Tuesday, March 10, 2009


In my writing class, we're working on character development. The end result will be a short story. Below is the introduction to my character:

Before...her hair was the color of wheat on a sunny day. It moved down her back like wind through a wheat field, all wavy and wild. She brushed her hair one hundred strokes each night before bed to keep it "soft and shiny" (she'd read that in an issue of Seventeen magazine). She liked trying new hairstyles ~ pony tail, two pony tails, a single braid down her back, two braids, french braid, sophisticated up-do, hair ribbons, hair bands, barrettes. But she always wore her hair down, cascading down.

After...her hair is the color of cardboard. It's the same color as the inside of a pizza box from Johnny Z's. This made her cry. She had found three crusts and one full slice in the bags one summer morning. She pushed her hair off her face, pulling out two clumps. The clumps fell into the pizza box. She gobbled down two crusts, not noticing how they tasted; just that they were. The third crust had some tomato sauce on it. Mmm. She looked at the full slice - Italian sausage, black olives, extra sauce and cheese. God bless 'em, whoever you are she thought. As she lifted the slice, she caught sight of the clumps of her hair. She fingered the clumps, rolled them between her fingers. The color of cardboard, the texture of straw. Dried straw. Tears welled as she recalled her hundred strokes ritual. Before...before...she dropped the pizza, the clumps and the tears. She now wears her hair off of her face, secured by a red bandanna which hides the thinning and the clumps.

Before...her skin was fair yet warmed by the sun. Couldn't be helped, really - she ran track, played tennis and was on the swim team - she was always outside. Her smile betrayed a dimple to the left as well as crooked bottom teeth. She was prone to pimples on her chin and forehead - the 'T-zone' is what the Seventeen magazine called it. She wore sunscreen instead of sunblock because she liked having the hint of a tan.

After...sunscreen hasn't touched her skin in years. Submerging herself in a vat of lotion could not help her cracked heels, dry skin or wind-chapped face. Her nose and chin are peppered with blackheads and occasionally pimples will appear. Her skin color can be described in one word - dirty. She is dirty most of the time; the color just enhances it.

No comments: