talking about characters – the sketch and the story

Character Sketch

name: Jack
nationality: Catalonian
predisposition: Dark and Moody
physicals: Stocky and tall with a massive moustache and hairy feet
eating habits: Loves bananas with a salsa dip and eats 5 per meal, four times a day
characteristics: Interrupts people when they are speaking and doing, wants to be more caring, drinks more than he should, can’t stand hanging around waiting for someone to sketch him – wants to jump straight in the story!

Character Story

“Dagnamit – enough of the sketching already” shouted Jack in his most polite Catalonian roar.

Jack was a coarse man, but before his sister – Serena, who was doing the sketching, he curtailed his curses and bit down on his blaspheming for the sake of her delicate constitution. Serena was sixteen, beautiful and had already kissed all of his friends behind his back. But before his eyes – she could do no wrong.

“Just one more little minute please Jack!” his sister begged. She was kneeling across the room from him – her peasant skirt spread around her. She was good at sketching, and fast too – but not fast enough for Jack.

“Gah – that’s it – let me see what you have!” Jack pushed himself away from the wall his sister had carefully positioned him against and strode across the room, his head bowed to avoid the massive wooden beams crossing the ceiling.

“There, done.”

With a final flourish of her pencil Serena handed the pad to Jack moments before he could snatch it from her delicate fingers.

He stood for a long minute as he stared at the paper. His bushy eyebrows – normally lowered in rage or frustration were now almost meeting his hairline as his eyes widened in disbelief. Suddenly, he looked at her – his eyes once again narrowed, face turning alarming shade of purple, and as his mouth opened Serena was sure he was going to explode in rage.

Instead he threw back his head and let loose a bellow of laughter. His eyes, more used to flashing dangerously, shone with delight, and his strong, white teeth glinted in the firelight. The two goats penned in the corner shied away and bleated nervously.

“That is … most … excellent!” he finally declared between guffaws as his laughter continued to echo around the small room. The two goats began to pull at their straw again. “Where do you get your crazy ideas from my sweet sister?”

He handed the pad back to her and plucked another banana from the bunch laid before him on the rough-hewn table – his fifth of this meal and twenty third of this day alone. Peeling off the skin he stirred it deeply into the bowl of rich, hot salsa and jammed fully half of it into his gaping maw.

As he chewed contentedly, his sister put a slight finishing touch to her latest picture of Jack and then held the pad up to the light to admire it.

In it, Jack stood, his mouth wide open in the act of pushing an impossibly huge, yellow banana into his mouth – the massive bulge in the back of his pants making it quite clear where the other end of the fruit had already emerged.



3 thoughts on “talking about characters – the sketch and the story

  1. Comment from Alan Tracey on Future Learn forum:
    If you are writing for fun: enough!
    You have more capacity than a bucket of monkeys to create and dispel enjoyment..
    If you are writing for yourself alone (and we all do), you are already there.
    If you are taking the course for fun: double ditto on points above.
    Otherwise, you are keeping a lid firmly down on so much untapped potential.
    Best of luck to you, where ever your writing takes you.
    Thanks for all of your contributions to date.


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