MODULE 3 ASSESSMENT: CRAFT COMPELLING CHARACTERS

Write a short story (aimed at any age group within the children or YA genre) but your story must include the child in this photo. Remember, it is quite a short story, as you have a maximum of 1000 words. 

I was quite happy with this assignment, as I loved the cheeky little boy photo, he reminded me of my grandson!

My answer:

Archie was always getting in trouble.  He liked to splash in puddles when he didn’t have his wellies on, he liked to take his shoes off when his mummy had just put them on him, he liked to put his hands in his dinner and squidge them up and down and he loved to jump up and down on his mummy and daddy’s bed.  

One day, Archie had been particularly naughty and his mummy and daddy put him upstairs in his bedroom, mummy had said to him, “Stay in there until you can become a good little boy.”

Archie was confused by this, he didn’t want to be a good little boy, so he decided to stay in his room forever.

He looked around at his room, his books were stacked neatly on the shelf, his toys were packed away nicely in their box and his bed looked very snuggly as it had just been made.

Archie took out his colouring pencils, but after colouring in some pictures for a while, he got bored of that without his mummy sat next to him and colouring in too.

He set up his train track, it was hard without his daddy to help him, he sort of managed it, but when he let the train go, it sped up the train tracks and crashed when it ran out of train tracks.  Archie picked up the train which now had a bent funnel. He was sad as this was his favourite train.

Archie went over to his bookshelf and chose a book, The Gruffalo, his mummy would read it to him before he went to sleep, but not this time, she wasn’t there. Archie tried to read it to himself, but he didn’t like doing that, he liked his mummy reading it to him and when he tried to turn a page, it ripped. Archie was upset as this was his favourite book.

He went to his toy box in his bedroom, it was full of cars, fire engines, trucks and diggers. He took out a few to play with, making the different sounds they made, but by himself it was a little boring. Usually his daddy would play cars with him, they would set up the car mat and drive through pretend cities and towns. Archie loved it when his daddy played with him, it made him feel very special.

Archie sat down on his bed, his legs dangling over the side, he could play hide and seek and so he jumped off the bed and hid underneath the bed waiting for mummy or daddy to find him. But after a little while he realised that they wouldn’t be coming, they didn’t know he was hiding as he was in his bedroom alone.

Archie was very sad, being in his bedroom by himself wasn’t as much fun as he thought it was going to be and he missed his mummy and daddy.

He opened the bedroom door and went to the top of the stairs, behind the stair gate, he could hear his mummy and daddy downstairs talking as they were making lunch. Archie shouted, “I’m sorry mummy and daddy, can I come downstairs now?” The talking stopped downstairs and his mummy appeared at the bottom of the stairs, “What are you doing, Archie, you should be in your bedroom,” she scolded him. “I don’t want to be in my bedroom any more, I’m sorry I’ve been naughty, I’ll be good from now on.”

With that, mummy came upstairs and opened the stair gate, “Give mummy a hug,” she said to him and Archie immediately hugged her.

That afternoon he coloured in with his mummy, played with his train set and cars with his daddy, played hide and seek with both of his parents and at the end of the day, mummy mended The Gruffalo book and read it to him until he fell asleep.

Now Archie was never an angel, he was a normal small boy who sometimes  liked to jump in puddles without any wellies!

Using the photo below, write a short story about this character. Creative interpretation is welcome, but do not extend the word count. Maximum 500 words. 

The challenge for this assignment was to write a story not exceeding 500 words, so a short, snappy story was what was required.

My answer:

It was nearly time for Connor to leave to go to the concert. He couldn’t remember when he last felt this excited about anything at all. He’d listened to their music for as long as he could remember and couldn’t quite believe that he was going to see them actually perform in person.

“Connor, will you sit still,” his mother asked him, they were sat on the train and he couldn’t hide his excitement. He looked at his watch, “Only two hours to go and I’ll be listening to those songs on my iPod live.”

The concert venue was packed with children about the same age as Connor, they were all equally as excited and had parents in tow whose faces did not display the same amount of excitement as their children’s.

You could feel the excitement grow as the stadium gradually filled up. Connor had purchased the programme, ignoring his mother’s protests that £8 was far too much money, he had saved his money for exactly this occasion.

As they sat in their seats the fans did their best to entertain themselves, stamping their feet on the ground, creating a Mexican wave, booing the section of audience who didn’t join in. A voice announced that there was only ten minutes to go…

Connor jumped up in his seat, strained his neck to see if he could see any movement on the stage, no, not yet.

Then the band struck the first chord, the first chord of one of their most popular songs, the crowd immediately started to sing, Connor did as well, shouting out the lyrics as loud as his voice would let him.  His mother sat next to him, swapping glances with the other mothers, all wondering how they had let their children talk them into this.

The band came on stage, it was almost too much to bear for Connor, he let out a very loud, “Whoop, whoop, whoop,” and danced on the spot. After what seemed like an eternity for Connor, the lead singer popped up from a trap door in the stage, grabbed the microphone and started singing. 

The mothers couldn’t contain themselves any longer, gone were the strained faces, the bored glances at each other, up they jumped, dancing and singing with their children.

Everyone had a wonderful time, they all danced to every song and sang every word to each song and on the way home Connor stole a look at his mum’s iPhone, yep, every single song by his group was on there!

Using the characters given as examples under "A secret", write full character profiles for (a) Thomas and (b) Janey.
A Secret
Thomas, the eight-year-old, has to keep his older brother's secret drink habit from their parents, as he is scared of the consequences.
Janey knows her mum's holiday plans and is trying very hard to keep the secret from her father, who works too many hours. 

This is something that i’ve not done before, I have in my mind what my characters are going to be like, but never actually written it down before, which I think I will do in the future.

My answer:

Thomas is an eight year old, who is older than his years, he feels a responsibility towards his family, he is a worrier and feels like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. He tries to please his parents all the time, as he wants to belong to a big happy family, he is worried that they will discover his big brother’s drinking habit. He is a clever boy and his parents favour him above his older brother. He enjoys normal eight year old boy activities, he plays football for his school and likes playing computer games. Thomas is small for his age, has short blonde hair and blue eyes.

Janey is a 12 year old girl, she is medium height, has brown hair which is normally tied back ino a tight pony tail. She is a good student and has lots of friends at school. She is a happy-go-lucky child, who is very close to her parents. She spends a lot of time with her mother as her father works long hours. She doesn’t like to keep anything from her parents, but when she found out that her mother was taking them away on holiday, she knew this was a good secret and that her dad deserved a holiday. She is outgoing and cares about animals and enjoys horse riding.

Your Grade: 100%

Your Mark: Distinction

So that’s Module 3 completed – I have had a sneaky peak at Module 4 and it’s definitely a step up from what I’ve been doing so far.

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