Can we guess your character’s age? Blogfest Contest

This is my entry for Brenda Drake’s Blogfest contest. Can you guess the age of my character from the first 250 words of my WIP? with no more information…

Flushing the toilet with one hand, the other firmly gripping what remained of his toothbrush William dry wretched one last time before dragging himself to his feet.

He steadied himself against the cubicle wall. Then he stuffed the toothbrush into his jacket pocket.

He left the cubicle and stumbled across to the sinks. The weak lighting in the bathroom made his gaunt face seem all the more unhealthy as he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. He turned the taps on full and splashed water on his face. William shoved his mouth down into the blast of coldness to rinse the stench of vomit off his tongue and teeth.  Grasping blindly as the water blurred his vision he managed to pull some paper towels from the dispenser and blotted the remaining water from his stubble covered chin.

William retrieved his wallet from his jacket pocket and opened it. He removed a cling film packet, his credit card and a useless old twenty. He went back into the toilet cubicle and knelt, placing his wears on the lid. He opened the cling film packet and proceeded to cut the white powder with his credit card. When there were two neat lines he returned the card to his wallet. He then rolled the twenty into a tight tube. Placing the twenty to one nostril and finger against the other he took in one line, sniffed, rubbed his finger under his nose then took in the other line.


24 comments on “Can we guess your character’s age? Blogfest Contest

    • Thanks for your guess Janet, I can’t reveal until the contest ends, but interesting that you switched from teenager to thirty!? What made you change? 🙂

  1. Mid to late 20s–seems like he might have a hangover? Sounds pretty gritty!

    Also, you probably meant his “wares” on the toilet lid rather than “wears.” 🙂

  2. I’d say about 33. He doesn’t come across as a teenager, but in that almost still young man, not quite an adult phase.

  3. Guessing twenties?
    A quick editorial note–you have seven sentences that begin with “He” which flatten the prose a bit. Spice it up and you’ve got yourself a nice, gritty story. 😉
    Good job and good luck!

  4. Well, obviously adult because of the cubicle, and he needs to have the money for the drugs, so I’m going with early thirties.

    You might want to look at the flow a little bit. It has a hint of “he did this and he did that”. I thought I did a Manuscript Rejection post about this, but I can’t find it. I’d just give that paragraph a little love to make it flow better. Good lluck!

  5. Dry ‘wretched’ should be ‘retched’. The two fragment sentences that compose the second paragraph are choppy and draw me out of the story, so I might combine them and keep them in the first paragraph. Too many of the sentences start with ‘he’ or ‘William’, and the repetitive style was distracting to me. I might rework most of the sentences to start with something different, so they’re less common. As for the age, I’m guessing between 25 and 27. Good luck! =)

  6. He definitely sounds like an adult…not sure where he is..maybe a bar or club..a public bathroom. I’m gonna guess 26.

    My one comment..when I read “cling film packet’ I was confused. Really had no clue what it was until I read on. I liked the line “a useless old twenty.” Shows me in very few words that this is set in the future…dystopian society maybe. Great job!

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