Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Writing Prompt #2

Stock Illustration - baseball coach. 
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Today, we're going to concentrate on characterization. If you write fiction, you're most likely going to center your story on human beings. The reader wants to get to know them as they read. Are they coarse, crude personalities  or suave and sophisticated? Are they physically attractive or repulsive? Do they have a warm and caring heart or are they selfish and cruel? 

A good start is to write a description of a character you'd like to use in a story. Describe the person's physical traits, their emotional make-up, attitudes--whatever makes someone the individual they are. Remember to use sensory details.

The illustration above is of a baseball coach and his player. The coach could be great in his ability to get through to kids or he could be a bully, making their lives miserable. He could smell like Ralph Lauren's Polo cologne or like the garbage dump across the road. He can be fat or thin, bald or wear a pony tail. His pants can be so low they're about to fall off or so high he could rest his chin on his belt buckle. It's up to you to create this coach in a paragraph or two. Then try others in the list. 

Hang on to these character exercises. You may want to use some in a future story. Meanwhile, it's good practice on developing characters. Not everything can be covered, but you can still draw a word picture of each of these people. 

1.   Little League baseball coach

2.    professional baker

3.   beach bum

4.   mother of six

5.   advertising executive

6.   truck driver

7.   college professor

8.   bartender

9.   author

10.  nurse 

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