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Writing task “A Vivid Character” for Just Write

Once a month a few fellow writers and myself, cuddle round a table in a quaint English pub and discuss writing and our writing ambitions.

Each month we set a small “home task” to write about and last month this was “A Vivid Character”. The work can be any creative writing based on the theme and usually we get a diverse range arrive on the table.

This month I choose to work at enhancing my writing by using more of the five senses to paint a stronger impression on the reader. My work normally is one dimensioned, in that it mostly portrays only what is seen; the non-inclusion of sound, touch, scent, and taste is a strong criticism of my work.

This time I have played a small game with the club, I used a picture as a muse to work to and if I did my job right, I am hoping that each reader will get a mental impression of the character.

At our meeting I will produce the picture and we will see how it differs from everyone’s impressions.

If you want to play this game with us, below is my submission, see if you can all tell me who he is, what his trade was, maybe some back story, maybe something it suggests to you that I haven’t intended to put in.

At the end of the piece is a link to the picture, see how you imagined Soren compared with what I was trying to imply.

Have fun and happy scribbling

Andy

A Vivid Character

A few more flakes of paint fluttered down from the tried grey door onto the gravel path, as the lad thumped his hello upon the door with a rolled newspaper. He stopped and listened; from inside the muted sounds of chair legs scraping woefully against rough tiles could be heard. Backing away from the door the lad slumped against the rough porch wall and began to pluck the green sticky burrs from his socks. The sport of flicking them at the dusty cobwebs under the porch, soon left a collection of the bright orbs swinging in the air.

Sounds of activity tick tacked from the door, followed eventually by a dull thunk as an unseen bolt slid free. The top half of the door swung half way open and Soren appeared from the blackness. With deliberate care he settled his elbows on the lower door before acknowledging the lad. The scent of tar and oilskins billowed around him as they escaped from the dark confines behind. Soren looked at the lad, who in return fidgeted and drifted sternwards. A bristled chin lifted and sank, peaking clearly without words “What do you want?”

“One and three ha’pence Mr Soren, Sir.” and as a timid afterthought, “Please.”

Silently and motionless he continued looking at the boy with dark pupils. The yellowing orbs failed to fill sunken sockets that were moored below ridges, where once eyebrows grew. A slow lifting toss of his head and squeezing of his eyes was all that he telegraphed to the boy that he should repeat his request. With the motion his russet skin creased and hanging in loose folds over his gaunt frame, moved of its own accord, somehow not quite attached to the bones beneath. The lad, waving the paper in the air, so as to help his explanation, said.

“Your papers, you owe one Shilling and three half Pennies for the weeks papers.”

Soren scratched at an earlobe with his free hand, disturbing the colony of thick white hairs that populated it, meanwhile his other hand dug deep inside the threadbare buff jacket. A red ladies clasp purse finally appeared, declaring Soren’s ownership by its matching unkempt state. Methodically he clinked each coin into the boy’s hand, holding each one between finger and blackened thumb, he placed it firmly down before releasing it. When he received the last half penny the boy put the paper on the door, turned and pelted out the gate.

Grinding out the bowl of his pipe with his thumbnail, Soren, watched the lad make his way along the path. By the time he disappeared from sight, the pipe was full again and clouds of acrid smoke hung in the air. Stepping back into the dark interior, with the smoke trailing in after him, Soren slowly closed the door and with a loud thunk it was locked.

Now think for a few moments before clicking this link.
Who is Soren.
What is his trade.
Is any back story suggested.
Are other things suggested.
What is his character.

I would love to receive suggestions from you about this piece, where and how it could be improved, what you took Soren to be like, etc.

OK, off you go and check out Soren,

Bye for now, Andy

Click on his name to find Soren

And click on our name to find Just-Write

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