Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Writing exercises: More CharGen

octantis did a picture for me of The Laughing Lady, from the Honored PBEM that ran for a few months last year. Squee!


More character generation writing exercises. These ones are based on "found language", with the idea being that you look at writing in whatever happens to be around you, and develop a character based on the "voice" of that text. The first sample text is from a theatre playbill, and I'm supposed to describe a character based on it.

Richard Arnison burst onto the scene when he was hired as an usher at the Starlight Theatre three months ago. He's been involved with productions of Cats, Beauty and the Beast, and Avenue Q. He appears on stage nightly -- at least, on Friday and Saturday nights, when it's his turn to sweep up.after the performance. All right, so he's not an actor. So he's not even part of the show's crew, carrying props or managing lights or applying make-up. So he's not even allowed to talk to the actors. He's still working in theater, though. Or at least, at the theater.

The next one is some gooshy excerpts from a magazine, and I'm supposed to craft a letter to the editor from an imaginary reader.

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for your tireless efforts in producing your wonderful magazine. I love the positive, encouraging nature of your stories and articles even when they're about somber topics, like the way Linda Harrellson manages her mother's Alzheimer's in "All the Things I've Forgotten". I never had a close relationship with my own mother. She preferred to spend her time teaching my brothers to play catch or repair cars, rather than host tea parties or shop for clothes. I hope to give my daughters, age 2 and 4, all the attention and devotion I missed growing up. Your loving articles about the strong bonds between mothers and daughters are the perfect guidepost. I am more grateful than you can imagine for the role model your magazine provides me.

Your devoted reader,
Cecilia E.
Arrlington, NY


Next one is do-it-yourself. I picked a friend's summary of one month's worth of events in the Marvel Universe.

"Good morning, Glenda. It's good to be back at work. I'm glad to see you weathered the Atlantis invasion, too."

"I stayed home through it all, Frank, and watched the Fantastic Four fight them off on TV. Boy! What a relief that's over, huh? You'd think with all the money they spend on national defense our military could've done something. We should hand their budget to Reed Richards."

"No kidding. Especially with saboteurs wrecking the defense contractor's plants. What's the point in throwing money away on research someone's going to destroy, or worse, steal?"

"At least Iron Man caught the saboteurs."

"But not before they'd done some damage. Hey, morning, Bernie, I was starting to worry about you. Overslept?"

"I wish. No, the bus I was on got grabbed by the Sandman. He threw the whole bus at Spiderman! Thank god Spiderman caught us in one of his webs, or I'd be the late Bernie, instead of Bernie, late."

"My goodness! Are you okay? Shouldn't you go home and take it easy after an experience like that?"

"Naw, Glenda. If I called in after every brush with a supervillain, I'd never get any work done."

"Don't you think those 'rescues' are a little too convenient? The Bugle says Sandman and Spiderman stage those fights."

"Are you kidding, Frank? I was there. It sure didn't look staged to me."

"Well, pro wrestling doesn't look staged either."

"Yes it does."

"Glenda! Frank! Bernie! Come quick, there's a big leafy guy leading an army of trees out of Central Park!"

"Whoa! Glenda, you coming?"

"No, you guys go look. I gotta get this memo typed up by ten. Let me know if the Avengers or someone doesn't show up to stop him, okay?"


I don't think I had quite the right idea for that one.
Tags: writing exercises
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