In the Colin R Onstad Room (F2K): Lesson 5 Characterisation

Even during the last F2K session, I dragged my feet with this lesson. It was no different this time. The lesson felt very constricting for me. I did eventually write something but left it to the absolutely last, last minute aka last night.

Lesson Five is the Characterization Interview. In other words, dialogue between your character and an interviewer. Or if you prefer, dialogue between two of your characters, as long as they promote the main character and reveal things about he or she.

You can use any character from your own writing –short story, novel, poem, etc. Do a simple interview with him/her. We need to think the character is alive; tell us something interesting about him/her. Why do they think they should be a character in your story?

Give us a character interview in 500 words or less. This is to be a dialogue only interview. No he said/she said tags, no explanations such as, she tossed her hair or he frowned, and no intro before the interview. Remember, each speaker starts a new paragraph – use spaces between them.

There’s already some feedback and my classmates got confused between the characters 😦


“Gerald, you might as well show yourself. The room reeks of the clove cigarette you’re disgustingly fond of inhaling.”

“It’s an acquired taste, Colin, and I’ll appear when it pleases me.”

“So…to what do I owe the displeasure of this untimely and unwelcome visit?”

Tsk…tsk…manners, young man, I’m here to find out from the Guard the Council assigned to my granddaughter about the progress of her training.”

“You insult my abilities by checking up on me. There isn’t a need. Jess’ training is progressing exactly how I expect it to progress.”

“Your generic response doesn’t tell me anything. I want to know if she’s able to control her abilities and if she’s…hang on, you said Jess. She allows you to call her that? She hates being called Jess.”

“You’re right, she detests the name but it pleases me to call her whatever I feel like calling her. I am her Guard, after all.”

“Well, sounds like the both of you are getting along real fine then. Anyway, is she able to call spirits yet?”

“Not quite.”

“Interpret her dreams?”

“We haven’t gotten that far.”

“Tell me you’ve at least taught her to make basic herbal remedies? Every manang needs to be able to do that.”

“That’s coming up soon.”

“What exactly have been going on during these sessions, Colin! It’s been 6 weeks! She should’ve been able to access all those abilities by now. I’ll have to report this to the Council, you know that.”

“Go ahead, old man. And when you see the Council you can also let them know that Jess has been skipping her sessions. And THAT’s the reason why she’s not as far along as she should be.”

“Well? Why didn’t you just say so! You said progressing exactly how you expect it to progress! And why haven’t YOU reported her absences? Well? Say something!”

“This is not something I’m proud of but I haven’t reported her absences because I’ve been trying to track her and she’s slick, this granddaughter of yours. She’s managed to elude me every single time.”

“Ha ha ha! That’s rich! My dear Jess has managed to escape her Guard, the one Guard who always manages to find his quarry! A Wilde indeed.”

(WC 370)


The story that wants to be told now

My intention was to start 2013 either finishing up my Manang story. Or start compiling my AtoZ stories before April 2013 comes around.

But of course, stories tend not to do what they’re supposed to do because another story wanted to be told. A story that parallels what I’m going through right now. And despite the fact that I’d come home so tired from work and just want to lay in bed and sleep. My fingers itched to type and over 2 hours last night, I wrote 5000 words of this story that may be fairly heartbreaking.

At first, I went Another heartbreaking story? I don’t want to write anymore of those! I resisted because writing those stories while it seems that I have an affinity for them, only makes me feel unhappy.

I’ve still got more heartbreak to write into the story but I”m aiming for a happy ever ending for my characters – Chris and Angie – that unfortunately, real life doesn’t mimic.

character tuesday: the monster in the closet

Invent a monster.  Stick him in the closet of one of your character’s bedroom, and write about what that character does when they start to suspect they have a monster in their closet.  Do they hide under the covers, challenge the monster, make friends with it?  (

Joshua lives with his grandparents.  His father’s parents, not his mother’s.  Joshua’s father lives and works in the capital city 250 kilometers away.  Work in the small town Joshua’s grandparents lives in is sparse and pays less than peanuts.  Joshua’s mother visits him when she remembers she has a son.  When she doesn’t remember, she tours the country with a dance troupe.

Joshua is only six.  He is only six because he wishes he was eight (at least) so that the bigger boys will ask him to join in their games.  Go back home they shout at him whenever he runs out of his house as they pass by on the way to the playground.  We only play with big kids.  You’re small!  Joshua glares at their backs as they leave wishing he was big.  Wishing he was eight.

His grandparents are too old to play with him.  When they try, they clutch their backs or rub their knees eventhough they’ve only been playing for 5 minutes.  Joshua’s grandparents are not good playmates.  Instead, they switch on the television, tune it to the cartoons, give him his bowl of cereal and tell him to sit still and watch.  Don’t go out to play.  If you run, we can’t catch you.  Stay here.

His grandparents are also not rich but they spend their pension buying Joshua toys that he can play with in the house.  Small metal cars with wheels that turn.  Tiny model aeroplanes that he pretends to fly.  A mini-castle that sits in the yard that Joshua climbs and pretends is his kingdom.

Joshua’s room is the biggest one in the house.