Start Writing Fiction – My Writer’s notebook

Develop a character

Jocelyn never concerned herself about what anybody else might think of her. I can still see her now, ever in motion, leaping effortlessly over the front gate and dashing up the path with her pigtails bouncing this way and that as the afternoon sun dances over her strawberry blond curls.  Brown as a berry, and dressed in a blue t-shirt and polka dot shorts that reveal scabs on both knees, she peers in the window to see who’s home, putting her face right up against the glass so that her nose and lips are squashed flat, her freckles magnified. Dashing around the side of the house, she sticks her head into the kitchen, putting her thumbs in her ears and twisting her hands while poking out her tongue at the boys, who are sat doing their homework.

“Look what the wind blew in!” says Steven, looking up from his algebra.

“More like a tornado,” says Mum, as Jocelyn sneaks up behind her on tippy toes, steals a cube of cheese from one of the bowls on the kitchen bench and quickly pops it into her mouth before Mum can protest. 

“I’m starving, what’s for dinner?” she asks with her mouth full, as she parks herself on the kitchen stool and looks down at her feet. Her canvas sand-shoes are more grey than white and the left foot has a frayed area which will soon become a hole.

“There won’t be any dinner if you keep stealing the ingredients, how was your game?” asks Mum

“I have to have a new pair of tennis shoes, Mum. Janet almost beat me today.”  She kicks the shoes off from the heels, being unable to undo the laces which have been tied in a permanent knot for lack of length.

“We’ll see…” says Mum

“Pretty please Mummy” she begs, as she jumps up and throws herself around Mum’s shoulders, landing a sloppy kiss on her cheek. “Pretty please”

Peter looks up from his homework and rolls his eyes at Brian.

She always got what she wanted.

As I said she was my sister, and I miss her. She was innocently beautiful, effervescent, and enthusiastic every minute of the day. She was exciting. She was exhausting.

A lot of the time I simply hated her. She was selfish and sucked the energy out of you.


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