RESOURCES – Develop a Cast of (Internal) Characters

ABOUT THIS PROMPT: I delivered the first part of this activity in a class session in Spring 2014, and students did the second part at home.


Create a cast of 3-5 characters, each loosely based on some aspect of you
(all together: the cast will paint a partial picture of who you are)

Some can be “old” parts of you no longer in action.

Base characters on interests or archetypes (expressed in 1-2 words)

  • Interests: the athlete, the book lover, the musician, the goofball, the traveler, etc.
  • Archetypes: hero, sidekick, voice of reason, comedian, romantic, villain/nemesis, rebel, etc.

Give them first names and a few details that would go in their social media profiles, such as:

  • Favorite movies, TV shows, books, music, etc.
  • Weekend activities
  • Travel experiences or future plans
  • Major(s), career aspirations, or current careers


Continue developing a cast of characters based on different aspects of your life and interests.

FYI: This is an activity to help us explore storytelling and to give you some topics to play with when we begin experimenting with new media storytelling, but you won’t be required to use these characters in all of your experiments, nor will you be required to use them in the final project. Whether or not you use them is up to you.

PAST & PRESENT SELVES: Given that we’ll be telling stories based on personal experience, you might want to include a few characters past on past versions of yourself that are no longer part of the present version. If any of your characters are no longer part of your present, you might find it helpful to put the characters on a time line.

ROLES: Identify each character by the role they play within your personality. Try to limit each character to one role, as the goal is to break down complex parts of yourself into individual units (for reasons I’ll explain in class).

Roles might be based on behaviors and interests (like ski bum, science geek, party girl, serious student, dancer, etc.) or on archetypes (like hero, sidekick, rebel, higher self, fool for love, girl/boy next door, etc.).

Here’s a list of common character archetypes.

CONFLICTS: Also start thinking about ways to bring these characters into some sort of conflict with each other, loosely based on an inner conflict you’ve experienced. For example, characters like a party girl and a serious student are bound to come into conflict about the best way to spend a Saturday evening.

Here are some types of internal conflict commonly conveyed in stories, but it’s fine if your conflicts don’t fall into any of these categories: Internal Conflict Tropes.