Character Sketch Exercise: Papa Joe Romano

At my character development workshop, we drew names out of a box and were asked write something about them.  I drew the name “Papa Joe Romano”.  This is what I wrote.

Papa Joe Romano had no children, but he did have a pizza shop, “Papa Joe’s Place” where you could get a large cheese pizza on Wednesdays for just $5.99.  Papa Joe’s nephew, Joey worked at the shop with him and was always trying to get him to modernize, to reach more customers, to diversify the menu.

“What I wanna DI-VER-SI-FY for?” asked Papa Joe, spitting out the word like it was an anchovy trapped in his teeth.  “I’m a pizza guy.  I sell pizza.  Cheese.  Pepperoni.  Sausage.  Pizza.  Plain and simple.”

But the neighborhood was changing.  Gentrification, they called it.  College professors and computer techs were buying up homes plumbers and policemen used to own.

“Say Joey,” asked Papa Joe one day.  “To DI-VER-SI-FY.  I don’t gotta put pineapple on the pizza, do I?”

pizza guy

“pizza guy” from Peter Hvid in My Photography

14 thoughts on “Character Sketch Exercise: Papa Joe Romano

  1. Bueno Tony, bueno! I could hear Papa Joe speaking. That last line fills in a whole heap of action, thinking and conversation even though they aren’t there.
    A favourite pizza here in Oz is an Hawaiian Pizza – tomato/BBQ sauce, diced ham, sliced onion, pineapple chunks, mozzarella cheese 🙂

  2. Character development is so much fun. This was great! You created a very vivid and unique portrait of Papa Joe Romano.

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