He needed more fleshing out, so I reverted to an exercise I teach in my creative writing class, 10 truths, 10 lies. You can list more, but essentially, you list these qualities or untruths about your characters. Below are the description, main goals, and lists:
10 Lies and 10 Truths about Ricky Andrades:
Height: 5 foot 8 inches.
Build: Thin and muscular.
Hair: Curly, sandy brown.
Eyes: Dark brown.
Skin: Darker than his peers.
Face: Sculpted and handsome.
Voice: Deep and slightly musical.
Main Desire: To play professional baseball and go out with his neighbor, Sarah Isabelle Stan.
- Ricky is 17.
- Wants to drive a Dodge Challenger.
- Is undocumented and wants to be a DREAMER.
- Loves his mother and does chores when no one is looking.
- Has a dog named Chucky.
- Plays baseball.
- Is an average student because he doesn’t try hard enough.
- Prays the Rosary in the bathroom.
- Has a severe crush on his neighbor but pretends to hate white people.
- Has a complex about his large feet.
- (Deleted to prevent spoiler.)
- Drinks alcohol.
- Goes to Church regularly.
- Wants to work at the mechanic shop with his dad.
- Wants to go to a university.
- Would rather live in Mexico than the U.S.
- Plays the guitar.
- Is a virgin.
- Looks up to his father.
- Eats everything his mother makes for him.
You can also add 10 odd facts, but I don't bother. Anyway, after I did the exercise, I was able to carry on with the writing, and it flowed well.
And that is all the time I have this morning! I have to work on Union business and organize chapter finances, when I would rather be writing.
Oh, I do have one bit of good news. I was talking to another faculty member who teaches creative writing, and she is going to organize a monthly gathering of other faculty who are writing novels or chap books or whatever creative form. I am so excited! I found out one of my colleague is working on a fantasy novel, which just goes to show, you just don't know where there might be a secret writing life.
Today, hammer out your characters until they are sculpted to your satisfaction. #barrioblues