Posted by: victanguera | April 20, 2011

Keeping Up Appearances: Writing Prompt #324

Here in Victoria, it is hard to tell the retro-hippies and new-age hippie-want-to-be types from the street people. Walking downtown can be interesting–not knowing if that person beside you will accost you for change, blow pot fumes in your face, or just walk on by with a dreamy expression on their way to their banker job.

People are not always what they appear. This came up in the prompt about talismans, and is worth exploring further.

So for today’s prompt, delve into appearance–for both your character and those around them. Does your character appear to be a banker but actually have a disreputable past and a criminal record? Look like a street person but is actually a missionary (because undercover cop is just too obvious)? A young kid but is middle-aged (you don’t want to know how many 50-somethings wear their hair in dreds here). Similar to Mrs. Bucket, how can you play with the misconceptions people make when they first see your character?



  1. I have a character who’s a twelve-year-old girl. She’s a tomboy, dresses in twelve-year-old-kid clothes (sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers), calls herself “Ron,” curses like a sailor (as we used to say) and has a loud and grating voice. People sometimes assume she’s a boy. Not that she exactly wants to be a boy, but she doesn’t really want to be either. She hates the inevitability of growing up. So, if people do think she’s a boy, she doesn’t correct them, but what drives her into a rage is to be called “young lady.”

    A lot of this came to mind when watching Let the Right One In. Someday I have write something on “gender and the pre-teen vampire.”

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