Having completed week 1 of Future Learn’s Start Writing Fiction course, I thought I’d post up the snippets of work I’ve generated so far.

Fact & fiction

First up, there was a fun exercise in writing a couple of paragraphs. The first required 1 fact and 3 fictitious elements, while the second needed the opposite.

1 fact, 3 fictitious elements

The first manned moon landing was in 1969, crewed by an international team of American, Russian and Chinese astronauts. This scientific achievement was only possible due to the stable political situation in the late 60s, resulting in unprecedented cooperation between previously antagonistic nations. Given what followed, the collaborative missions of the 60s and 70s are remembered as a golden age for human exploration.

3 facts, 1 fictitious element

Norwich is unusual in that it includes two cathedrals (of different denominations) and is known for once having a pub for every day of the year and a church for every Sunday. Despite its abundance of churches it nevertheless is known as the least religious city in the UK, most likely as a result of the violent unrest and religious purges of the late 1980s.

Character study

The second and final task for week 1 was to create a character sketch based on real life observations. Here’s what I came up with:

Three times she appeared, riding into view with a billow of her harlequin coat and a burst of glorious patchwork clothing shining in the sun. She cycled past the library steps, ignoring the crowds and the lure of books, pedalling furiously from one side of the forecourt to the other and disappearing around a corner. Later that day she pushed her bicycle up the hill between the church and the fish and chip shop, lunching office workers gazing curiously at her fruitbowl attire. Garish, saturated reds and oranges and yellow and blues and purples, mauve trousers, a hat of equally audacious colouring and bold, shining green shoes. Still I did not see her face.

I waited at temporary traffic lights that evening, sky dipping and all of us ants anxious for home. Again she rode past, wheels squeaking and coat flapping vigorously as she willed the bike along, ignoring the lights and the cones and the trenches dug through the tarmac. As I sat with idle engine and watched the rainbow lady pass, it was then that she turned her head and gazed back upon me in all my drabness. I wondered what she would be when her colour faded.


I’m going to give myself a night off tomorrow before diving straight into week 2.

You can support this kind of post via my Patreon

hejyork · May 5, 2014 at 9:54 am

I really like your character profile

Leave a Reply