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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Describing a Character Pt. 3

Writing Excercises | Moose

So I understand that I need to be working on describing people that I do not know. I tried to describe people at work, for example my boss working during lunch, but I came to the conclusion that I know too many of the traits of these people already. So I'm going to make an effort to spend time sitting in a coffee shop or similar and describe the people then. 

Anyway, here's some that I've written over the last couple of days. 

He had a stern look to his face, with his eyebrows mostly hiding the observant eyes that were scanning the computer screen in front of him. Although the man, with thinning, grey hair that was clinging on to the youthful brown colour, was leant back in his chair his head was noticeably protruding forward, in a way that seemed so unnatural to the rest of the body, and could be the result of his skinny neck. The smart, white shirt, with vertical stripes of blue, highlighted his desire to look more business-like, or at least to stand out from the people around him whose clothes were more casual. he had the look of one of the tough teachers at school, the one that the younger kids were scared of, but which dissipated as the kids aged. As it was lunch, he grabbed a bag of crisps from his bag and took himself from his work, by engaging in the reading of various sports articles on the web. He opened the bag of crisps, and though he continued to sit back with his neck leant forward, his faced relaxed ever so slightly, his eyebrows lifted and the obvious wrinkles around his eyes only disappeared. At once, he was calm, with his eyes darting across the screen.

Reading back on this one, I made the statement that his face relaxed, but I never gave the impression that it was not relaxed before that moment. I cannot make a statement about a change in someone's demeanour when I have not suggested otherwise before in my writing. 

His dark blue eyes, hiding behind the thick, square rimmed glasses which rested on his protruding ears, were darting across the screen, up and down, left and right. He had just finished eating, and though he still had a while left of his lunch break, he quickly returned to his work. His body was still and his face showed no life in them, if not for the irregular movements within his mouth as he cleared his teeth with his tongue of the sandwich he had brought from home. His rounded bald head remained lifeless.

A quick one. This was someone that I was interested in writing about, but though my lunch had just about finished, I will not use that as an excuse not to have written more about him.. There was so much more opportunity to write more than this. 

Her eyes closed as she was sat up rested against the chair, and it was obvious that she was fast asleep, as her mouth was wide open to reveal two lonely teeth at the front of her mouth, though one suspects that she had more than just these two teeth in a regular smile based on how well kept and white they were despite her age. She had wrinkles around her mouth that suggested that she was an older woman, which was exacerbated by the short cut of her dark brown hair, a style that you would rarely see on a woman below the age of forty. Her rosy cheeks, however, suggested that she was not much older than that, which, upon, rested her clear glasses, lacking a rim, that made it possible to see the the long eyelids that had retired her sight for the evening. By sleeping with her mouth wide open, she had forfeited her chin, and if it was not for the slight hint of a red colour of her face, presumably from the cold weather outside, it would not have been possible to distinguish her neck from her face. A thick, black coat, with a gold zip running up the middle kept her sufficiently warm for her journey to and from work, and she had looked forward to returning home. For now, though, she was happy to be lost in her dreams.

I thought this was pretty good reading back on it. A little weird to be watching someone sleeping though....

Despite being on the train for a while, his cheeks were a dark red colour. Though he was still wearing a coat, one suspects that this red colour was the result of a past full of drinking, where the veins in his cheeks had been brought closer to the skin, a statement which suggests that he was actually younger than he looked. The heavy, though not numerous, wrinkles around his eyes and mouth that suggested sadness, an area around which had remained unshaven for a few days, presented this man as one who had spent a great deal of his time frowning, even if only recently.

I think that guy caught me. My stop was next so I had to finish this last one short. 

Sat down, squashed between the was and another passenger on the train, he continued to delicately eat his large cookie, a remnant of the 'Taste the Difference' bag that was currently sitting on his lap, held up by his free hand, which prevented it from falling between his legs and onto the floor. His square, bearded jaw rhythmically moved up and down with slow and simple movements, his mouth staying closed throughout the whole process, which suggested that he was making sure that he maintained his manners for the crowd of strangers that surrounded him. He had a shapely face, the skin tight to his bones largely hiding behind the thick, black-rimmed glasses which were clearly too wide for his face, but which his look suggested was the current fashion, a view that was accentuated by his blonde hair which had been fashionably combed over to the right side of his head. He looked like a creative type, with a fashionable, albeit unbusiness-like, grey blazer, which clung to his lanky body. Underneath, he wore a plain white shirt which had a blue polka dot collar on the inside, only noticeable by the fact that he had his top button undone, also revealing a plain, white under-shirt. His large skinny hands reached into his pocket and he took out his phone, pressed a few buttons, before bringing it to his ears, which were low enough down his face to be considered a part of his jawline. With his phone to his right ear, his blue eyes began to look around, and, without opening his mouth even slightly, he ended the call, and brought the phone down to this lap. Whilst his eyes were fixated on the screen, he began to furiously tap on the buttons, his mouth, still, unmoved.

There are some things to like about this, and others to lament. I liked the sentence structure of some, and felt as though I paid sufficient time I'm the finer details of his character. The lack of a moving mouth, for example, suggests that he is somewhat apprehensive about his teeth or mouth. I didn't like that I have used 'suggested' so many times, and feel I need to increase my vocabulary. Other sentences, as well, were poorly formed. 

Leant back against the wall, as advantageous a position as any on a train without any spare seats, he exuberated confidence. His dark, navy overcoat, reaching the depths of his knees, covered his dark blue jacket and trousers.

And then he got off the train.... Shame.

Hiding beneath a thick scarf, coat and dress, all of which were black, with a Marc Jacobs blue bag sat on her lap (which had the intention of either protecting her from judgement, or she was protecting it from being stolen), the first thing you noticed about her were her thick, fatty calves, hiding underneath black tights. He pale skin and scruffy hair suggested that this was a woman who did not care about her looks, or pay enough attention to it, and though she was undeniably pretty, she had the glum look on her face of someone who had given up. Her pale blue eyes were fixated on her phone whilst her skinny fingers, another contrast to the thick body that she carried, continued to type on her phone. On both ring fingers she carried at least one ring, with a particular one looking very expensive, which suggests that this younger woman had settled, almost given up, and let herself go.

This could be controversial, and maybe harsh at points, but I only aimed to describe her. This is what I saw. 

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