Futurelearn: Start Writing Fiction: Exercise 2

Review the notes you’ve collected in your notebook to find a character to develop further.

Write a short character sketch – no more than 200 words – in which you concentrate on appearance and any particular mannerisms you noted.

He barely looked old enough to be smoking, but it was clearly an ingrained habit. The stub of the cigarette was held firmly between his finger and thumb and he sucked on it with a quiet desperation as he walked briskly along the roadside. He looked as though he’d had a rushed start to the morning, his jeans had dried mud around the ratty turn ups and his hair had been neither washed nor combed, giving it a tousled don’t-care look. When he exhaled the smoke surrounded his head as though he were emerging from mists, bleary eyed and curious. When he decided that the cigarette was finished he threw it into the gutter behind him without looking and then he pulled out one of those bright blue cans of energy drink. Not just in a rush, then, but exhausted, too. If he’d been mature enough to grow a beard there would undoubtedly be stubble across his face to support my theory that last night had ended early this morning and no matter how blase he might act, he regretted it.

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