Creative Writing 4: Character, Not Caricature

Sunday, October 19, 2008 0:13 | Filed in Fiction/Writing

Take one of the characters you made up a history for in the last exercise and write a monologue for that character of about 200 words. When you’ve done this, see if the way they speak has something unique about it. Take another character, one who is very different, and do the same again. Have the character react to their environment.BBC Get Writing: Character, not Caricature

Hmm. Let’s think back. We had Cider George, Pinstripe Danny, American Teen, Chav Girl and Snobby Si. Well, I did say it would be interesting to see if I could do something with the character of Chav Girl, so let’s give that one a shot.

Chav Girl

It’s not like it’s easy, yunnow? I mean, I sees the way they looks at me, don’ I? I mean, I know I dint get all me qualifications an’ that, but when I found out I was gonna have little Britney, I weren’t gonna get riddover. It’s like it’s summat important to be, bein’ a mam.

I need to have me time, to get out and have a drink and a laugh wi’ me mates, like. Everyone needs that, dunthey? But she’s like the most important thing in me life, and I hate it that I can’t give her the best stuff, that she’s got like a second-hand pram and clothes off me mates kids, but I can’t do nothin’ else — but what I can do is be there, and love her.

It’s like when she’s off to school, there’ll be all these other Mams and Dads that look at me like dirt, but like I give a fuck what they think ‘cos they’re all with their flash cars an’ holidays and posh nursery schools and all the best after school clubs but I’m the one who actually sees my kid, and she’s not going off with no-one else, is she? No, ‘cos she’s mine, and I’m looking after her, not no-one else. And that’s bein’ a Mam.

[Hmm. Not exactly easy -- the notes made her somewhat of a caricature to begin with, so I just tried to focus on something to differentiate her from the caricature -- in this case the acceptance that while she couldn't give her child what some other parents could, she was going to make sure that the child got her time. Also, I missed out the bit about 'reacting to her environment' as I was too busy trying to get her voice -- where I think I've used two things from the person I remembered -- a tendency to run words together, and a tendency to end sentences with a question. I'll have another go, and this time I'll make the person react to something about their environment]

Snobby Si

I can’t believe this. I cannot believe this. I distinctly said that I wanted a first class ticket to Kings Cross. First class. What’s the point of me paying the dozy bitch to book my tickets for me if she’s not going to do it properly? These seats are just dirty. They don’t even have the replaceable head covers on them. They will be crawling with headlice. I’ll just have to sit up and make sure that my head doesn’t touch the fabric, and I’ll get some lyclear when I get off.

I’ll have to have a shower before the meeting now. What’s in the paper?

Tcch. I cannot believe this government. They say they’re going to help out business, but instead of actually helping it, they’re just diluting the value of our shares. It’s virtually forced nationalis-

I can’t believe she’s doing that. Does she not even realise she’s doing that? There’s all the little bits of spit coming out of the side of her mouth when she’s talking. That’s nauseating.

She’s just gone and bloody spat on my face, is what she’s done, and she doesn’t even know it. I have got an important meeting to attend today, I’ve got God knows what germs dripping down the side of my face — she’s probably got cold sores or something and I’m going to get herpes — I cannot believe this. I’m going to be sick. I swear, I’m going to be sick.

I need a shower now before I do anything. My skin, my suit will be filthy, all covered in germs, and ticks, and lice and…

[I enjoyed that one a bit more... a bit of reaction to the environment, a touch of the old Meldrews, with a big splash of a cleanliness mania thrown in to give a bit of a reason for his reactions. He starts off as a very unsympathetic character, but I was imagining that if this one was to go on, you'd realise that his unpleasantness is actually just because he's a big bundle of neuroses and it's only through the vitriol that he's actually able to face the world at all...]

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3 Comments to Creative Writing 4: Character, Not Caricature

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    September 20th, 2011 at 1:11 am

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  2. Marilu says:

    September 2nd, 2012 at 2:35 am

    When you think about it, that’s got to be the right anwesr.

  3. visit this site says:

    December 11th, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Creative writing is so fun at times. I love writing short stories for my cousins.

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