Bedford/St. Martin's virtuaLit Interactive Fiction Tutorial Notebook VIEW SEND
Fiction in Depth Approaches and Contexts
Select a StoryElements of FictionCultural ContextsCritical Approaches
Point of View
Style, Tone, and Language
Symbolism, Allegory, and Image


When a character is created in fiction, the various details provided by the author combine to create a believable representation of a person. Flat characters are typically developed in rough outline only, with such basic attributes as gender, age, and occupation or family role indicated but not much else. On the other hand, round characters are developed more fully. For instance, we may learn about their clothing preferences, skills, hopes or fears, favorite work of art or song, and relationships. Through narrative background, dialogue, transcriptions of characters’ thoughts, and characters’ actions, the author hopes to convey, in a round character, a believable “living” person.

Select one character trait from each of the following drop-down menus to create a basic character outline.

Based on the character you've created, imagine and describe a potential conflict or story situation in which this character might be found. Explain how this character might resolve the conflict.

Make your character more round by adding four or five additional details that seem to fit with this character. Select details that will coalesce with the conflict/situation expressed in the preceding question. Consider such aspects as personal habits, fears, desires, significant experiences, worst and best memories, relationships, strengths, weaknesses, and finances.

Go back to the selection boxes and change one basic aspect. Would the new character still fit in the same situation suggested for the second question? Would he or she still fit the details expressed in this question? Explain why or why not, based on character traits.

Bedford/St. Martin's | Order a Book | Instructor Registration | Contact Us | Contact Your Sales Representative