From the shoes I wore in the Writers Guild.
(We breathe life into our stories by showing instead of telling. Paint a picture with your words that transports the reader. – Laura Bailey)
An exercise in Characterization.
The old man walked to the park in the early afternoon. He’d walked there over the years, holding the tiny hand of his little girl who skipped along beside him. When she had grown, he walked alone carrying a book or the evening paper until once again he would walk the familiar route holding the tiny hand of his granddaughter.
Not much had changed in the park over the last fifty years. The ducks still haggle over bread crumbs and the elms still spread their restful shade over his favorite bench. He alone had changed.
His wavy black hair had faded like autumn leaves into downy white patches. The sky blue eyes that sparkled with boyish charm had clouded and dimmed. The handsome young man who sat upon the shaded bench now sat there like a broken doll left behind by some little girl who had run away to play.
With the gentle music of children’s laughter, his mind returned to the days of little girls running in the sun. He smiled to himself, oblivious to his striped pajamas and slippered feet.
The young woman who had come to stand beside him, for a moment, also seemed to drift into some distant memory. “I thought I’d find you here, grandpa.” She said. “You shouldn’t wander off like that.”
A spark of recognition seemed to flash across his face, then calling her by her mother’s name, he took her hand.
Characterization is the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.
TypesAn acronym, PAIRS, can help you recall the five methods of characterization: physical description, action, inner thoughts, reactions, and speech.
©Laura M. Bailey, All the shoes I wear & writing down the Bones, 1990–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura M. Bailey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.