Writing About Significant People Print
Writing Workshops

 

Writing About Significant People

Besides yourself, choose three people central to your memoir.

One is well-known to you; another is a mystery; the third has a bit of both.

Choose one. Think of a particular time when you knew this person, especially if you’ve known him or her a long time. The more specific the better.

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Appearance description: Begin at the top of the head and describe him/her.

Add details as you go. Hairstyle, clothing, jewelry, skin tone, eyes, hands.

Action-based description: Put the person in motion.

List typical or habitual actions the person does.

Is there some peculiar way he or she acts? List a few of these.

Quotation/conversation:

Recall particular lines he or she invariably said.

Recall the most significant thing he/she ever said to you.

Think of a quick dialogue between you two: three back-and-forth lines.

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Anecdotes (characterization via action):

List three of the most important short events that happened between you two.

Write up one of these events and incorporate elements of the exercise above.

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What’s the emotional center of your relationship?

What would you like to discover about you and this person via writing about this relationship?