For both of the following writing challenges, find someplace to park yourself, unobtrusively, for at least half an hour. This can even be on a towel by the pool:)
Vacation writing challenge: CHARACTER - Goal: Three (3) individual character profiles
For this challenge, choose a location with plenty of people coming and going, but not so many that it becomes difficult to hone in on individuals. You'll want at least 15-20 people interacting in a 30 minute period, so you have plenty of potential subjects. Each chosen subject should be very different (ages, genders, nationalities, physicality, etc.).
Think of yourself as the only witness to a crime and this is your one chance to describe a suspect to authorities. For each chosen character, jot down what you can obviously observe about the following:
2. Approx. height and weight
3. Build (stocky, thin, etc.)
4. Approx. age
5. Skin tone, hair color/style, eye color, etc.
6. Likely nationality
7. Most notable physical feature
8. Speech patterns/physical mannerisms
9. Describe clothing/uniform
Now, take the challenge one step further. Using visual and/or verbal cues, attempt to answer the following about each character:
1. Where have they just been and/or where are they going?
3. Married? single? family situation?
4. Give your character a name!
Vacation writing challenge: SETTING - Goal: One (1) paragraph description of a setting
For this challenge, choose any location with plenty of sensory impact.
Explain what you can easily observe about the following:
1. What do you see within 3 yards? 10 yards? Beyond 10 yards?
2. What about this setting is most visually interesting?
2. Close your eyes and concentrate on the sounds around you (nature? man-made?).
3. Open your eyes and attempt to identify the sounds you just heard.
4. Close your eyes and concentrate on the smells around you.
5. Open your eyes and attempt to identify those smells.
6. Write a paragraph, of no less than 100 words, describing your setting.
Guaranteed ... one of these characters or settings is bound to turn up again at some point in your writing. I'd bet my vacation on it!