Monday, September 26, 2011

What did you look like?--writing exercise #2

From clothing and appearance to opinions/ideas, everyone changes throughout their life. Have you thought about how your character might have changed? Here's an exercise to help you get started about thinking how your character may have changed.

You have to answer these three questions about yourself:

*What did you look like in grade school?

*What did you look like as a pre-teen/teenager?

*What do you look like now?

Ready? GO!

*Grade school: I was taller than most of the guys my age, with lanky arms and knobby knees. My hair was long, probably the middle of my back if not my waist, and my mom often put it into a French braid topped with a hairbow as big as my face or hair bungees with plastic knobs on the ends--though if you rode a roller coaster with me, those stupid bungees could be deadly. Just ask my cousin Becky. ;)

Most likely, you would have found me running around in baggy shorts and t-shirts during the summer, and leggings with baggy long-sleeve shirts and sweaters in the winter. Barefoot, too. I hated dresses--my mom was lucky to force me into them about once a month for church. :)

*Pre-teen/teenager: I wore lots of hand-me-downs as a pre-teen and early teen. Think tapered-leg jeans, big t-shirts, etc. About 15, my style changed and I started wearing more fitted t-shirts and flare-leg jeans, as well as the occasional skirt. I became infatuated with Converses and wore my pair everywhere.

All the guys grew up and bypassed me, and even some of my girlfriends got taller than me. I went from beating up my little brother to being very nice to him. My hair went from super-long to short chin-length, to shoulder length. I got full bangs, then side bangs, as well as going from full to thin to gelled perm-curls to hair-straightener-flat and slick. I got glasses--first a thin little "secretary" pair, then some weird-shaped octagon things, then my square "nerdy" glasses--and contacts. I HATED pink. I got my ears pierced. Typical can't-figure-out-who-you-really-are teen years.

*Now (age 22): I wear dresses and skirts a lot. Half of my wardrobe consists of sundresses that I'm currently trying to figure out how to wear in the winter. ;) I have a lot of sweaters (hey, it's COLD up here!) and boots. I go for bold and bright colors, anything yellow, green, orange, or a combo of pink/gray makes me happy, I LOVE vintage clothing, and I like weird patterns or combinations of colors. My favorite casual outfit is a jean skirt, leggings, converses, and a smart-alecky-saying t-shirt. I've fully embraced my love of anything a little off-beat, and I love hats.

My hair hits my shoulder blades, and it's very layered and curly. I wear it down and loose, with a bandana or headband, or pulled into a ponytail or messy side-chignon. I take a bit of time with make-up instead of slapping it on. I still wear glasses or contacts. I filled out a bit and grew a bit so I'm nearly as tall as my mom.

So there you go! Did you change a lot or were you pretty stable? Hopefully this gave you some inspiration to dig into your character's past and unearth how they've changed. I can't wait to hear your answers to these questions! :D

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**Next Month: Another writing exercise involving sound, a musing on how technology has changed our interactions, and a review/interview from the author of Finding Angel!!

3 responses:

Kyleigh said...

Grade school:
I was pretty tiny. Shorter even than lots of my friends who were younger than me. My hair came to about my mid-back. I thought it was frizzy (now I know it’s only because I brushed it so much), and that it was only wavy because I kept it braided almost 24/7. Every so often I’d cut it short (for example, when the Kit books came out) or had bangs. I primarily wore jeans and t-shirts, but skirts or dresses to church – but I didn’t like wearing them beyond that. I was quite the tomboy, and loved mud, being outside, and biking. I went barefoot a lot, and loved soccer and baseball. Horses were, of course, an obsession. I was starting to write stories and like ships. Ballet was very much a part of my life and growingly so. I had reading glasses but never wore them.

Pre-teen/teenager:
I was still the shortest out of most of my friends, and the shortest except for one in all of my ballet classes. When I grew (not much, though), my hair now came to the lower end of my upper back and it’s stayed about there. I stopped braiding it as much and it got a bit curlier. I wore it in ponytails most of the time. It was parted in the middle. I still wore jeans and a t-shirt most of the time, but skirts were becoming ‘not so bad.’ The last year of highschool I wore them about the same amount as pants – due to the example of my older sister and somewhat of a heart change. I rarely wore earrings, and if I did, they were never dangly. I got glasses at 13 – silver frames that never stayed very high up on my nose. I stopped doing ballet but still loved dancing and choreography. I wrote more and more, and music became a bigger part of my life. I had an obsession with writing in pen only, and never writing in cursive. I loved languages and was learning bits of Hebrew and Elvish along with my French and Arabic. I still loved being outside, especially hiking and climbing. I picked up piano and oboe, and fell in love with Celtic music, mostly due to Cait’s piping. I started sewing and crocheting more, and devoured books.

Now (18):
I remain the shortie… some things never change. My hair comes to about mid-back, when straight. But if I let it air dry it curls into loose curls. I wear it half-back or up most of the time. Some days I leave it down, but it can get pretty wild. I have a growing hat collection. I wear earrings almost every day, mostly dangly. I still have glasses – purple-ish frames that sit a wee bit higher on my nose, but I still have to push them up. I wear them inconsistently – I don’t need them to see, but I get headaches if I don’t wear them for long stretches of time. I wear skirts almost all the time, except for exercise and the occasional hike. Some days I will wear jeans but with a more feminine top. Writing is a hobby, not obsession now. Crocheting, knitting, and sewing are also hobbies. I still love languages, but have found out how much work they are. ;) Music takes up most of my time in various forms. I continue to love the outdoors.


... this was fun. ;) Now I'm trying to figure out how to really show this with story characters. Often I don't develop them much in the first bit, but time jumps not too far in.

Kyleigh said...

This was really enjoyable to do. Now to figure out how to incorporate it for my characters!



Grade school:
I was pretty tiny. Shorter even than lots of my friends who were younger than me. My hair came to about my mid-back. I thought it was frizzy (now I know it’s only because I brushed it so much), and that it was only wavy because I kept it braided almost 24/7. Every so often I’d cut it short (for example, when the Kit books came out) or had bangs. I primarily wore jeans and t-shirts, but skirts or dresses to church – but I didn’t like wearing them beyond that. I was quite the tomboy, and loved mud, being outside, and biking. I went barefoot a lot, and loved soccer and baseball. Horses were, of course, an obsession. I was starting to write stories and like ships. Ballet was very much a part of my life and growingly so. I had reading glasses but never wore them.

Pre-teen/teenager:
I was still the shortest out of most of my friends, and the shortest except for one in all of my ballet classes. When I grew (not much, though), my hair now came to the lower end of my upper back and it’s stayed about there. I stopped braiding it as much and it got a bit curlier. I wore it in ponytails most of the time. It was parted in the middle. I still wore jeans and a t-shirt most of the time, but skirts were becoming ‘not so bad.’ The last year of highschool I wore them about the same amount as pants – due to the example of my older sister and somewhat of a heart change. I rarely wore earrings, and if I did, they were never dangly. I got glasses at 13 – silver frames that never stayed very high up on my nose. I stopped doing ballet but still loved dancing and choreography. I wrote more and more, and music became a bigger part of my life. I had an obsession with writing in pen only, and never writing in cursive. I loved languages and was learning bits of Hebrew and Elvish along with my French and Arabic. I still loved being outside, especially hiking and climbing. I picked up piano and oboe, and fell in love with Celtic music, mostly due to Cait’s piping. I started sewing and crocheting more, and devoured books.

Now (18):
I remain the shortie… some things never change. My hair comes to about mid-back, when straight. But if I let it air dry it curls into loose curls. I wear it half-back or up most of the time. Some days I leave it down, but it can get pretty wild. I have a growing hat collection. I wear earrings almost every day, mostly dangly. I still have glasses – purple-ish frames that sit a wee bit higher on my nose, but I still have to push them up. I wear them inconsistently – I don’t need them to see, but I get headaches if I don’t wear them for long stretches of time. I wear skirts almost all the time, except for exercise and the occasional hike. Some days I will wear jeans but with a more feminine top. Writing is a hobby, not obsession now. Crocheting, knitting, and sewing are also hobbies. I still love languages, but have found out how much work they are. ;) Music takes up most of my time in various forms. I continue to love the outdoors.

Laura Elizabeth said...

Younger (8-11)
I was the tallest in my family, and loved it that my brother (2 yrs. younger than me) was so short :) I wore culottes a lot, and was very outgoing. Reading was my passion; I read everything my parents would let me read, including Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Little House. I recorded tons of dramatizations with my brother. My hair was perpetually in my face, and I didn't really care how wrinkled or messy my clothes were, much to the annoyance of my mother!

Middle (12-16)
I was saved when I was 12, and I began to take an interest in doctrine and spiritual things. I also started caring about my appearance, and I couldn't stand having hair in my face. During these years, I was growing tall enough to start wearing some of my mom's clothes. My brother was still much shorter than me, but he was getting taller. I hoped he would never get to be as tall as me.
I had my first 'crush', which lasted about a year :P I began thinking about getting married, and desiring it a great deal.
I decided I wanted to be a missionary nurse, and that I would go to Bob Jones University. I also started writing seriously, and I still read voraciously.

Older (17-18)
As I got older, I began to realize that perhaps God was not calling me to the mission field, and I didn't want to go to college anymore. I am even more serious about writing, and about getting married, and my desire above all things is to serve God and please Him.
I still read a lot, but not quite as much as I used to. I'm not as outgoing as I used to be, either; I'm a little on the shy side :)
I'm very interested in theology, as well.

Well, there's me in a nutshell! Thanks for giving the assignment. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be :D

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