1. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    A Challange

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by badgerjelly, Mar 16, 2019.

    Not sure if this is better suited to another forum? If so move it.

    The challenge is simple enough. You have a scene to write about in which there is one person and three objects (a chair, a table and an apple). The task is to write three short (no more than 100 words) pieces that express three distinct charcters - once complete feel free to add commentary of what you’ve done and why in “spoiler” and hopefully receive feedback as to how well you’ve achieved your aims.

    The most important rule is you’re not allowed to refer to physical descriptions of the character! You have to convey who they are by what they do and how they do it; and by varying the style if need be. The variations in the pieces can be as subtle as you like.

    I’ll post my own attempts later. Just thought of this now and thought it might be fun/informative if others joined in too :)
     
  2. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure I understand the purpose and rules of the challenge. By "short pieces" do you mean paragraphs, sentences, or complete stories? By "three distinct characters" do you mean characteristics of the person? Is the purpose of this challenge to let the readers of our pieces figure out something about our character (the person)?

    It sounds fun, but I need to know what I'm aiming for before I begin and I'm afraid I'm a little dense tonight!

    Edit: Ohhhhh, after reading John Calligan's response I think I get it. I'll try this game tomorrow--it sounds like a blast!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  3. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    I love this stuff. I'll play.

    I spun the chair and sat, leaning the back against the table. Blood-stained grooves cut by fingernails scarred each side of the unfinished wood. An oily splotch where someone had rested their head would be my new pillow if I didn’t play my cards right.

    I picked up the apple he had left. The bare bulb shown against its polished skin. Red. Delicious. Expected. A nod to my original sin. It was the one thing we shared. He wanted me to think he was in control, but if I was going to talk, he had better shut up and listen.

    I threw my pack in the corner, grabbed the apple off the table, and slumped into the creaking garage sale chair. The spring stabbed me in the ass, but I didn’t flinch. I bit into the apple and immediately regretted it. Granny Smiths are kind of gross. The flesh had already started to brown around the edges. How was that even possible?

    I put it down, careful not to get the table sticky. The day was just getting started. I pushed all my dad’s crap out of the way and stared at my pack. What was the point?

    Old money was a pain in the ass. They put their guns and jewelry in a safe, while the rest of their house was filled with the same cheap shit as everyone else’s. There was almost nothing worth taking--almost. I ran my finger along the edge of their solid oak, antique table. It wasn’t cheap, and neither were the chairs. I bet the set cost more than the Persian rug they were sitting on.

    I took another bite of their three-dollar honeycrisp. God damn it.

    Three-dollar apples made me want to burn this place to the ground.
     
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  4. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Just have a man sitting at a table eating an apple. Basically use prose and vocabulary to convey his character.

    eg. “He munched on the apple” or “He chomped heartily on the apple.” Both give a subtle idea of the persons character without being too explicit.

    100 words max for three different “characters”. The aim being to show something about this persons personality without saying it directly (only through actions).

    Of course you can interpret the challenge differently if you wish :)

    Note: I’ll post my attempts today or tomorrow probably.
     
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  5. Laughing Rabbit

    Laughing Rabbit Member

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    She jumped as high as she could, falling short of the edge. She tried again, but failed to even touch the underside of the table. Frustrated, she looked around the room, spying a heavy wooden chair in the corner. Running over to the chair, the seat of which reached to her shoulders, she grabbed hold of a leg and straining against the weight, shuffled her feet backwards pulling the chair along. At last she reached the table, clambered on top of the chair, and stood up. Spotting her prize, she eagerly grabbed the shiny red apple from the fruit bowl.

    The apple was a golden yellow perfect in its roundness and gleamed as if producing a light of its own. He sat on the edge of the worn wooden chair, splintering from years of constant use, paintbrush poised and ready to bring the perfection to the canvas. The open window which let in the light, brought an unwanted visitor. A horse smelled the delicious apple, stuck its head into the room and snatched the apple away. Shocked, the painter kept his gaze on the empty table and a tear slipped down as he bemoaned the loss of his perfect apple.

    Whistling a cheery tune, he walked down the hallway to the kitchen. He smiled when he entered the kitchen as years of memories flooded his mind. The scratched metal chairs with flowered print padding, the old table large enough to sit eight people (fifteen if you counted that one Thanksgiving!). The memory made him laugh and he lovingly ran his fingers across the uneven surface. Tears brimmed his eyes, but the happy times his mind lingered over made sure those tears were not of sadness. The apple he had intended to eat remained uneaten as he feasted on memories instead.
     
  6. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    I choose to interpret this as the chair, apple, and table are the three characters and the person sitting there is a prop. Let's do this.


    He looked down from his perch at the lazy sloth Benny had adopted. Such a high and mighty boar, it was almost as bad as the bigger ones, just sitting on top of Benny as if it were the master. Well, soon the creature would be put in its place. He felt the greasy fingers wrap around him, lifting him towards the disgusting maw. As the teeth pierce his skin, a huge chunk of his fleshed broke away and clogged the beast's windpipe. He fell to the floor, wounded, but laughing internally at his victory over the choking animal above him.

    He was so proud of his little human, a gift from the masters for his years of good service. The little critter slapped Tabby with its tiny hands giggling oh so adorably. Then it reached for that filthy apostate Mac, but the poor thing couldn't quite reach! Perhaps... just a little scooch wouldn't be too against the rules. After all, it was for the little one. Maybe at last after touching one of the Great Ones even a lost soul such as Mac's could be saved.

    Whoopy. Another guest had been brought in from who knew where, and this one was squirmy. Well, it was different at least. The big ones actually had to carry it over to her, which she supposed was new. Maybe at last something interesting would happen around here.

    Benny scooted on his own. That was new.

    The new guest took hold of Mac. That... was something she'd seen before.

    The guest started choking after biting into Mac, and all of the big ones came running over, frantically beating on the little one.

    Well what do you know. The day wasn't a complete waste like all the others after all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  7. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Okay, as I probably won’t do this at all unless I do it now ... here goes!

    1) The man angled himself into the chair placing his hands on his knees. His eyes honed in on the rotund fruit centred on the square table. He slowly raised and reached out with both hands and picked the apple of the table to admire atop his steepled fingers. Blinkless, he kept the fruit parallel with his eyeline and guided it to his opening mouth, taking a thick and substantial first bite, rotated slightly, and bit again, and again, until only the core remained.

    I was trying to get the sense of someone who is articliate, prim and precise. The kind of person who does everything systematical and with a calculated plan. Someone who lacks spontaneity

    2) The man sat down at the table and ate the apple that had been on it. He shifted his weight for buttock to buttock as the time rolled by. Tracing his fingers around the the table’s edge he placed his palms on the smoothed corners and gave them a firm massage, working on the flesh below his thumb. He looked at the blank, bare table surface and tapped his feet against its legs.

    I was trying to get the sense of someone who was both impatient and lazy. Someone who doesn’t put much thought into anything and prefers as many distractions as possible.

    3) The man arched his spine, limbering the lumber of his bones, cracked and flexed his tendons and sinews, like some confused contortionist. Shoulders popped and finger pulled taut, he sleuthed into the chair attentive to its cool wood and spiraled carvings. The apple sat atop a table framed in the plea of his eye. Without hesitation his hands reached out in relish and procured the fruity viand.

    I was trying to get the sense of someone who is vital and alive. A person reasy to explore and experience life. Someone enthusiastic and even adventurous in nature, yet not someone fool hardly or unprepared.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019

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