Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Writing Exercises

I'm bogged down in research right now, so I don't know that I'll have time to try any creative exercises in the foreseeable future, but I always like to collect them.

One idea I've had good success with for character development is to have the students take the Myers Brigg personality test...not as themselves but as characters they are trying to create. They then use the personality profile generated by the test as a reference in writing a character sketch.

On our campus the Career Resource Center offers the test. There are also a number of personality tests available online.

The students always enjoy doing this and maybe become a little too interested in personality types, but it does help them brainstorm characters.


jeanne said...

SG, I like the idea of using Myers-Briggs to help develop characters. I don't teach creative writing, but I can see how it would work.

I don't teach lit, either, but I would think you could have students apply the personality test to a character in a work of fiction they're reading.

TT said...

I love the idea of the personality test! It's hard to get students to realize they should know much more about the character than they'll ever need to include into a story. The personality test is a great way to promote that idea.

Sharon Gerald said...

Good idea about applying this to character analysis assignments in literature, Jeanne. I think even if you don't teach creative writing or literature, there are ways to work it in. I sometimes do creative and/or literary response assignments in comp 2. Or maybe it could be used along with the definition paper in comp 1 if they were defining character traits.

jocalo said...

That's a smart use of Myers-Briggs. Another way to get students engaged in understanding characters in fiction is through a chat format. I'll have two or three work together as a character in a story and play. Each group enters the chatroom as the character. They can ask other characters about their motivations and intentions. Many students have told me this exercise got them to understand stories better than any other they had done.

Sharon Gerald said...

I like the idea of chatting as a character. We can set that up through Blackboard. It sounds like it would be both fun and challenging. That's the kind of stuff they remember.