Writing Course – Characters

I’ve just finished the first week of the Start Writing Fiction course at FutureLearn, and the focus was on keeping a notebook and characters.  I found it rather remarkable how helpful this was, despite it taking a relatively short amount of time to complete.

One of the assignments was to take one person from a video (only about 5 seconds worth of viewing time for each person), take notes, and write a character sketch.  My first attempt was atrocious.  It was ugly, no flow, not worth reading.  I did it more as a way to keep my thoughts straight about the person.  Then, after reading some character sketches by published authors and a quiz, I rewrote the character sketch, and came out with something far better.  I thought I’d let you read it.

Melissa was a workaholic. Whenever someone saw her in the café, she was working hard at her Sony Vaio, constantly scanning her eyes across the screen while moving the mouse pointer around with a click here and there. She often had a coffee going after a cup of tea, which she left on the other side of the table, beyond the heap of papers she used for her research. She may have been dedicated to her work as a writer, but she didn’t keep a tidy workspace. Melissa always seemed to be in her own world, unaware of everyone else around her, not caring if she appeared disorganised. Not once did she look up while she had her coffee. Only when she finished the last drop in the cup did she flag down the server for a refill. After a brief acknowledgment of thanks, she went back into her world, closing off the people and conversations around her.

Looks like some rewrites for my character introductions are in order.

4 thoughts on “Writing Course – Characters”

  1. Sounds like you’re getting lots out of the course so far. Me too in theory. I’ve read the whole unit but haven’t done the exercises yet. I’m determined to do the people watch at a cafe but haven’t had chance to go yet. 😦 I can’t wait to put the theory into practice like you! It should be interesting to see what the results are. 🙂

    1. I didn’t actually go to a cafe. I used the video provided. That was enough, though. But as I was eating lunch today, I looked around at people. However, as I was having lunch with my wife, I couldn’t concentrate on watching people.

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