Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Doubling Up

Write two paragraph-long character sketches of two people you know well. Wait a day, then write another long paragraph sketch that takes elements from the two people you know to create a third, fictional character. The key here is to use the two pieces of writing, not the two people you've written about. Fit together two paragraphs of prose into one character sketch, making sense of the combination somehow.
(from prompt #40 in The 3AM Epiphany)

Read my response:

"Laugh" by sflovestory

She isn't the heroine of a novel written in first person. The novel she imagines for herself uses a lot of adverbs: she laughs flirtatiously, she gazes directly. She sits quietly and responds promptly; she is never too absorbed in a task, always just absorbed enough to keep from being bored.

With a polite and quiet base level, her political opinions are unexpected: she cares (passionately) about ideals, she is liberal, she is knowledgable. She reads the CNN website and follows certain stories: Nancy Grace stories about child abduction as well as political stories about bills up, scandals, injustices. She worries. She is afraid of men, of being alone, of change. She is not afraid of her own power. She wants to be a social care worker and her family amuses her, with their antics and Mexicanness, her nieces and nephews running around and nearly knocking over her abuelita. She dates but with a wary eye, she isn't seduced by a sweet talker. Sex doesn't alarm her, but she respects it, its place, and allows it. She always notices attractive men and points them out. She sleeps with stuffed animals. She likes shopping websites, shoes, and romantic comedies.

She has a certain neutralness, and could be called generic if you didnt look closer. She has a big smile and luxurious hair. She has broad shoulders and breasts that spill out, as if she is unaware of their existence. She smiles (widely) and giggles about dogs, about slips of the tongue, about innocent mistakes, about the behavior of animals and the characteristics of people working with animals. She is enthusiastic and expects this enthusiasm to be met by those around her. She gets confused by things outside her norm, and she doesn't like to be asked to adapt. She eats rich foods and warms her bread. She worries about her weight.

She knows she is a good friend. Her friends describe her as she sees herself: she laughs flirtatiously, she gazes directly. Anyone could write her story, but she doesn't know who would.


  1. i like when the end reminds of the beginning, this with more understanding, well done.

    i also like that she is not alarmed by sex, no one has to break in, even though she is afraid of men.

    mexicanness? lol.


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