Home > write365. > Day 3: character sketch.

Day 3: character sketch.

The preface of my last entry explained that I have an idea that is the object of my affection currently (he says, winking, licking his lips) and because I like it so much I wrote a terrible introduction for it. Well. That wasnt my intention, of course. Regardless, today the momentum for it started rolling slowly forward and the only bad direction a story can go is to a standstill. A character came to mind clearer today than he had ever seemed, so here he is:


Bill Ricketts is eight-three in his socks and his upperbody is hunched over like a tin stovepipe. Offstage he’s all save intimidating though: he walked with a stick—relies on it, truly; it hefts his considerable weight—of heavy oak because his bones are soft and, indeed, when in repose his quiet body looks wholly prepared to collapse. His knees are windswept and he walks—lumbering with a clumsy grace—hipshot. His role as a giant is nigh laughable for, attached like poorly conceived afterthoughts to his wide barreled chest, there are thin arms without definition, just sallow flesh. When shirtless you can see the boneknobby rachitic rosary beaded along his ribcage. Long bald bloodhound’s face. He speaks with a reserved authority and all who hear him are drawn to listen.


The idea is set in an oldtime carnival and burlesque show, and with it I want very much to peel back the lore of the like characters. Promoters like P T Barnum, Ringling, and Bailey made a fortune in the exploitation of freakshow performers like Joseph Merrick and Gen. Tom Thumb, and from the popularity of the traveling shows a certain mythology sprung up. Or—rather—the perception of these performers had the grease of nostalgia and myth smeared across its lens. My intention is to drag out the humanity, the good and bad and pathetic and exalted alike, from my stable of characters. Bill Ricketts here, I feel, has a very real potential to become a brilliant character in his many facets.

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