If you already know what’s going on, skip to “My Entry.” Otherwise, read on!
This piece is part of a game devised by Voice Week writer Yikici. Yikici had a theory that if you gave two writers the same character sketch and told them to write some dialogue for that character–without letting either writer see what the other had written–that their pieces would still be similar; the voice of the character would shine through.
She tested this by providing setting, background, and situation, then having her participating writers create two characters, and write a 200-300 word dialogue between them. Each writer would then send the character sketches to another participant, who would write another dialogue based on the same characters. She graciously invited me to join in on the last round–and I didn’t even have to write character sketches!
Yikici gave us this:
Setting: A small quiet village approx 200 miles from the nearest city adorned with thatched cottages and surrounded by vast empty fields. Not much happens here, except for their festival –the festival of colour, this happens once a year; tourists and families from afar visit, no one misses this event. This is the highlight of the year for the villagers; they prepare for this the whole year.
The Dialogue Prompts:
- No children live in the village.
- A child hides in a barn and stays after the festivities.
- Your character(s) interacts with the child.
- The child has a secret.
- Add a surprise of your own -in keeping with your character(s) profile.
I got character sketches from veteran InMonster Billie Jo. Click here to see the character sketches and the dialogue she wrote.
Yikici will be posting her thoughts, contrasts, and comparisons over the next couple of weeks. Catch up, keep up and offer your own opinions on her blog.
“Need any help?”
Hank looked up from packing up his unsold wooden animals to see the redheaded festival organiser bouncing on her heels.
“Haven’t you been here since dawn? You should go home. Get some rest.”
“Oh, I couldn’t possibly sleep for the next twelve hours, at least. I just get so excited about the festival. And being in charge this year, it’s even worse!” she laughed. “What do you call that?”
“An Iberian Lynx.”
“Beautiful. How do you think it went?”
“The festival of course. Was it as magical as ever?”
Hank sighed. “What flower is this that greets the morn, its hues from Heaven so freshly born? With burning star and flaming band it kindles all the sunset land.”
She gaped at him. “Did you write that?”
“It’s Oliver Wendell Holmes.”
“Oh. Your name is…Hank, isn’t it?”
“I’m Lucy Hale.”
“Honored to make your acquaintance, Miss Hale.”
“So it went well then? The festival?”
She smiled—she had a beautiful smile—and insisted on helping him carry the packed crates to his wagon in the barn. He was just turning to retrieve his horse when Lucy grabbed his arm.
Hank followed her gaze to a shadowed hole, from whence came a rustling noise.
“Probably just a rat…” he said, but just then, a much larger shape emerged.
It was a little boy.
The boy froze, as surprised to see them as they were to see him.
“Is…” Lucy whispered, “Is that…?”
“It’s a child,” Hank supplied. Lucy had probably never seen one.
The boy dashed for the door, but Hank was quicker, getting a hold of both the boy’s arms.
“Hey, now,” he said gently. “I won’t hurt you.”
Lucy knelt and inspected the boy’s face and fingers with wonder. “He’s so small!”
“Children generally are, yes. Where did you come from?” he asked the boy.
The boy glared at him and held his mouth shut.
“What are we going to do? Should we turn him in?”
“We can’t. Don’t you know what they’ll do to him?”
“But it isn’t his fault. Surely someone can make them see reason. My father—”
“No one can make them see reason.”
“Believe me. I know.”