50-word character vignette

Posted: June 9, 2015 in process, thoughts, Younger fiction
Tags: , , ,

SCBWI is a wonderful organisation – even for someone like me, who doesn’t attend most conferences, often misses out on the forum conversations, stops writing every now and then, and turns their hand to illustration when most illustration members would think, good god what is she up to and why does she belong? Well, it’s a free country!

But recently they started SCBWI INSIGHT, a monthly report for members from the world of children’s book publishing. First up, as part of this, we were invited to submit a picture to Draw This each month, this time responding to the prompt ‘adventure’. I chose one that fit the bill and sent it in and sat back to see how this works out in future.

And then, after all that excitement, we were invited to submit each month to Write This. It felt like Christmas. I really love this unexpected sort of thing. So I sat up in bed and wrote the stipulated 50 words to describe a children’s book character – prompt word ‘wart’. This is what I wrote:

Weaver stared at the slashed canvas, her pointed ears now rigid. On the wall, her nickname flashed. WART: Weaver Always Remembers Things. Red oozed from the word and spiralled around the room as her heart-brain plotted revenge. Then she hurled the ruined canvas at the wall and stalked out.

Now you will notice several things immediately – and so do I, now the first flush of excitement has worn off. We should always stop and review some time later!

1 It might not be entirely appropriate for children. But in my defence, I was imagining a fantasy. So thoughts can flash up on a wall and words can run around like liquid. Plus a heart-brain, well, um, you know…

2 It might not be as obvious to a reader as it is to me who wrote it and knew what I envisaged.

3 But it does ‘show not tell’ – a plus.

4 And it’s just a little bit original – although probably not what they expected or perhaps even intended.

5 There isn’t an “–ly” word in sight. Full marks to me 🙂 Mission accomplished. I rest my case.

And it was such fun with my morning cuppa. A change to sketching – although, come to think of it, I could actually draw what I envisaged and bring her to life. Maybe tomorrow. Watch this space.

  1. The character sounds great. Confusing in a mysterious, intriguing way. I was particularly interested by the pointed ears and nickname!


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