Thursday, December 04, 2008

Writing Exercise- Personality sketch in 200 words

Imagine a life cut short into 750-1500 words. This is a writing technique called the personality sketch, which is commonly used for feature writing in paperbacks but has gained popularity in more mainstream media such as newspapers, magazines, periodicals, etc. Here’s an example of a special section published in the New York Times featuring the lives of people who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Choose a person that you know (or create one using your imagination) and write a glimpse of his or her life, personality, idiosyncrasies, etc. Personality sketches usually use anecdotes, direct quotations, physical description, etc., but for the purpose of this writing activity, we can be more “creative” or “imaginative.” Write as you please, and introduce us to that person in no less than 200 words. :P

Below is my piece about a local musician's alterno life.

Julian Sev

Julian was a musician by the core, living and struggling in daylight at a local fast food chain and traversing the now diminishing city bars at night.

For years the downside of the local music industry has gotten into his thoughts and that earning a lump sum from it is always impossible. Sometimes he earns and sometimes he won’t, still he shrugs off that it’s another day to live by.

A musician’s life here in Cebu is uncertain, that he knows now, for no matter how hard he tries and just how focused he is, it’s always a struggle. The next best thing he thought his band could do is to move to Manila and gamble their chances for a break there.

“He’s always spending his time with his band after work and come home drunk on late nights. He just doesn’t have time for us anymore; I think he already has forgotten his duties with our children! I heard he has a relationship with some woman he met after a gig and that he’s now into drugs. That I don’t know if I’ll believe or not. It’s his stupid belief that someday his music will get him and his band far, but the way I see it all their efforts are in vain. It may even be a miracle if we’ll have a decent meal tonight.” His wife Sheree sobs.

Before the band, Julian Sev in his mid- 20’s and a father of 2 great kids, used to be just a reminiscent young man, an engineer by profession and an idealistic family man who always maintain a balance between his hectic schedule of work and quality time. His life made a 360 degree turn when he started a band along with Ernest and Neil. They took on the local music scene thinking that they’ll get somewhere…


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