Contest winner

While I was a little disappointed that there were so few entries, I wasn’t with the outcome. So, to make this quick and sweet, the contest goes to:


NearlyMello. (And, by the way NM, though we’ve chatted on several occasions, I don’t have your email. You’ll need to contact me to claim your prize)

Why? Well, because NM’s character description – though written in an almost bulleted outline compared to the other’s snippets from stories – gave the best overall picture of the character. Not only were we able to see the character, but we could just imagine his personality quirks, his daily habits, as well as a clear image of the friends and surroundings he places himself in.

What really stood out about NM’s character sketch were the specific – if sometimes unexpected – details that were added behind basic listed traits. For example:

He has worn the same pair of black tennis shoes every day for the past three years. They reek.

Not only did this give an image of what the shoes look like, it also gives hints to the characters personality. From the fact that he’s worn them for three years and they reek, show either he doesn’t care about the smell, doesn’t give a damn what others think, or has a mild case of Asperger Syndrome and refuses change.

Another example is his proffession. In an earlier bullet, NM describes his character as:

He is annoyed by people who make extremely particular requests, bad traffic, road signs, and most things having to do with weddings.

Yet, despite his dislike for “anything wedding,”

His most recent job is working as a delivery guy for an upscale local bakery. He’s absolutely thrilled to be delivering wedding cakes on a regular basis… Yeah, right.

The fact that the character is short with others around himself when he’s upset or annoyed really plays up on the fact that he’s unhappy with himself and what’s going on with his life (ie, Cystic Fibrosis) and though for the most part lives a fairly normal life despite the oddities of his personality, the descriptions of his habits and lifestyle show there is a deeper fear of what lies ahead (a possible untimely and “unhealthy” death) and is very aware of it and projects his fear and spite onto others in order to deflect from himself.

Several of the few things that should have been expanded on were his relationship and actions towards friends – other than what he does when he’s annoyed, what kinds of activities he did outside of work and medical checkups (besides visiting friends at their workplaces), and any other little “tidbits” that simply show personality quirks that set that particular character apart from every other character, and would therefore make that character memorable and unique.

Overall, it was a wonderful character description, which left almost nothing to be wanted at the end of reading it, by giving a clear impression of the character and his life. Congratulations, and well done.

There will be a follow up article in the next day or so, detailing the how’s, what’s and why’s of writing character descriptions and creating usable character profiles for novels, as well as how to condense that information when writing a short story.


One Response

  1. Thanks! I’m honored!

    My e-mail is

    I can’t wait to see the follow-up article. Creating characters is definetly one of my favorite aspects of writing.

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