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Main Character

Writing time: Are you ready to do some writing? Here’s your assignment: The woman described(in the present tense) below is your protagonist. Identify her weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Construct a plot around her.


Bridget is a fascinating lady. Sophisticated and outgoing, this 43 – year - old university professor seems to have everything going for her: career, family, friends, clothes, jewelry, you name it.
If there is one lady who exudes confidence and takes pleasure in taking center stage at formal and informal events, it is Bridget. You would make her day by asking her to speak at a function. She loves to socialize and is very friendly with the opposite sex. This has led to a couple of rumors in the area of infidelity. Bridget thrives on being in the limelight. During presentations, her body language and commanding albeit persuasive tone always got her audience enthralled. Even when she is not very knowledgeable about a topic, no one seems to notice.
A mother of two, Bridget takes her appearance seriously. Not because her husband is a diplomat but because her mum taught her to dress well, so she said. She pays great attention to every detail of her dressing: clothes, make up, and jewelry. Don’t forget freshly polished nails. And she always wears pointed heels that occasional caved under her ample weight of nearly 100 kg. Her favorite attire is skirt and pant suits. Often, she wears an inner blouse with really low cleavage. She has a preference for earth colors and wears her stylish clothes with confidence.
Bridget is never too busy to offer a shoulder or hug a hurting person. She always has the right words of comfort and advice. Her sincere, steady gaze and soothing voice made you feel you can trust her.
As we sat chatting in her office this Wednesday morning - that was after she had succeeded in getting me to include her name in another of my research projects - I watched her dark, heart shaped face with slightly tilted eyes light up as she smiled revealing pearl sized teeth that looked mildly coffee stained. Her sparse hair was tinted red and styled in a simple but elegant way.
Sitting comfortably behind her table, she presented a picture of efficiency and control. Everything seemed to be in place: books arranged in an appealing manner on the shelf covering the entire length of the wall to the left. On her L shaped table were a PC, a few loose sheets, and pens in a holder. On the wall were pictures of her, her sons, and postcards; there was no photo of her husband.


Based on the supposedly built plot, pay attention to showing rather than telling. This means allowing the reader to share the character’s experiences and emotions rather than reading a summary of them. How do you do this? By creating an anecdote that brings the person to life through putting the reader into a scene with dialogue and moment-by-moment observations and action.

For example, you might pick a key scene that reveals a lot about Bridget. Perhaps she’s about to give a lecture on a topic she doesn’t know well, and you’re concerned – but she pulls it off with panache. By seeing and hearing her in real time, the reader would actually get to know Bridget – filtered through your perceptions -- rather than simply reading about her.

Hope you enjoy this writing exercise. If it leads to a short story, novella or novel, that would be so cool!

Love and peace y’all. Enjoy your weekend!


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