Character Sketch: Andrew

Character Sketch: Andrew
Image provided by Jim

I thought about writing about my Thanksgiving Day, but to tell you the true, it was kind of boring. There isn’t any reason to go into detail about why it was that way either. Instead, I did this character sketch as an exercise in descriptive narrative.


Andrew stands close to six feet, four inches. Although by today’s standards, this is just on the high side of the average height for a man, during his younger years, before he retired, he had been considered quite tall. His wide barrel chest gives him the appearance of being more overweight than he actually is. When he looks into a mirror, his assessment of himself is one of being a big fat pork sausage link. If you ask his best friend about his appearance, you’d be told he’s still in fine shape.

His hair is a mixture of gray and snow-white, and not much of it is left anymore. The baldness goes from his forehead to halfway down the back of his head, making his oversized ears stick out even more. What hair he has he braids into a ponytail that almost goes down to his shoulder blades. It’s a skinny thing, but he wears it proudly.

He worked at a lumber mill in the Smoky Mountains before his forced withdrawal from employment. He always wanted to work someplace else with the idea of the pay being better even though he knew the income he had brought home all those years was all there was to be had without a college degree. He works part-time now to supplement his small pension and the money he gets from Social Security. Working in the gardening section of a discount store makes him feel like the lowest of the menial. Yes, he despises this job. There’s no doubt about that. Still, he arrives on time for every shift he’s on, his gray eyes hiding his disgust with a twinkle because his wife has it in her head that she needs whatever someone else has. The money goes out as quickly as it come in.

Home for Andrew is an old ranch-style house that sits in a small valley outside of town. He finally put in a cement driveway last year thinking about how nice it would look and how easy the upkeep would be. Now he kicks himself for spending the money. He’s never had time for repairs needed around the property so  he knows the place is always going to branded as a dump.

His children have scattered to the big cities. The only time his wife and he hear from them is around the holidays. They’re much too busy to be bothered with the trivia of the homestead in the hills.


The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.Arthur Schopenhauer


6 thoughts on “Character Sketch: Andrew

    1. I really prefer to be a pantser when I’m working on a project, but even at that, the readers have to know some background about the characters if they’re going to have any inkling as to why they do what they do. This sketch had way too many passive verbs/phrases. This is a part of the writing skill I need a lot of improvement on.

      Although I like putting a lot of work into the characters (character based stories are my thing), if done right, it can flow with the story itself, which stops it from being so awkward.

      Liked by 1 person

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