Character visualization writing taken from: http://www.katemessner.com/teachers-write-7-9-15-thursday-quick-write-with-tracey-baptiste/
Exercise 1: Visualization
describe what he is wearing.
His dark flannel shirt is open in front and he has a dark t shirt under it. He pulls out the tee so it doesn’t cling, then pull the front of the flannel closed in front of him—wrapping it gently around him like a Snuggie. His jeans are loose and sag in the back just a bit. Shoes? Sneakers? Converse All-Stars--the classics. He likes to doodle on them. The big white toe is perfect for his song quote of the week.
objects around him
The door jangles as he enters. There is a counter on the right covered with milks and creamers and sugars. Little spills. Cool carpeting covers the hardwood floor. A cool selection of music plays over the speakers--Dead, techno, cool jazz. The room is lit by hanging pendants—the Edison bulbs that are popular now. There are world coffee posters on the walls.
Other character and relationship
Chaz heads over to Mike. They are best friends—have been since they were young. Their parents were friends going way back. Met at church. Tight. Chaz is much of what Mike isn’t: confident. Boisterous. A storyteller. He comes over to Mike with a whirlwind of excitement and energy. “Dude! Where you been? We’ve got a table in the corner so we can see the open mic.” Mike would rather hang out one-on-one. But at the same time he’s thankful to have a place to go--a table to welcome him rather than having to search the place for a spot like it’s the first day at a new school and he’s just gone through the lunch line and is standing there holding a tray and hoping for a friend. Sometimes he feels like that. Thank God for Chaz. It’s good to have that friend to pull you along when you need it.
Exercise 2: Becoming Your Character
I love music. I could listen all day. I like all kinds, from jazz to classic rock to emo to techno. I appreciate all different beats and sounds. But what I like most is the lyrics that go with them. How do artist find such clever ways to say what I’m thinking and feeling? I like to read the lyrics. Interpret them. And rewrite them.
I hate people who do nothing but talk. People who only talk but never stop to listen and ask questions. People who think they are the center of the world and don’t give much care to being quiet and see who is revolving around them… or who they are revolving around.
I’m jealous of people who seem so comfortable all the time. Why do I so often feel like a plant that’s been uprooted? Am I jealous of these people or envious of them?
If I could do anything right now, I would sit in a corner of the coffee shop with my iPhone and my music app (Apple Music or Spotify) and listen to a playlist that I put together. I would have a cup of coffee and a book and a notebook. I would alternate and overlap listening and reading and writing.
My biggest secret is that I feel small. I know I’m big, but when I’m with myself I forget.
Exercise 4: Conversion
Mike: (Pushes open door and looks around. Chaz comes over.)
Chaz: There you are, dude! We’ve got a table in the corner so we can see the open mic the best.
M: Sweet. You order anything yet?
C: Naw. We’re just hanging now. Maybe in a bit.
M: (walks over to table and claims a chair with it’s back to the wall. Hangs his old backpack on the back of the chair.) Hey guys.
Other: What’s up man?
M: Nothin’ much.
Other: Whatcha got in the backback, man? Aren’t you here to listen to the music and check out the chicks?
M: Just some stuff. (Blushes.)
(awkward silence—other guys look at each other furtively.)
M: Anyone good play yet?
C: Nope, they didn’t start yet. I was just telling the guys about math class today. The teacher thought I was being a PITA so he made me get up and teach the lesson. I freakin’ rocked it man. I wouldn’t be surprised if they fire him and hire me instead.