So I’ve been thinking about this exercize in which we try to use prose as a characterization method. So basically, you pick some simple item or an illustration, and describe it using at least two different characters’ pov (or the pov of the same character in two different moods).
This is a thread where we can do that exercise together! I’ll post an image / prompt bi-weekly, and we can get going from there. To make things challenging, we’re allowed to use only minimal setting and scenes, because this is more about how the character sees the object. The focus is on building voice and description, not plot or scene. You can change the illustration’s details to fit the time period your book is set in, though.
First one / example :
Homely. It was a cozy little room, that looked like it hadn’t been used in weeks, abandoned knick-knacks lying below the shelves. Tiny ladders, soilders, playthings lay forgotten at the foot of the storage. Behind them, heavy, ornate tomes had been stuffed onto the shelves with no care for their cost and their creators. How many scribes had to write for hours to produce these many books?
She moved the candle closer to the shelves, her fingers trailing over the gold on the spines. So much work had gone into this one book…
She pulled it out, placing the candle on a shelf and opening the book in her hands. Someone had left another book open, it’s spine cracking over the spines of two other books. A third book lay sprawled on the shelf below, a chain - gold, no doubt - hung on it’s corner.
The room was tiny, claustrophobic, grimy. She sneezed, a hand rising to cover her mouth and nose and stepped closer to the bookcase. Her feet stepped on tiny knick-knacks, and she brushed them away, shuddering.
The bookshelf was disorganized and musty, and the books were arranged - well, they weren’t arranged at all, just pushed into empty spaces, parchment and chains hanging out of them. She picked up the book she needed and turned away, tiptoeing out of the musty room.
Example of what I mean by characterization in prose: Sara is someone who’s from a hardworking background, therefore, she notices the amount of work that’s gone into the books. Malika is someone who’s always lived a priviledged life surrounded by luxury, hence she doesn’t see the ornate and careful details.
Sara has lived in poverty, hence she thinks of it as cozy and notices all of the gold. Malika has lived in luxury, hence she notices none of it, and sees the room as musty and grimy.