe something special or memorable that happened between you. This should be an incident that shows how this person has made a difference in your life.



The Character Sketch Format

Partially based on the "Mrs. Bertha Flowers" model as developed by Don Killgallon, author of Sentence Composing.

First Paragraph (one sentence) Use the answers to your first two pre-writing questions to write the first sentence, but do not reveal the person's name or identity.

Second Paragraph (several sentences) In the first sentence of this paragraph, name the person, the person's relationship to you, and include the information from pre-writing question 3. Then support that topic sentence with selected details from your answers to 4, 5, and 6. Don't use all your details, just the ones that fit the topic sentence.

Third Paragraph (several sentences) Write another paragraph that uses other details about your person from pre-writing questions 4, 5, and 6. Be sure to include a simile in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Fourth Paragraph (several sentences) Write a paragraph about your answer to question 7.

Fifth Paragraph (one sentence) Write a final paragraph that summarizes why this person is important to you. It should connect back to your first paragraph.

Remember--Show! Don't Tell! Use action verbs instead of linking verbs.

TABOO WORDS: has, had, is are, was, were, be been, a lot

Character Sketch Editing Guide

Answer yes or no. If no, fix!

Write your title here:________________________________

Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 4

Paragraph 5

Revision: -Revise sentences with linking verbs. Use strong action verbs:

-Add words or phrases which appeal to your senses.

-Spelling? When in doubt, check it out!

-Blah words? Consult a thesaurus?

Return to Mrs. Beachy's Essays page to learn more about different types of essays.

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