Character Challenge, Part Two

An Exercise Worth Doing, Part II

By Annette Rey

This is Part Two of building five distinct characters. I have given you two people in Part One. Read on for the other three.

3) Ralph – laborer, electrical assistant, not an excessive achiever. May work at same company with Bill (I have not decided this yet). Friendly, high school comic, but has been known to be moody, sometimes angry. In high school, spilled a can of garbage on a student’s car and let it sit overnight. The student had said some negative things about Ralph – bad comic, thinks he’s great stuff. The kid was probably just jealous, and Ralph could have dealt with him straight-on, but chose secretive, sneaky approach. This behavior infers maybe Ralph can’t be trusted, maybe we don’t know what he’s thinking all the time. Couldn’t care less about animals. Doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the way he dresses, casual to the point of sloppy, ratty tennis shoes. Also a big guy, strong. Average looks. Doesn’t see his parents much. May be a marijuana user. Likes sports. Shares apartment with Bill.

4) Toby – stock broker, man about town. Good people skills, personable, friendly for a purpose. Sure of himself. Good posture. Toby would probably be voted as leader of their group. Nothing against animals, just wouldn’t roll around with a dog. Erect, natty dresser. Clean features. His father hit it big in market, his parents travel a lot. Is a wine aficionado. Holds his glass at chest level, occasionally swirls wine in glass and partakes of the bouquet. Likes sports. Owns the most property of the group, owns stocks, lives in his own house where he has an open-door policy with his four friends. They frequently gather in his spacious living room. Toby likes girls who are much like him – natty dressers, like money, upwardly mobile (lofty career) or social climber (opportunist). Must be pretty. These types can cause him trouble with his friends, who sees them as beneath her. But Toby does not care. He’s confident another girl will come along. Works at his career more than at his personal life. Is pretty happy with that plan.

5) Elvis – not settled in a career. Summer lifeguard, winter odd jobs. Hasn’t “found himself”. Has some qualities of each of the guys (yet to be decided by me). Animals don’t seem to be important. More of a fractured personality, sometimes manic, sometimes low-keyed. Clothing can reflect mood – sometimes almost-tidy, other times disheveled. Body type rounded in middle. Carries himself in an awkward manner. Reads psychology books. Is almost obsessive about observing personality types in people, including his friends, and commenting on same. Sometimes reticent in speech, other times verbose, especially when key words trigger him – like environmental issues. (Jack speaks up here as it is a favorite subject with him.) May be on prescription drugs (anti-depressants, anti-psychotics). Does not drink alcohol. Likes sports, but appears jealous of the big money professional athletes are paid. Lives with his parents.

As for interpersonal dynamics – Bill and Ralph share an apartment. Both are not so goal-oriented. Each could complement the other, but an insecurity fuse could ignite, either between them or they could collude with one another and plot something negative given the right circumstances. Ralph is the more manipulative of the two and could be more dominant.

Between Part One and Part Two of this exercise, the five character sketches have been produced. Meet me at No Block Writing on Facebook to discuss your inventions. You can really move forward from this exercise and, using the material you created, complete a story. I’d really like to see how someone did this exercise using five females.

In any case, tell me how you are doing at No Block Writing.          .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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