the character project

17 Dec

image by Victoria Peckham

Welcome to the character project!

I have always loved the idea that our interpretation of anyone we might meet or encounter is shaped by our own context–that the same person can be so differently interpreted as a friend, lover, employee, boss, parent or person on the sidewalk. And that all of these interpretations are essentially true since they are true to our own experience.

This project is a collaborative effort. It is about writing short pieces of fiction based on a brief general character description. I will post this description  every Monday as of January 4, 2010.

Everyone participating writes a short piece (up to 500 words max — but we’re forgiving if the spirit moves you to write more — or if you only want to write three words e.g. “Jim hated cheese.”). This piece can take any form and can be written using any voice.

The pieces will then be published at the same time every Sunday.

I love that by the end of a year we could potentially each write a moment in the life of up to 52 characters. That said, I fully understand that not everyone will be able to post every week, but I really encourage you to do so simply for the sense of accomplishment you will feel at the end of the year.

Just to clarify, our characters and our pieces are not linked to one another (although they can be). The only thing in common is the name of the character. I love the way that each of our experiences and prejudices, passions and personalities would shape each character differently.

I am not a rules grrl or taskmaster. The purpose of this is not to create pressure but to motivate and create some sort of structure for the act of writing fiction plus maybe provide some community encouragement. This would not be the venue for criticism but simply for practice and growth.

To spark something. To try something. To create something. To observe. To write. To tell each other stories.

If you’d like to join us, please email me at character at icecreamisnicecream dot com.

I’m so happy that you are participating with me. For our first posts, I will keep the blog locked. Hopefully this will allow all of us to check it out, provide feedback and iron out any implementation problems.

Our first (trial) character

Name: Hammond
Age: 42
Profession: Mailman
Guilty pleasure: Crocheting
Marital status: Divorced

If you need a little more inspiration, check out these sites that provide writing prompts:

There are many more of these types of sites out there.

The most important thing about this project is to enjoy the process and to let your creativity run wild. 🙂 I can’t wait to meet Hammond through each of your eyes.

Let me know if the description provides too much/too little detail and the kind of information you would like to see associated with the character.

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