Could you describe a character so we believe they’re real? It’s always good to think about…
(1) a general impression
(2) something odd
(3) an obsession
(4) something they want
(5) a secret
(6) a catchphrase, or something they always do
(7) If they were an animal, what would they be like?
(8) But be prepared to sacrifice all these. Sometimes it’s good to state one trait, and let your readers imagine the rest.
To get you started, here are a couple of portraits taken from my new book Alfie Brown and the Dark Tunnel of Doom
She was a joker and a messer and a dancer and a runner and she was, by about a million miles, the most popular person in Muswell Hill School. She was also the naughtiest. Every time you saw Izzy Fox, she was either surrounded by ten Year Sixes laughing, or she was letting off the Fire Extinguishers, at the Dinner Ladies.
The head was called Ms Fisley. She was a thin woman with large bulgy eyes. She was the sort of head who says: “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed,” and she’d always go into a long lecture about: “You’ve got a lot to get through this term, you’ve got SATS soon…” Ms Fisley was ALWAYS saying they had SATS soon. Alfie called her Ms SATS-soon-the-big-Satsuma.
Ms Fisley was always late.
“You know in the supermarket,” said Ava, “when you see fish in plastic packets, and their eyes look all sad like the fish are thinking: “Why did you kill us?” Ms Fisley’s eyes look like that. I don’t think we should call her Ms Sats-soon-the-Big-Satsuma. We should call her Ms Fishley.”
Did you see Izzy and Ms Fisley in your head?
Your turn now… describe a character so we believe they are real.
Tell me in the comments or via my contact page if you want to send a picture.