Friday, 21 August 2015

Writing character... with LEGO

Thought I'd share with you a warm-up idea I used recently at NIBS, our writer's group. We were looking at building characters.

In the Squidge house, we love LEGO - it doesn't get bought quite so often as it used to now, but we are the proud owners of boxes of the stuff - some of it original 1950's that was passed on to us, some from when Mr Squidge was a kid. T has Bionicle and Star Wars sets, plus Mindstorms robotics... we could stock a shop.

And as any LEGO officionado knows, there are mini-figures.

We love mini-figures.

Just some of the Squidges' collection...

Favourites... Abominable snowman,
Lab technician (because I was one)
and Pierrot

Sure, we don't collect them quite so avidly any more - teenagers don't really go for them as much. And we're not in the toy shop so often nowadays, unless it's to buy Airfix paint, so I don't know which sets are current...

ANYWAY... we possess over 100 of these little figures, so I put 'em to use as my 'starter for ten' in the character workshop.

Basically, you had to pick out one of the figures and write something about them. Character sketch, mini-story about the mini-figure, description...

It was great fun. Between us we came up with a hippy guy, spreading lurve; a centurion who enjoyed killing; a genie who was 'imprisoned, trapped, alone'; a civil war re-enacter who liked things to be perfect; Frank, newspaperman and secret drag act artist; a cheerleader who worked hard to look perfect; a knight in a school play, and mine - a judge.

Here's the character sketch I came up with for him...

Frederick Maltby-Morvey the Third.
 - Looks over the top of his gold rimmed specs as he studies the miscreants and low life that were unfortunate enough to be standing in his dock.
 - Wig of horsehair hung down his chest. He remembered the early days, when there were just a few curls and a pointless tail at the back. How it had grown, almost as much as the weight of responsibility as he was appointed to High Judge and Executioner.
 - The gavel was an instrument dreaded by many - when he wielded it in court it restored order and punctuated sentences. How many times over the years had it slammed on the desk and sent men and women down? Too many to count. A few memorable occasions, but they all blurred into one nowadays.

So there you go - raid the LEGO box and get characterising!

No comments:

Post a Comment