Here’s another way to create a character that might develop into a story. Jonathon Miller, the director, said that sometimes a prop, and a direction to handle or hold it in a particular way, could help an actor get a better sense of the character they were playing. The example he gave was a handbag, to be clutched tightly in both hands. I wondered what might work for younger writers and thought about pencil cases. Most school children have a pencil case of some sort and, for some, this can be a source of endless admiring and re-arranging. The kind of pencil case, also, says something about its owner – is the case pink and fluffy or a stout three layered construction, with loops to house pencils and a firm zip?
This piece of writing could be based on the writer’s own pencil case – a description, a list of contents and how they were acquired, a reflection on how they use the pencil case -like it, loathe it, or utterly indifferent?
It could call upon observation, noticing. It might be a description of someone else and their pencil case. Or, if you want to create fiction, it could be a combination of the two -imagining a character and their pencil case. This piece of writing could be in the third person, an introduction to the character by describing them with their pencil case. It could be a first person narrative, perhaps an extract from a diary.