Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Writing excuses season 10 master class Ep 5

Episode 5 boring main character

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2015/02/01/writing-excuses-10-5-what-do-you-mean-my-main-character-is-boring/

I only did two thirds of my homework... bad AM

Writing Prompt: Take three different characters and walk them through a scene. Convey their emotional states, their jobs, and their hobbies without directly stating any of those. The scene in question: walking through a marketplace, and they need to do a dead-drop.

The older man stood, looking at the table of china figurines and odd pots, his clothes were dishevelled; a tweed jacket with elbow patches, tan trousers and tan brogues. They had clearly lasted him some years and had been good quality when he bought them. The patches were necessary not decorative. He had a badly wrapped brown paper parcel under his arm. It was held together with twine or jute; that rough brown fibrous thread. He picked at the corner of it with his fingers. The other corners already bore signs of his inattention.
Glancing around he clearly didn’t see the person he was obviously waiting for and turned his attention back to the pottery. With a cry of delight he dumped the parcel on the table and picked up a plain flat plate with a slightly rounded edge.
“See this?” he asked the stallholder. “Clearly Song dynasty.”
“Uh, huh.” Eyed him off sceptically.
“It’s only small… about 6 inches… what is that? 15 centimetres… never can get that metric system.”
The stallholder frowned. “Is it worth something?”
“Oh, about 15,000 I should think. But I am only an amateur.”
A man brushed past him and scooped up the parcel.
“Dollars?” the seller checked.
“Yes.”
What? You are nuts.”
“No… really. It probably dates from the 12th century.”
“Twelfth? Yeah, right. Don’t waste my time. Are you going to buy it or not?”
The man patted his suit pockets, pulled out an assortment of detritus; a button, a broken pencil, a whiteboard marker with no lid, an aged piece of chalk, several receipts and finally a scrunched up note. He smoothed it out on the table and offered it to the seller.
“That’ll do.” The seller collected both the note and the plate. “Did you want it wrapped?”
“Yes, please. I have a bus to catch back to the campus.”
It was only as he was wandering off, still looking around distractedly that the stallholder noticed he didn’t have the parcel. And then he thought he must have been mistaken.

*******
Purple was clearly her favourite colour. Her skateboard, all her clothes, her lipstick and eye makeup, and her hair was dyed purple too. And spiked. The only thing that didn’t match was her black canvas satchel. It hung low over her shoulder and banged into her hip as she strode through the car boot market in her boots. Purple.
The security decided she was a potential shoplifter and had been following her since she arrived. It didn’t seem to upset her. She turned suddenly and shouted ‘boo’ at the man who jumped nervously. She cackled.
But as she spun back, her skateboard clipped a wooden lamp and knocked it off the edge of the stallholder’s fold up table. It landed on the grass.
Shouting ensued.
“You’ll pay for that,” said security.
“It isn’t damaged.”
Security ignored her. “How much?” he asked the seller.
She plonked her bag down and rifled in it for her wallet, leaving it open on the table as all three heads leaned over to examine the lamp. An old lady shuffled past and took a small packet out of the girl’s bag.
“It looks fine,” the stallholder said, eager to get them all away before they scared off any real buyers.
“It looks ugly,” she said.
“Hey?” He brushed some grass from it. “Just clear off.”
Security looked offended and frustrated.
“You, too,” the stallholder suggested to him.
The guard let out an annoyed huff. “I’m watching you girlie,” he threatened, as he did a sign with his fingers pointing at his eyes.
She just cackled again, shouldered her bag and strode off.
She darted back and handed the stallholder a cd with scrawled writing on it. Also purple.
“What’s this?’ he asked.
“Mix disk.” She shrugged awkwardly. “For your trouble.”
He looked at it doubtfully but placed it on the cashbox. “Thanks.” A pause. “Punk?”
She grinned. “Yeah.”
He nodded. “Cool.”

******