Today, I was with Kaelee, in our first sort of creative writing thing, where we try to run a little exercise to quickly drum up some fiction and then read each other’s projects. Today’s exercise was to create a short character description, trade then characters and write a short piece about them, as fast as possible.
This is character bio as written by Kaelee –
Gracchus is a bureaucrat working for an etherreal ministry for the dispensation of dreams. He is severe and stern and treats his job with intense focus. Hi is tall, thin and spindly, almost spider-like. Past attempts at friendly conversation from workmates have been shot down with icy silent stares.
Gracchus works specifically in the constructions of dreams; he designs and directs the dreamscapes that are dispensed into the world, and observes the growth of the ones that best take root in people’s subconsciouses. He obsesses over the tiny details in his dreamworlds, leaving cryptic, mostly nonsense messages in symbols and dialogue for the dreamer to discover, but has yet to observe a dreamer who is actively seeking the messages.
So this is what I wrote –
The stage was almost set. People ran busily back and forth moving props, wiring up cable, setting and testing lights. Some of the actors were already in makeup, attempting to memorise their lines, or running through exercises of adlib and improv.
Cole ran down the hall through the stage doors. His iron shoes announcing his approach like bells. He had this frantic look in his eyes, as he ran towards the cast and crew. Jen looked up from her paperwork of treatments and outlines, hearing Cole’s feet.
“What is it?” Jen asked.
“He’s coming,” Cole said, panting, “Gracchus.”
“Shit,” someone exclaimed.
Jen shot that person a glare and then looked back at Cole, “Alright. Go help out with the props. Thanks for the headsup.”
The stage doors opens and there stood a man, tall and thin and dressed head to toe in black. He strode in with moves like a spider, with predatory grace.
Jen instinctively smiled, but knew that would be pointless. “Gracchus. Hi.”
Gracchus didn’t smile back, and said matter-of-factly, “Is everythingready for tonight’s airing?”
“Almost. Just working out most of the kinks.”
“Kinks?” Gracchus sounded insulted and insulting, “There are no kinks under my direction.”
Jen went to explain, but Gracchus started moving towards the stage, completely ignoring her. He approached one of the actors who was half-in and half-out of costume.
“What are you supposed to be?”
The actor looked down to what he was meant to be, “I guess some kind of lizard pirate?”
“Hm,” Gracchus noised, “Did the specifications not say iguana skin for the lizard pirate costumes?”
When he spoke this way, he was actually addressing Jen, though he never looked at her.
“Well its all we could find on such short notice. Dragon skin is similar to iguana skin.” Jen tried to explain but it would all be in vain.
“Similar is not the same.”
Gracchus noticed another thing and then moved immediately to it.
A number of the props were giant mushrooms of various shapes and colors and covered in spots.
“There are no smiley faces on these.”
“Well we were running out of time and that scene does not run long. We thought it was something that could be missed.”
“Give me your pen,” Gracchus said, his hand reaching out to Jen but still looking at the mushroom props. Jen gave him a pen, a felt-tip. Gracchus with his other hand, he called a stagehand over with his finger.
Gracchus knelt down, grabbing the wrist of the stagehand to kneel down with him in front of the closest mushroom prop.
“Watch carefully,” Gracchus said, still holding the stagehand’s wrist. He flicked the top of the pen off and methodically, almost mechanically, drew a smiley face on one of the dots. It was a perfect, most asthetically pleasing smiley face
Gracchus lifted up the stagehand’s wrist and then forced the pen into her hand.
“Now repeat that for every dot on every mushroom.” Gracchus began to walk away and then said, “Or you are fired.”
Thought I made minor edits, not bad for some speed writing, I think. Not sure how long this actually took, but I wrote until my hand was sore. Reminded me something of exams, but I was actually satisfied. I believe Kaelee may post the story on her site.