Students spend years reading and analyzing fictional texts for character, but they spend almost no time on the act of how to create character in fictional prose. The unit, Forging Life, is designed to help students learn how to create fictional characters "on the page", i.e., in prose fiction of their own making. The unit focuses on several specific methods authors use to develop a fictional character as well as the patterns in which those methods are used to represent the character as a whole. In other words, the unit centers on how to create bits of character in individual lines, or prose constructions if you prefer, as well as how all those bits (and lines) go together to create the overall character. The unit's overall goal is to help students write characters better in the fiction they produce, rather than just becoming adept at analyzing others' works (though those two goals are not mutually exclusive); as such, the unit's chief method of instruction is through the students' creative exploration of characters they create.