Writing exercise 14: Portraying character

[After perusing Novakovich’s suggestions on how to portray character, I’ve attempted a quick sketch of a previous character using a combination of the methods referred to. I’ve been struggling for ages trying to figure out how to get a queer character out there without using the traditional pronouns.]

He looked over at his advisor, his companion, his comrade-at-arms, and most importantly, his best friend. Pietà’s brown eyes were focused entirely on the screen in front of them, headphones plugged in as they always were when the IT expert’s fingers danced to the tiptapping of computer coding. Half of his friend’s head was shaven to reveal the chocolate complexion beneath, while the other half seemed to sigh under the weight of floppy purple-dyed hair. The hairstyle brought a smile to his face as it served as a reminder of Pietà’s purposeful disregard for the ‘stupid, boring and unimaginative’ codes of conduct and dress for military officers. The IT expert also showed the same disdain for the use of male or female pronouns, preferring instead to be referred to as ‘they’ or ‘them’, a decision he respected completely. He was certain that if the code had demanded colour and flashy dress, they would go completely the other way, just to spite the authorities.


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