You’ve probably played some form of game that involves writing a sentence, folding down the paper, passing it on to a friend for them to write the next bit until you have a very short and often very funny story.
This is a similar idea but with drawing a character one section at a time. This works particularly well for coming up with some slightly more unusual characters like monsters, aliens or other strange creatures. This works best as a group activity to pass around the paper without knowing what’s come before.
How it works
- Get one piece of paper and pen/pencil per person
- At the top of the paper draw the character’s head
- Fold the paper over from the top to the bottom of where you have drawn
- Pass the paper to the next person
- Draw the body of the character
- Again, fold the paper over to cover what you have drawn and pass it on
- Draw the legs, fold it over and pass it on
- Draw the feet then fold over and pass along
- Unfold the paper to reveal the completed character
Now use this to write a description of them. Alternatively, unfold one bit at a time and write words/phrases for each part as you go.
If you have fewer people or you want fewer goes between two of you, split the body into fewer parts. For example, the first person draws a head, the next person the body and the third the legs. Or if you have more people or want more goes each have more sections, such as head, chest and arms, tummy, legs and feet.
I’ve done this with a group of children who were struggling with their task to write about a monster. We had great fun creating monsters by drawing a head, folding it down and passing along, then drawing a body, then legs, then feet and at the end they each had a random and interesting monster drawn out in front of them that they could describe. Before they knew it they had done some great descriptive writing.
Write a story that includes your character if you feel inspired. If you make more than one character, keep a collection of your best ones in a creative writing folder to use in future stories or poems.