This week, I’ve been studying the chapter of my creative writing coursework that covers characterisation. This is something that I’ve always struggled with and I admire any writer who is able to create characters who jump out of the page. Despite receiving praise for the characters I’ve created, such as Leger, the cat detective and Kevin, the swan, I still feel a bit baffled by it all. Even Jamie, the jam donut who falls in love with a chocolate eclair seemed to be taken to people’s hearts. I just don’t know how I did it, so this chapter is giving me an insight into what it was about those characters that people loved so much.
Here I’ve tried to take the stereotypical vain movie star and give her some complexities that explain why she pouts the way she does in photos and also, show her caring side. I called her Jennifer just because there seems to be a hell of a lot of Jennifers in showbiz.
Jennifer perused the various photographs, pictures of her posing and pouting. She never smiled for photo-shoots. She preferred her neutral expression. Her smile was too wide and she was plagued with memories of the boy she had liked at school calling her “monkey face.” She pulled aside a pile of pictures where she had only a hint of a smile in her eyes. She was close-lipped and wore enigmatic expressions. These were fit for public consumption. She handed them to the disposable assistant her agent had sent and got out of the car, slipping on a baseball cap and glasses with no lenses in to disguise herself.
Her bodyguard followed until she reached the entrance to the back-alley. There he stood, guarding and ensuring nobody would follow Jennifer. She always used the back door to this salon so she wouldn’t be seen when entering. Tiffany, the salon owner, was always kind enough to close the blinds when Jennifer visited. Despite her fame and privilege, Jennifer loved nothing more than visiting Tiffany. She was an old school friend of Jennifer’s mother and once a month, she received a deep conditioning treatment while Tiffany served up PG Tips and Jaffa Cakes from Poundland. They would chat while Tiffany’s three-year-old son, who had Down’s Syndrome, would sit on Jennifer’s lap. He would look at her with an admiration that was so different from her fans.
Today, the little man needed hugs more than ever. He was covered in chicken pox. Despite never having had chicken pox, Jennifer was keen to cuddle him as much as always and didn’t care one bit that she might catch it.