Creating A Character


Prompt number 4 on the 30 Day Writing Challenge is…

Create a character off the top of your head and write a short history of him/her. Oh yes! You know how I love to create characters :)

Simon Jones is 48 years old. At 6 foot 2 he carries his obesity well, but has a habit of highlighting his beer belly by tucking his shirts into his trousers. A history teacher, he has been working at the same comprehensive school for 16 years. An only child he was close to his mother, living with her until her death 2 years ago.

He appears to be an arrogant man, loving nothing more than the sound of his own voice. But this is just a huge front for his insecurities and low self esteem. It has been years since he has had a date and he is beginning to resign himself to a lonely existence.

His almost jet black hair has lost it’s shine and is highlighted with random grey streaks. He has recently found the first grey hair in his unruly eyebrows. As a child he was bullied at school and threw himself into the many history books his father collected. He found it comforting to imagine himself in another era, away from the constant taunts from the other boys because he wore glasses. As an adult, with his first pay check he became a contacts user.

In his spare time he enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles (which isn’t as much fun since mum died) and stamp collecting, something he’s been doing since a child.

Today will be an interesting day for Simon. At school this afternoon he will see a boy being bullied, which reminds him of his own tormentors and he will flip, slapping the bully across the face.

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Courtesy of ponsulak at freedigitalphotos

Awwww, poor Simon. I imagine him being frog marched across the playground in front of the pupils staff and parents :(

Any ideas on how Simon can have a happy ending?

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29 thoughts on “Creating A Character

  1. I love this character sketch, Vikki. I think this could make a really cool story and I like the idea of him finding a pet that brings meaning back to his life as sknicholls mentioned.

    I really need to try some of these writing challenges. They look so fun.

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  2. Happy ending – he slaps the bully on the face resulting in carthsis for his own boyhood. He realises he has to change and that he has been allowing his being bullied to dominate his life.

    In class as part of character development we were told to develop a tag line for each character. For example my “bad” guy in one story – his tag is “don’t be a chump”

    We were also told to include a strong NEED that the character may or may not be aware of.
    What do you think?

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    • Lol, thanks Sue :)

      Those are great tips!

      Yeah, I’ve often been told about the “need” thing and I think Simons is his need for physical contact and affection from another human being. Perhaps he could start visiting a prostitute and fall in love with her? Lol

      Xx

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  3. A note on the pet thing. We adopted most of our pets (except my pug) from agencies that take in abused or neglected animals. Sure, they come with some unusual behaviors, like Daisy..a hurricane Charley dog that was a habitual runaway ( she is adjusting nicely now though), but they are the most loving and loyal once they find the right owners. I could see a character like simon bonding to one after the loss of his mother, even one; perhaps, with a disability…like three legs or no hind legs..that he has to build a special cart for. One that could pair well with his isolative personality and awkwardness that would develop hope…right along with him.

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  4. If the parent(s) of the bully were normal people disgusted with their son’s behaviour they may forgive Simon or perhaps the bully is not a schoolchild anyway and does not press charges against Simon. But, he’s now woken up to his own problems and could possibly decide to start an anti-bullying campaign where he meets the woman who will eventually become his wife.
    xxx Hugs Galore Vikki xxx

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  5. I love your characters! Sadly for Simon, striking a child is likely to lead to the loss of his job. It might offer a challenge that he suddenly rises to, though – joins an archaeological dig as a volunteer to pass time while he looks for a job, and there he meets someone and falls in love? Takes the bully boy under his wing and teaches him tolerance, in doing so meets the boy’s mother?

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    • I thought it would Lin, especially with witnesses, he can’t really deny it! :(

      Ahhhhhh, now those are great ideas! Thanks honey :) But you know me, Simon will probably just stay in limbo in my notebook lol

      Xx

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  6. He needs the love of a good woman! But from his description he isn’t a very good catch. Maybe he loses his job after the slap, hits the bottle and becomes an alcoholic. Eventually he joins Alcoholics Anonymous and there meets the woman (another AA member) who helps him build a better, more confident life.

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  7. I seriously doubt he’d get away with slapping the bully, so it’s a new life for ole Simon. I think he’s so incensed with the way he’s been treated and the way the bully’s got away with it (in his eyes, anyway) that he leaves everything he knows and goes across to France as a foot-passenger on the ferry (or Holland/Belgium). He’s ill-prepared and doesn’t have quite enough money, but he’s going to turn his life around and find at least contentment, if not happiness!

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  8. Whilst out walking his new pet — a Labrador bitch, of course — Simon meets a woman with a randy Labrador dog. The two canines fall in love (lust). The bitch has puppies, which gives Simon an excuse to ask the woman around to his house more than once. The woman, who also has a beer belly, suggests Simon and she attend weight watchers together.

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  9. I’m glad you liked this prompt, Vikki. It was also one of my favorites. :) I think you created a very detailed character profile for Simon. As for his happy ending, Sally’s comment is nearly identical to what I was thinking. :)

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  10. Losing his job gives Simon the shake up that his life needs. He gets a gastric band fitted and decides to take a voyage round the world on a cruise ship. He meets countless women desperate for his affections, until finally finding the woman who is just like his mother and falls madly in love…

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  11. Perhaps he gets suspended from school and is required to attend anger management classes. While there, he meets this incredible woman. She’s a chef and a history buff. They talk and find out she actually attended the same school as he did years ago. She was one of the quiet girls that was actually kind to him. She just got out of a messy divorce last year and is having to attend the classes, because she attacked her husband after she found out he was cheating on her. She ends up inviting him to attend a local history reenactment she’s taking part in and he accepts. Can’t think of more, but it’s a start to a beautiful relationship for two people who’ve had it hard.

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  12. What a great character! There’s so many great suggestions here I’m reluctant to add anything else PLUS a gem of a story is emerging. He starts in a pretty bad place then the action of a moment destroys everything he has worked for: a secure job, reasonable salary, respect of his colleagues and he knows it. As soon as his hand collides with the student’s face he knows he is going to be stripped of everything…redemption lies in how he reacts to it. Wanting to get away from everything, including the house he shared with his mother, would be a natural response. Perhaps the sale of the house could fund the next step….write it Vikki. Simon deserves to walk out of your notebook!

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  13. Things will get worse for Simon before they get better because he probably will be charged with assault of a minor. Poor Simon. Those are mighty tough demons he has to contend with. Great sketch!

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