Sculpting a Soul: Emotions That Define a Character

Here is a writing exercise to help you get to know your characters better and give them more depth:

Perhaps you know your character well. Perhaps you don’t. Either way, our emotions and our reactions to them say a lot about who we are especially when those feelings are particularly potent. Take this list of strong emotions and consider what could possibly trigger each of them in your character:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sorrow
  • Pain (Physical or emotional)
  • Desire (Sexual or otherwise. It could be greed or a strong craving.)
  • Love
  • Elation

Write a short scene for each of these emotions. What makes your character feel this way? How do they react? What happens to their body? To their thoughts? Remember that emotions tend to be complex things and are often linked together. Does a particular feeling lead to another? (Example: Does the character get angry when they feel frightened?) What do they decide to do? If it’s a negative emotion, how do they cope?

Can you think of any other emotions that might be provocative? Feel free to leave comments and, as always, make good art!

Author: Ethan Kincaid

Ethan Kincaid was born in 1985 in Brockville, a sleepy little town on the St. Lawrence River. He graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa with a degree in Linguistics and a minor in Japanese Language. After finishing his education, he settled down there with his wife Kaitlyn and became a full-time writer. In 2011, he moved to Montreal and discovered its vibrant writing culture. In 2015, Ethan moved to Helsinki, Finland with his wife; he works as a props crafter and part time author. His first book, Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy is the first of a new fantasy trilogy. The greatest joy in his life lies in helping budding writers find their voices. In his words: "I like to shake people until cool stuff comes out!"

2 thoughts on “Sculpting a Soul: Emotions That Define a Character”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s