Monday, December 6, 2010

Character Sketch Competition Finished

Thank you Robhap for entering my competition. It was inspired by a book called “Australian Life: Black and White” by Rosa Praed. I was reading it as research for my own Irish Australian Colonial written at the same time as Rosa was writing about her experiences in Australia. Below are some of her character sketches which I loved:

"There are two kinds of drover, the rough, frank, ready-handed colonial, whose mental horizon is in ordinary life bounded by the stockyard fence, while the wildest flight of imagination never lands him beyond Sydney or Melbourne; and the English gentleman who has come down in the world, through drink or misfortune, and who shuns head stations, the society of ladies, and anything that calls back old associations."

"Of the former class, Duncan Campbell was a good specimen. He was long and scraggy, with arms and legs like the sails of a windmill, and a high Roman nose which he had a trick of polishing with his thumb and forefinger till it shone again. He always dressed in a Crimean shirt and riding breeches, and wore—at dinner only—an alpaca coat hastily donned and quickly doffed when the time came for tobacco and grog in the verandah. His voice blended oddly the native drawl and an hereditary Scotch accent."

"He was tall and melancholy-looking, with refined features, large dark eyes, a silky beard, and consumptive stoop. He wore a very old grey coat with half the buttons off, dragged over the chest in a suggestive manner as if to hide deficiencies."

"There came, too, another neighbour, a young lordling, a free selector on the river, the introducer of polo into the district, and of prize pigs and art pottery as features of bush life. He was variously addressed as “Your Lordship, Lord Barty, and Mr. Lord Barty,” professed to be a thorough-going radical and utilitarian, but was in reality as deeply imbued with caste prejudices as any stripling aristocrat could be."

And last, but by no means least…

"Jennie Marsden was a sweet little creature with big shy eyes, and dark curling hair. She had a keen sense of the ludicrous, and a fund of dry humour of which no one ever suspected her."

Great writing – at least in my opinion. I can see these characters so well. These little sketches are perfect for those secondary characters who come and go in the book.

Send me an email Rob to collect your prize and, for those who didn't enter a reminder - it's a book about the Art of Verbal Seduction... Just the ticket for a romance writer I think!

Zoe Y

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