Start Writing Fiction: Exercise Two

Review the notes you’ve collected in your notebook to find a character to develop further.

Pick a character. If you’ve collected, in your notebook, details about people you’ve spotted or spoken to during this week, pick one of these characters. Alternatively, you can pick one of the characters from the opening video.

Write a short character sketch – no more than 200 words – in which you concentrate on appearance and any particular mannerisms you noted.

You will come back to this later so save a copy on your computer or device.

I’ve seen this boy two or three times on my walk to work. He’s twelve or thirteen, slender, with short blond hair and long eyelashes. He wears a sweater and skinny jeans that accentuate the slimness of his legs. He reminds me of Bambi. Whenever I see him he’s perched awkwardly on the railings opposite the infant school while a woman–who I assume is his mother–talks to her friends. He looks bored, but he isn’t on a mobile phone. Instead, he watches people as they pass by, averting his gaze whenever someone makes eye contact. He seems inwardly focused, perhaps shy, a part of the world while also apart from it. I wonder if he finds it easy to make friends, or if they sense something other about him that makes them keep him at a distance?

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