FutureLearn’s brilliant Open University creative writing course has been inspirational; a parallel career as a writer beckons! Shame it doesn’t pay…
Anyway, I thought my legion of blog followers might like to vote on which character I should develop into a story. Any comments added to this post would be very much appreciated. Each of these individuals is their own person and not based on anyone I know, though an interesting aspect of their creation is that ‘bits’ of others; or memories of ‘events’, creep into their being.
Character 1 – Helicopter Mum
They were seated on high stools in front of a wall of windows framing the distant dome of St Paul’s, the north bank palely lit by watery sunlight leaking through shifting clouds, a grey and grumbling Thames striking an undercurrent that somehow matched her mood. Francesca smoothed an invisible crease in her cream silk shirt, shifted her sharp spiked heels on the foot rest and fingered the soft cashmere of the grey scarf elegantly draped to disguise the beginnings of a crepe décolletage. As she fingered the designs laid on the table before them, expensively gelled nails lightly traced the outline of the one with potential for the next pitch: a spring advertising campaign for a blue chip company that would make or break her true ‘baby’, the agency that had swallowed up most of her middle years.
Character 2 – Teenage boy with a secret
James was a diligent paper boy. Every morning the curly haired, freckle faced youngster would arrive just as old Mr Khan unlocked the rear door to the cramped kitchenette. Mr Khan admired the boy’s diligence, punctuality and his hard working nature, the way he always saved a third of his wages ‘to take me mum to the pictures once a month on a Wednesday night, when they do that phone deal – two for the price of one’. The unlikely partnership would make a hasty brew before ambling through to the shop where they began to sort the day’s news. James wasn’t paid any extra for this, he enjoyed their silent companionship and the methodical nature of the task, the way he had to lick his finger when flicking through the tabloids for the Blackberry Lees Estate; the switch in concentration when interleaving the odd copy of the Daily Mail between broadsheets for the big detached houses down Cherry Tree Way.
Character 3 – Down and out
George rarely left the woods. Sleeping out in all weathers, dressed in multiple layers hauled out of the Red Cross clothes bank at the rear of Park Parade, his only concession to rain was an old tarpaulin strung between a couple of sturdy oaks where the moss lay deepest. Not a bad mattress. His angled, unshaven features winged by tangled sideburns screamed ‘weather beaten’, whilst long, matted hair and a greying beard disguised the handsome features that once set the girls swooning.
A couple of years ago, after he managed to beg a couple of quid for supper, he found himself standing next to his own mother whilst queuing at the chippie.
Character 4 – Young mum
Kirstin had thought bringing the kids to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday in the shadow of Windsor Castle was an inspired idea; after all, this was history in the making. Having given her daughter permission to go ahead whilst tightly grasping her son’s small hand, Kirstin pushed the blond strands out of her eyes, straightened her monarch inspired tee shirt and strained to catch sight of her intrepid eight year old amongst a group of students heading toward the Queen Victoria statue, hell bent on climbing its plinth for a better view.
Copyright of all the above lies with the creator of this post.