One dear reader responded to my recent character sketches with the concern that I was raising the bar for the significant others of those people I described. He voiced the idea that their spouses would have a difficult time expressing their tender feelings better than I had done. Another reader expressed the wish that she could put her thoughts into words in like manner.
My friends, I am no power pinching miser. I would that all could speak in such terms and I would hardly keep such techniques to myself. I have a degree in English Education and invite you to pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee or cocoa and let us discuss the method one takes in creating character sketches as I have published erstwhile.
Firstly, my dear friends, I would invite you to take a moment and indulge in some deep breaths and tell yourself you love yourself. We cannot extend powerful love to others if our own souls are in turmoil. The more peace we carry inside, the more we can offer to those we adore. Take a moment to breath out frustration and doubt, and breathe in excitement and an eagerness to learn something new.
Secondly, let us sit quietly for a moment and ponder the object of our affection. This can be a friend, a spouse, or anyone you desire to render this gift from your heart. Take your time; do not give yourself a time limit. You have all the time you need. One of the most important keys in this is patience. It will pay off in terms you never dreamed possible. As we ponder our beloved, let us remember that all people, no matter what they do, are children of God. All humans are eternal beings; thusly, we cannot possibly praise them too much or lift them too high. Each human soul is a creation of light and their glory is already there if we will look for it. No one is exempt from this all consuming fact. You can stretch your mind all the way to the dawn of time and find their existence there; you can reach forward several millennia and they will still exist in some form. This understanding proves paramount.
When we comprehend this, let us gaze at our object, and take notice of everything about them. Look upon them without judgment, and with compassionate love in your heart. Let any weakness or flaws pass out of your mind - for the moment they have none. Look only at the positive attributes. Notice the curve of their lips, the movement of their hair, the tenor of their voice. Allow the love within your spirit to reach out and touch theirs. If necessary, pray for the eyes to see them as God does. Again, take your time. Most of the people I described consumed my imaginative concentration for days before I ever began actually writing.
Now you are ready. Do not be afraid - there is no wrong answer. Pick up a pencil and start scribbling. Let anything you feel come out. If you want to edit later, you may, but for the moment, just write the things you notice. Focus your whole concentration on their sparkle in their eyes, consider the talents they possess, pull into the mix their trials and history. Just scribble. You don't need a formal introduction or powerful conclusion. When you feel that a last sentence finishes your thoughts, allow yourself to accept that as your ending.
We can edit if we like, though I would never consider it absolutely necessary. Affection is often best when perfectly genuine and raw. I only ever edit in order to learn more myself and sharpen my own skills. If I find I have employed the same descriptive more than once I may rethink it or pull out a dictionary or thesaurus.com to find a new word and add it to my own personal lexicon. I strive to avoid using the same descriptive word twice in any work of this kind.
What you do with your work is your own. Fear not - you may scrap it and start over. No one needs to know of your attempt except for you and God. You may read it, change it, hide it or keep it to yourself. But the best things come when you share those thoughts, imperfect though they are, with the person you respect enough to have described.