Testing for realism

Whilst stereotyping can be a useful method of characterisation, be aware that different people have different perceptions. If you belong to a writers' circle or class, the following group exercise is a useful one:

1. Write a selection of job titles such as teacher, plumber, TV presenter, sculptor, nurse etc, on pieces of paper then distribute them among the group, allocating the same job title to two members at a time, e.g. if there are 8 group members, 2 will have teacher, 2 plumber and so on.

APPEARANCE:

(hair, eye colour, height, weight, build etc.)

MARITAL STATUS:

CURRENTHOME:

OCCUPATION:

PARENTS:

SIBLINGS:

(names, ages, marital status etc.)

CHILDHOOD:

(happy, sad, traumatic etc.)

EDUCATION:

QUALIFICATIONS:

RELATIONSHIPS:

(past and present)

PERSONALITY:

SPECIAL SKILLS:

STRENGTHS:

WEAKNESSES:

ANY OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION: ..

Fig. 3. Suggested format for potted history.

2. Ask each member to write their own description of the character the job title conjures up.

3. Now ask each member to read their description out in turn for the rest of the group to guess the job of the character being described.

Despite the fact that some of the group members will have been asked to write about the same character, the descriptions will probably be very different. Each image will, nevertheless, be an identifiable stereotype.

0 0

Post a comment