Time again for Write on Wednesdays. On Thursday.
Write On Wednesdays Exercise 9 – Think with Character. Choose a character from your writing posts. You can still do this exercise if you are new to WoW – select a character from another piece of your writing or simply work through the exercise from scratch. Now, think about the character in regards to their: gender, age, occupation, physical appearance and mood at this moment. Is your character in the city, the country, inside or outside? Do they live in rich or poor surroundings? Alone or with others? Answer all, some or one of these questions. Now, set your timer for 5 minutes and write the first words about your character that come into your head. Stop when the buzzer rings. This may be one week where you feel you need to throw the timer and take your time. Do whatever works for you. You may also like to consider: Complexion, Style of dress, Hair colour/style, Speaking voice and likely vocabulary, Strengths/Weaknesses, Mannerisms.
I’ve thought about the characters I’ve used in my Write on Wednesday pieces so far like this one and this one and who could forget this one but this one is the one that seems at the same time the most real and mysterious all at once. When I sat down to write this piece I wrote it all in one flow and didn’t sit back once from my keyboard to consider what I’d written so far and barely even cast my eye over it before I hit publish. It is for these reasons I have chosen to elaborate on this character for this exercise.
Early that morning she’d bundled her precious cargo into the backseat and left the city’s skyline behind in a blaze of sunrise, coffee in hand and a doughnut in his, smiles on both faces. His quiet perusal of why they never went on holidays had grated on her since it was spoken, more than a week previously. She’d taken this day on a whim, knowing they’d never challenge something so contagious she had called in conjunctivitis to the hospital and told Joe that they wouldn’t be home till late. She pushed her face into the sunlight as they headed north and towards the beach. Her pale complexion had been looking almost grey, thanks to late nights and nurses uniforms with her hair hung limply round her face but now as she sung loudly to the radio with Jacob squealing in the background, her hair streaming backwards with the wind. She took the exit she’d taken so many times before, she hadn’t been here for a very long time. It had changed.
“Mama, can we build a sandcastle at the beach?”
The ocean air was upon them now. She breathed in deeply, straining for the first sighting of the glimmering sea she knew was coming up shortly.
“You bet. And the kite! Don’t forget we bought the kite along.”
Jacob squirmed with pleasure in his carseat.
“Jacob look! It’s the beach! See?”
She swerved in her seat to see if her son could see the ocean. His little face was pressed against the window in desperate anticipation. She turned back to the road and happily watched the familiar landscape unraveling around her.
Thanks again to Gill at Ink Paper Pen. Love a good character exercise.