As of this week on, I will be posting a writing challenge, and what I interpret it as. Feel free to join in with your own in the comments! This week’s one came from the book ‘Wonderbook: The illustrated guide to creating imaginative fiction’. This book focuses mostly on building fantasy worlds, which works wonders for me, as a fantasy writer! Of course, I’m not doing this challenge alone. What would be the fun in that? Jennifer is doing this challenge WITH me. Go check out her blog for her own version.
This image from Shadows by Charles Henry Bennet (London, 1850s) suggests the hidden characteristics of a person and, perhaps, a technique: using the attributes of an animal to help in describing your character. Write a paragraph describing someone you know well using only the attributes of one animal.
Last night (Wednesday) I wrote my challenge up. I used a friend I know from school as the ‘muse’ for this piece, and I was rather pleased with what I came up with.
‘There are many things that describe her – but her personality was, perhaps, the easiest to pinpoint by comparing it to that of a cat.. Mostly prickly, she never wants to be touched, except on her own grounds. On her own terms. One to hold a grudge, she keeps her distance from all but the most treasured friends – but even those don’t know her deepest desires. She is, essentially, a cat. A feline. Some dangerous beast, stalking from the shadows. Hidden in the darkness – ready to attack. From her sensuous ways to the snapping amusement that comes to her when exchanging barbs with her friends and family. Even the way she preens, on occasion, speak of a feline sharing her spirit.’
Of course, being me – this couldn’t be it all! Instead, a character kept swimming about in the murky depths of my mind. A character I will probably use in the next series I write!
‘His skin was worn, scaled, lumped into hard armour along his hands. His fingers grew crooked, nails sharp. He had dead eyes. Eyes of a killer. Eyes of someone soul-less. He had the long, slender build of someone that spent a lot of time moving, hunting – seeking his next meal. I noticed the folds of skin between his fingers. They were thickened with callouses, almost webs. I didn’t want to go anywhere near his menacing presence.’
Which of the two do you find more menacing? I think the second one creates a better image of how a character looks, but the first provides more details of a personality. Give it a try! Next Thursday, another Writing Challenge will begin! You are welcome to join in!
In nine days, you will also get a look at a utopian short story. Utopia is swiftly turning out to be something I dislike – a lot. It’s not my kind of genre, though I know trying it is for the best. The story is totally unlike anything else I’ve ever written. Truly, I need to make sure that it remains utopian. That there is a conflict. I hope you come back next week to check out what I’ve worked on. Even the title is in place. I just need to finish the writing, so it’s the best it can be!
Bye for now. Post your attempts below!