Developing Your Character

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #011.

Does he put effort into his schoolwork?

Some students limit themselves to the barest minimum amount of effort that will allow them to pass their classes. Others try less, not caring even if they fail every assignment. Still others put an incredible amount of effort in their schoolwork, spending many sleepless nights finishing homework, and always giving 100% in class. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione Granger enjoys school so much that she requests a time-travel device so that she can take twice as many classes as normal. Ron Weasley, on the other hand, just barely manages to get by in the classes he has.

Has he ever been sent to the principal’s office? If so, why?

While some children exert a great deal of energy with the objective of being good students and not causing trouble, others lean heavily toward actions that earn them titles such as “troublemaker,” and they are thus very often sent to the principal’s office. In Catch Me If You Can, Frank Abagnale Jr. is sent to the principal’s office after successfully impersonating a substitute teacher for weeks. While he is waiting for his punishment, he gives another student advice to help her get away with her own scheme for skipping school.

Has he ever been given detention? If so, why?

Students that have a history of getting in trouble at school usually also tend to have countless experiences serving detention either after school or on the weekend. In Freaky Friday, Anna Coleman often ends up in detention at school, and she has a big debate with her mother about whether she would be able to make it a day in her high school without likewise receiving detention.

Has he ever been given suspension? If so, why?

Sometimes a student can get into so much trouble that the school decides to take the next step in their disciplinary action against them, which is to suspend them for a certain period of time. In 13 Reasons Why, Clay Jensen is suspended from school for three days because another student plants marijuana in his bag. 

The Writer’s Everything

This article, as well as many others, have been featured in previous issues of my writing journal, The Writer’s Everything, in which I, along with occasional guest contributors, provide essays, guides, encouragement, motivation, writing prompts, character bio development kits, and anything else that can help you turn your dream of becoming a writer into a reality.

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