Monday, March 3, 2014

Writing Exercises Based on Picture of "Two Vietnamese Women"

I took this picture at a museum in Saigon. I'm sorry I don't have the artist's name because I like it a lot. I love the colors and composition. There's something sultry and exotic about the image. It takes me away to another time and place.

The two women dressing and fixing themselves intrigue me. Is it morning and they are getting ready for the day?  Are they preparing for an important occasion? For some visitors perhaps?

One could write a story about this image.

The first thing you need to do before writing the story is create a character. You can choose to work on the woman standing or on the woman sitting down.

Here are some questions that can help you create a fictional character:
1.  What is the person’s full name, age, date and place of birth?
2.  What was the person’s family life like? What were parents and siblings like? 
Environment?  Schooling?
3.  How tall is this person? How heavy? Color of hair, eyes? 
Anything unique about his/her looks?
4.  Whom/what does the person love? Hate?
5.  What gives this person the greatest joy?
6. What is the happiest moment of the person? Saddest? Most embarrassing?
7.  What does the person want to accomplish in life? (long term as well as short term goals)
8.  What is the immediate tangible thing that the person wants?
9.  What is the person’s obsession?
10.  What is his/her recurring dream?
11.  What is his/her recurring memory?
12.  What is the person’s favorite pastime?
13.  What does the person do for a living? How does he/she feel about the job?
14.  Any personality quirks?
As you answer these questions the fictional character will start to take shape
 in your imagination. 
You can take this writing exercise further by writing a monologue based on the character,
 for example:
"Mother told Older Sister and me to dress nicely because Tran will be over this afternoon ....
(and continue)
Have fun with these exercises! 

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