Here’s the very first lesson of How Writers Write Fiction MOOC that inspired me to create this post in response to the first writing assignment.
The main idea of the lesson was to how to create a fiction character from the very beginning. The lecturers, Edward Carey, Bernice Chauly and Douglas Trevor mostly introduced the techniques of building a wholistic, multi-facetic and believable character by sketching all the aspects of fictional character, such as appearance, environment, epoche etc. and trying to avoid most common character flaws.
The first week assignment was to create the beginning of a character (recommended word limit: 500 words), following a couple of parameters:
1) What is one of his/her great fears?
2) What is one of his/her deep desires?
He slowly stepped across the threshold and felt as if all the memories exploded right in front of him and blew him away in a wild after effect. The house that used to mean so much too him, a house he’d spent his childhood in. Now it looked so deserted as if not a single human footstep had touched it for a thousand years. The house that was once shining its splendor, hosting guests and feasts and dancing, the glitter of the vintage chandelier, gallery of renowed ancestors all along the wall. Now it was all gone, destroyed, demolished. Pictures thrown away, library sold away or used as firewood, treasury plundered, chandelier dismantled into silver and fine glass.
Rusted remnants and relics resting in ruins. Bitter fruits of revolution. The one he himself supported. Hoping it will bring a brighter future for his people. People whose welfare caused his sleepless nights, pain and sweat. Sparing no efforts, he struggled to stop the vain existence his ancestors had led. His great desire: to maintain the people under his responsibility. Build roads, schools and hospitals, install agricultural equipment, foster production, educate them locally or abroad. His greatest fear: be found guilty of uselessness and doomed to eternal oblivion.
He fought and dreamt about a WORLD WITHOUT THE POOR, but what they dreamt about was simply a WORLD WITHOUT THE RICH.