Character Sketch – Say Hi To Shirley & Daniel

Shirley is a single mum who has brought up her son Daniel with no support from her family. Her ex, Daniels father, is in prison for murder. When their relationship broke down because he was violent towards her, he stalked her for 3 years before finally stabbing to death Shirley’s next door neighbour Tom. He thought the guy was her new boyfriend.

All that happened 10 years ago now and Shirley is scared about his release. Daniel is now 15 and remembers little of the events. He is a quiet boy, caring and sensitive, not at all like his father. Shirley is very proud of him. He’s doing well at school and wants to be a policeman.

Shirley works part time as a receptionist at a local vets, within walking distance of her home. She enjoys it, as she loves the animals, but they’re not allowed any in their rented flat. As Daniel is still at school she claims benefits, so although they can’t afford luxuries, they manage. Daniel has been looking for a Saturday job to help out but can’t find one.

Shirley sometimes gets lonely, the other receptionists at work have set her up on several blind dates, but she finds it hard to trust anyone now, seeing all men as bullies and possible psychopaths. Daniel hasn’t had a girlfriend yet and Shirley is petrified of losing her little boy.

At 5 foot 6 she is painfully thin (but not through choice) and often looks pale and drawn. Her hair is a natural golden colour. Daniel looks like her and is also painfully thin, but has his fathers dark hair and eyes.

Shirley loves to do cross stitch and has started making them into cards, which she gives to the local Cats Protection League shop in town. She volunteers there every Saturday morning after walking to the library with Daniel where he uses the Internet, as they can’t afford access at home. Shirley feels guilty that she can’t give Daniel the things he wants.

Daniel is a loner, he doesn’t have any close friends that he sees outside school. He enjoys reading and playing on his games console (one of the other receptionists at Shirley’s work gave it to her when her son got the newer model). He loves his mum to bits but there’s a little piece of him that hopes he’ll see his dad again when he is released…..


Awwwww, poor Shirley & Daniel, I so want them to be happy πŸ™‚ But, in the life of a fictional character, things are never easy. Will the ex track them down? I have a sneaky suspicion he will πŸ˜‰

15 thoughts on “Character Sketch – Say Hi To Shirley & Daniel

  1. You painted a great picture of Shirley and Daniel… here’s a case where I hope for a happy ending… for them… not so much for the ex!


  2. That ex definitely needs to go, preferably when one of his evil schemes back fires on him big time. Perhaps in a car crash as he attempts to kidnap Daniel? Of course, Daniel would survive the crash. Poor kid has got such a hard time coming. It would all warm and fuzzy if the ex learned something in prison, but that’s truly a fantasy. Still, it would be quite a challenge to get the reader on his side. And Shirley…. Shirley should win the lottery!! Yeah. She so deserves it.


  3. Hmmm . . . the ex probably will track them down (any nut who stabs someone like that will come looking for her again). But, I think Daniel will find his strength and save Shirley and himself from his father. πŸ™‚


  4. Hm, I think it’s affected Daniel more than anyone realises. I assume he knows his father is in prison? do the kids at school know? What effect does it have on him if they ask him about his dad? Does he feel he has to be aggressive, or does he overcompensate? maybe he secretly thinks his dad was right, and when Shirley brings home a boyfriend he becomes wildly jealous, resulting in a scene that brings everything in the open? just a few thoughts – you know my imagination will run wild at the slightest hint of a story πŸ˜‰


  5. Unfortunately life throws up situations that make us unhappy, it all sounds rather sad and full of despair…let’s see what happens next :o) xxx


  6. you have so many unique characters! it’s seems like you can spit one out a day if you wanted to. it takes me a long time to think up people’s lives and personalities. great job here…again!


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