Characters based on shadows

Giulietta M Spudich
2 min readOct 7, 2022

This week’s Story Club, my young writer’s workshop in the cosy Hive room of Thrive cafe, featured moods and feelings. Uncomfortable feelings. Shadow feelings. We all have them.

Complex feelings like sending smiles through sadness.

A short discussion revealed expected contenders (anger, sadness, loneliness, jealousy). Complex feelings we have no name for also came out. These felt quite real and raw to me, and I was once again amazed by the eloquence and self-awareness of the young ones.

Uncomfortable feelings like:

  • Knowing you’re being seen as someone different than who you are.
  • Having a friend who isn’t nice but you feel you can’t say because they would be upset.
  • Having to keep a dark secret when the discussion is on that topic. (A mixture of guilt and something else, this was named ‘spotlightish’)
  • Being bullied.
  • Being presented with a cake in class for your birthday (with everyone watching). Seems a lot of people don’t actually like this!

As you can imagine, some awesome characters came out of this discussion. A spider-loving assassin who is fearless yet guilty. A loner who’s strength is standing up to people, and finds comfort in nature. A shy person who finds people difficult but can easily connect with animals. And an insecure person bragging about themselves and putting others down.

There were so many amazing, complex characters created who I would love to see in stories. And writing aside, I hope it was helpful to explore these feelings through creative writing.

Giulietta M Spudich

I am a children’s author and young writers' workshop leader. Give me a young/teen fantasy novel and a cup of coffee. Magic.