The People of London

From Londonhua WIKI

The People of London

by Andrew Kacherski

The People of London
Milestone Image
Big Ben and Parliament
Photo Credit Andrew Kacherski


The people of London are very diverse. Being such a large city, people are drawn to it from all over the world. I have always been curious about people and make it a point to learn their life story. In this project. I am going to create their backstory for them. I will observe their current behavior and use different creative writing styles, literary devices, and voices to write pieces about their backstory. I will write stories about someone you are likely to encounter during your day in London and use demographic information to make the story more believable.


In this project, I will research the demographics of the population of London, and create creative writing pieces about an "average" man, woman, and busker. This milestone is meant to entertain those reading them. The stories are completely fictional, including the names. Other people have written stories about someone's life, but in my stories, I use demographic information to make them more believable. I will also use different writing styles to make the stories differ from each other, making them more intriguing for the reader. I also incorporate literary devices to add layers of depth to my writing. At WPI, I have taken WR 2010, which I found to be an extremely useful course. I liked it so much I decided to complete my capstone in writing.

Section 1: Background

London Demographics


The ethnicity of London is very diverse. According to the 2011 census, 37% of people in London were born outside of the United Kingdom. As you move out of central London, the demographics change. The percent of people of a certain ethnicity ranges from 6%-23%. For example, in one area of the city, 23% of the people living there are Asian. In a different part of the city, only 6% of the people living there are Asian. This pattern suggests that different nationalities tend to live with others who are the same ethnicity as them; this is evident in areas such as Chinatown. Between the years 1981-2011, 2,587,066 people have migrated from the Middle East and Asia to London. This group of migrants is significantly larger than groups migrating from other countries. In London, 49% of people are White and are from the UK. The next largest ethnicity in London is Black/African/Caribbean with 7% percent. The reason for this drastic difference is because the UK consists of Britain, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. These countries much closer to London than the Caribbean and Africa, making these people more likely to move to London[1].

The ethnicity of a population changes with each generation. Graphs from the census show how different age groups have different population percentages. In the 25-29 year-old category, most people were from Pakistan. In the 45-49 year-old category, most people were from the Caribbean[2].


London has a younger age profile than the nine other core cities in the United Kingdom. There are 832,966 people living in London that are between the ages 25-29; making it a fairly young city and the largest age group. The second largest age group is 30-34 years old, which has a population of 796,888. Together this means around 20% of the population of London is between the age of 25-34. Another interesting fact is there are more children aged 0-4 than there are adults aged 45-49. This means that a lot of younger people starting families in London. There are also a lot of students in the city. In London, there are over 350,000 students. The majority of students live in London during their terms but move back to counties such as Cornwall, Devon, Oxford, Berks, and Yorkshire while they are not studying[3].


According to a 2011 census, there are 4,033,289 males living in the city of London. They are very well spread out throughout the city residing in 32 boroughs. Croydon has the most men, with 176,224, but there are many boroughs that are close behind. According to the same census, there are 4,140,652 females in London. They are also very well spread out with the majority residing in Croydon (187,154). There are also many boroughs that have almost as many women as Croydon[4].


The population of London, as of 2011, is 8,173,941.The largest borough in London according to the census is Croydon with 363,378 residents. Croydon also has one of the lowest weekly rents in all of London[5]. This borough was also home to the famous Charles Dickens. Another borough is Newham. It has a population of 307,984. According to the 2011 census data, it is one of the poorest boroughs of London. It has a mean income of £22,000 per year. The mean salaries of the other boroughs are between £30,000 and £60,000. This makes it the poorest area in the United Kingdom. The area in London with the lowest weekly rent in Ilford, Its median rent is £90, £30 below the London average. In the city of London, the type of housing is split almost in half. 1,686,116 households lived in flats while 1,580,057 households lived in houses. According to the map, as the property gets closer to the center of London, the number of flats increases. Also as one gets closer to the center of London, the number of shared dwellings increases. It caps out at 5% in Kensington and Chelsea. A shared dwelling is when two or more unfamiliar people share a house or apartment. Over the past 10 years, Inner London has experienced a 20% increase in population. According to a GLA projection, the population will reach 9,203,000 by the year 2021[6].


In London, 3,998,897 people have jobs that were reported to the census [7]. This number is probably higher because some people do not fill out the census, or have jobs that are off the books. If this is true, then over half of the population is has a job. The percentage of people who are unemployed is around 5%[8]. This makes it very likely that if you talk to someone in the street, they will have a job. The occupation that dominates the population is professional occupations: 24% of the men in London work in a professional occupation and 25% of females work in professional occupations. A professional occupation is an occupation that requires a formal education (universities). These are jobs such as bankers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc. The biggest jobs in London are Construction, Health, and Finance. The average weekly pay for a person in London is around £500. The number of public sector jobs has been steadily decreasing over the past few years so people are turning to the private sector for employment. Due to the rise in the cost of living, the number of hours that people are working per week has also been a steady increase over the past few years. In London, there are a lot of women who own/run businesses in London. 27% of women own/run a real estate company, 18% own/run a health and social work site, and 16% own/run wholesale sites. The statistic that stands out to me is that 5% of women own/run restaurants or hotels[9]. This may not sound like a lot only 3% of men own/run hotels or restaurants. That means two out of every three hotels or restaurants are owned/run by women.

Types of Writing

For my stories, I will use two different styles of essay writing. There are four main kinds of essay writing but for this situation, I feel these two types of essays will elicit the best result. The other types of essays will not work for the style of these pieces. Below I will discuss how to identify each piece.


A narrative essay can be simply described as an essay in which the author tells a story. The author gives detailed information regarding the subject of discussion and provides the story in an organized way [10]. These pieces of writing are often (but do not have to be) anecdotal, experiential and personal. Narratives can recall on the authors' personal experiences. They allow the author the author to express themselves in a creative way. One of the best ways to reveal who you are is to write about how you became aware of something. This happens through encountering new experiences and ideas. Narratives provide human interest and draw the reader in for more information[11]Narratives can also be used to tell an underlying message. Below in my story about a man you may encounter, I use the narrative writing style. This is evident from the first person point of view, recalling of personal experiences, and the underlying message. In my narrative, I used literary devices to add to the plot of the story and make it more interesting for those reading my story. In my narrative, I used devices such as Personification, conflict, Deus Ex Machina, Epilogue, and Flashback. Each of these devices adds a layer of detail that allows the main character to become more human. I used personification to give the smoke action and create a metaphor. The metaphor is about his smoking addiction. The conflict can be seen throughout the story as him versus his negative thoughts. Deus Ex Machina is a common literary element, although most may not know it by name. It is the introduction of a character to resolve a problem in the plot. In my narrative, the character that does this is the little boy on the train. After he is introduced, Graham did not have any negative thoughts. The conflict seemed to be over. The epilogue is located at the end of the three stories and adds an unexpected twist. The flashback can be seen when he sees the woman by the river and reflects about his ex-girlfriend. It explains why he was not able to talk to the girl as he walks by. I feel that these literary devices add to the plot of the narrative and allow the reader to connect more with Graham. Without the use of theses devices, the story would simply be a recap of events, nothing that anyone would want to read.


Implied by its name, a descriptive essay is a genre of essay in which the author is describing something--an object, person, place experience or emotion. This is usually the author describing a particular experience or situation in time. This style allows for a ton of artistic freedom as the goal of this style is to allow the reader to paint a vivid image in their head [12]. The overall aim is to make sensory details vividly present to the reader [13]My stories about the woman and the busker are written using a descriptive style. They both describe experiences throughout the character's life in a particular situation in time. The stories allow the reader to picture the story in their mind as the read it. In these pieces, I used literary devices such as Allusion, Epilogue, Alliteration, Point of View, and Simile. The allusion can be seen in the busker story when he sings "Bohemian Rhapsody." Epilogue can also be seen at the end of the three stories. I did a combined epilogue for all the stories. The alliteration can be seen when Rebecca is on the bus when the "wind whips." The third-person point of view allows me to tell it as a story. It reinforces the idea that these stories are made up. Similes are my favorite literary device. They compare things using like or as and can often add so much to a story. They can make the reader compare an object to something to make the description clearer and give the reader a more vivid picture. In my busker story, I say his "[voice] sounds as though he swallowed glass." This gives the reader a vivid description as to how his voice sounds.

Why I Chose These Types

The four main kinds of essays are narrative, descriptive, expository, and argumentative. For my stories below, I used the narrative and descriptive styles. These stories allow for the most creative elements to be used in the stories. In an argumentative essay, the main point of the body should be to argue a point and convince the reader that the author's view is correct and the other view is wrong. Since I am telling a story of someone's life, and not arguing any points or trying to convince someone, I could not use this style of writing. The main point of these stories is to entertain through a fictional account of someone's life, not to argue a point. I also did not use an expository style. In this style, the author is researching and investigating an idea, similar to a research paper. This style also makes the author take a stance on the idea to persuade the reader in an argument. Since I am not researching any ideas in my background stories, I could not use this style either.

Section 2: Deliverable

Writing the People of London
Milestone Image
Writing in Action
Photo Credit Emily McEachern

Why Did I Tell You This?

I will use census and demographic information to make my stories more believable. By incorporating these elements, it will make the story appear to be more realistic. Specifying gender, age, and ethnicity before I write my story will allow me to find a person I believe fits these criteria. Then using information such as the type of dwelling and where there from, I can accurately tell a story about their past. This is just to show the break-up of the population and the probability of running into someone who fits these criteria during your day. Please note that these stories may not portray the "average" Londoner. They are meant to represent the type of person you are likely to see if you spend time in London. The characters are only average in their appearance.


Throughout my time here, I have seen a lot of well-dressed men. They are always wearing nice suits and watches. I was walking by Saint Paul's Cathedral one day and noticed the London Stock Exchange nearby. Seeing all those men in very expensive suits had me wondering what their everyday life was like. I passed by a lot of men at this time but one man stood out to me. He was well dressed, smiling, but had seemed as though something was bothering him. I am going to call him Graham and here is his backstory: (Disclaimer: I am writing through the eyes of Graham.)

When I woke up, my alarm sounded louder and more obnoxious than usual. I knew it was like this every day so I just attributed it to my desire to sleep a little more. I was only 31 but I felt as though I was 60. I had already hit the snooze button 4 times and decided if I hit it one more time I would be late for sure. In my line of work, you can not be late. Meetings with clients, conference calls, and paperwork dictates my schedule. I rolled out of bed lethargically, as I do every morning. I got combed my hair, looked at my pale self in the mirror, got dressed and went off to work.

My flat was about a kilometer from the tube station so it was a ten-minute walk. It was much bigger than the flat where I grew up in Croydon. I have a car, but in a city like London, it’s faster if you just take public transportation. I bought this car thinking it would help me somehow. Society has always perceived rich people differently than everyone else, with expensive cars, big houses, and extravagant parties. We are seen as having everything in our lives put together. For a while, I had thought this too. We have a high-paying job, nice flat, and probably tons of friends. When I bought my car, it cost me £300,000, when I bought my flat it cost me £1.2 million and I assumed the friends would soon follow. I assumed wrong. I was just as lonely as before I purchased these things. Granted, I had “mates” who would hang out with me and spend my money. But when I ask them to do things like go and watch a football match at the pub, they are always too busy or not around.

I get on the central line and become a strap hanger, just as everyone else does during rush hour. I am a personal wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs. I never excelled at English in school but I loved numbers so I decided finance would be where my talents would be put to best use. I see the usual cast of characters on the tube: the woman with the screaming baby, the man who looks as though he just finished up an overnight shift, and men and women who are going off to start their day. I usually tune them out with headphones and a few games I have downloaded on my phone. It makes the ride a little more tolerable. It helps to distract me from the heat of the train car during this time of year. The beating sun and the sheer number of people on the train make it feel as though I am in a sauna. I noticed off to my left a teenager who was checking out my suit. He also complimented my watch. This kid has an appreciation for nice clothes. In the window of the train behind him was a reflection of his cellphone screen. He was texting someone with a heart next to their name, probably a girlfriend. I wish I had someone.

I finally get to St. Paul’s station and squeeze my way through the crowd of people. I always hated large crowds. Luckily the building was a short walk from the station. The cooler air was refreshing. I made it into work and sat down to start my day. I checked my email and found one from a man named Saad. He was from somewhere in the Middle East. His father was a big name in the oil industry. Saad had recently purchased a vacation flat in Kensington. I oversee Saad’s accounts. “Ow Goddammit,” I said as I spilled my cup of coffee all over my hand, that’s what I get for picking it up too fast. Pippa, my assistant overfilled the cup again. I asked her numerous times not do this but she doesn’t seem to get it. I eventually just learned to accept it. Saad is always asking if he can afford some ridiculously expensive toy like a yacht or something similar. All day I receive emails similar to the one from Saad. Everyone expects me to be able to double their money or tell them exactly what to do with their money. It's getting stressful doing this all the time.

On my lunch break, I walk down to Borough market. This was a nice walk from my building on Fleet Street but it got me out of the office for a little while. It helped me use my full hour for lunch. On my way down I use my vaporizer. I quit smoking a few weeks ago because I realized how much damage the tar does. I still miss the taste of it sometimes. It helps me to relax a little before I go back to work. As I exhaled, the cloud seemed to swirl around me and take hold of me, similar to how this habit has taken a hold of me.

I had just taken the stairs down from Blackfriars Bridge and was walking along the Thames when I see this beautiful woman with long brown hair. She was average height, had light eyes and an amazing smile. She reminded me of my ex-girlfriend Evelyn. We had met in my office. She came in as a consultant one day and we hit it off. We dated for close to six months before we had to part. We both had too many skeletons in our closet. As much as we tried to make it work, it only did more harm than good. Thinking about Evelyn put a damper on my mood. As I got closer I could barely muster up a smile, let alone the courage to talk to her. We passed going opposite ways, most likely never to cross paths again. I got to Borough Market and I passed all kinds of food stands: Fish and Chips, Pad Thai, Caribbean. Nothing seemed that interesting so I grabbed a lamb wrap and sat down on a bench. I could hear the busker playing, and everyone was nodding along while they ate. I said to myself, “Wow he has it made. He gets to come out and make people happy with his music for a living. I finished up my wrap and decided to head back to work.

I enjoyed the walk along the river. The view of the buildings, the tourists taking selfies, people walking their dogs all brought some joy to my day. I always replay that scene from Harry Potter on Millennium Bridge when I walk by. I got back to my office and it was the same situation. I looked up and saw my diploma hanging on the wall. In university, I was shallow. I only looked at degrees that made a lot of money. My friends and I from upper school always saw this as the pinnacle of life. I never once thought what degree would get me a job I would be happy doing for the rest of my life.

After another mundane day of work, I started my trek back to the tube station. Being crammed into a metal tin like sardines was one of my favorite things. That was sarcasm in case you didn’t read it that way. I was fortunate and found a seat in one of the front cars of the train. Next to me was a little boy who couldn’t have been older than seven. He noticed I was playing with my fidget spinner. I had seen them on Facebook about six months ago and they claimed to help with concentration. So, I ordered one thinking it would help me to concentrate at work, it does not. Now they’re sold at every souvenir store and street vendor in the city and almost every child I see has one. I’m surprised this one does not. As I spun it he reached over and touched my arm. He asked me if I wanted to see a “cool trick.” Being intrigued I said sure and handed it to him. He spun it and was able to balance it on his nose. I laughed and told him how impressed I was. His mother was on the other side of him and just looked over at us and laughed. We talked about his school and what he wanted to do when he got older. He asked what I did and I told him I manage people’s money. He said, “I want to be rich when I'm older.” I just laughed and thought to myself “No you don’t kid.” The boy and his mother got off at the next stop. Why couldn’t all people be as pure as a child? Realizing I had a large smile on my face, It quickly faded so that I wouldn’t look weird to the other people on the train. I got off at the stop after and made my way home. Mentally preparing myself to do the same thing again tomorrow.


Today I went over to Shoreditch for some cookie dough from this cool place in Old Street tube station. I did not realize that they had opened up shop the day prior and how much of a hipster area it was in. I loved it. As I was paying I talked to the seemingly happy cashier and realized she was the owner. Here is her backstory:

Rebecca was born in New York City in 1992. She was average height, had long brown hair, and light eyes. Her family lived in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Her dad was a bus driver for the MTA and her mom was a teacher at P.S. 119 in Brooklyn. Rebecca always enjoyed being in the kitchen and helped her mom and grandmother cook. She was always told she had a real talent but she just dismissed it as flattery as people were eating her cooking. When she reached high school, she began to consider the culinary field. Rebecca wasn’t sure so the thought of culinary school came and went. She knew she wouldn’t be able to go to school right away so took a few years off to work and save up. When she had enough to get started, she looked around at schools and decided she would attend Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island.

While she was there she heard about a program over the summer to go to Paris, France and learn to perfect dessert baking. Rebecca always had a sweet tooth and figured she would be paying off her student debts for a long time anyway, what’s an extra couple thousand dollars? She signed up and that summer she was going to the city of love. She baked all kinds of desserts: macaroons, Crème Brulee etc.

One day after she was done for the day, her and her friend Aimee from Johnson and Wales, who had come on the program too, were in the mood for cookies. As chefs do they changed the recipe they had found in a French cookbook to make it taste better. Everyone knows when you bake cookies, you have to try some of the dough. They were surprised when it was the best cookie dough they have ever had. They laughed to themselves and ate the rest of the bowl. They didn’t even bother baking any cookies. The friends finished up their program and Aimee was going back home. Rebecca hadn’t had many opportunities to travel so she figured while she was over here she may as well make use of it. She had taken the Eurostar to London and decided she would plan the rest of her trip from there. When she arrived she absolutely fell in love. She had missed the modern, big city, feel since she had been away from New York for the past ten months. She loved the culture, people, and city. Granted she wasn’t a big fan of the weather but it was something she could learn to live with. She may have been thinking impulsively, but she decided she wasn’t leaving. She loved this city more than anything and decided she could find work, despite not finishing her program. Rebecca was able to find a flat in Ilford. It was the area with the cheapest rent in London that she could find on such a short notice.

Later she found a job at a local bakery that had a storefront in Clerkenwell but did a lot of their business at food markets. They would set up a stand and sell all the leftover pastries from yesterday. They would always tell the customer they were made that morning but anyone with half working taste buds could see through that lie. Rebecca worked here for about a year until her and a few of the girls she worked with went out to celebrate her 27th birthday. They were talking about how much they wished an ice cream place was open at this hour and then someone mentioned cookies. This made Rebecca have a flashback to the cookie dough her and Aimee made in Paris. That’s when the idea dawned on her; she should open up a cookie dough place. She found an open retail location in Old Street tube station. It was in Shoreditch which was a very eclectic place. Having grown up in Greenpoint, she was surrounded by hipsters. She was comfortable in Shoreditch and loved the idea of opening a store there. She knew how much a few of her friends hated working at that bakery so she pitched the idea to them about coming to work for her. They were instantly on board. Feeling confident, she signed the lease the following week and they were in business.

As she took the double decker bus back to her flat, she couldn’t help but second-guess her decision. Not just about opening the store, but leaving her school and family across the pond. She just attributed this to nerves and focused back to her twitter feed. She couldn’t sleep. She had a mix of nervous and excitement building up inside of her.

After about two weeks of renovations, her store was open for business. She had advertised on Facebook. This was a very hipster area and everyone had social media so she figured this would be more effective than a website. Plus it was free. Her first day open she sold out of cookie dough within the first two hours. She had no choice but to close up for the day until she could make more dough. She couldn’t have imagined her store doing this well. She was trending on all kinds of social media as people were taking pictures of the fun flavors and sharing it with their friends. “She had finally become famous!” she thought to herself. She shortly realized that no one knew who she was. Everyone knew about her business. She planned had a plan set in place if her business were to do well. She would save as much as possible. Then, if she found a nice man, stay in London. The male to female ratio is about 1:1 so she had her hopes up that she could find a man. Or if when the trend dies down, she would use the money she saved to go back home and finish her degree. She thought about this as she was on the bus into the city. She was grabbing lunch with a few friends near Borough Market at a new Japanese restaurant to celebrate her store’s new success. She couldn’t help herself from smiling all day long. The wind whipped through the windows outside as she traveled there.


As I walked through Blackfriars station on my way to get some bubble-waffle ice cream, I heard a busker playing such an iconic song I identified it from just a few notes: Wonderwall by Oasis. As I looked around to hear where it was coming from, I expected to find a teenager with a speaker. But surprisingly I was greeted by a man who looked to be about 27 years old with a microphone, acoustic guitar, and open guitar case in front of him. The quintessential busker. He looked very familiar and it did not hit me until I was on the tube back to my flat where I recognized him from. He worked at the coffee shop I had gone to earlier to work on my second milestone. Here is his back story:

I wasn’t able to catch the man’s name so for my story so I am going to call him Phil. Growing up, Phil had everything given to him. His parents were very wealthy; his father owned a construction company and his mother was a surgeon who came to London from the British Virgin Islands in her 20’s for medical school. They had met at a modern art exhibition. Early on, Phil found a deep appreciation for the arts. He loved to sing and perform. With his parents being very wealthy and connected individuals, Phil got accepted into the Westminster Abbey Choir School. Being so young, Phil did not understand how big of an honor it is to be one of thirty boys accepted into the school. He spent the next five years of his life singing in the evensong, masses, and even Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee. He could not have been happier. He was performing and doing what he loved. When he was 13, he began to go through puberty. This was also the cutoff age for the choir school for the same reason. Having gone to the Westminster Abbey Choir School, Phil was easily accepted into the Theatre and Music program at St. Paul’s School. He did well in school and had a lot of friends. Being at an all-boys boarding school did not help Phil’s chance of getting a girlfriend.

As Phil got older, his parents tried to convince him to pursue a degree that gave a more stable career such as Business, Finance, or Medicine. "But I do not enjoy those things!" He would always say. "I want to do something I enjoy. Not just something that will make me a lot of money." He wanted nothing to do with those professions because he didn’t want to be ‘just like his parents.’ The pushing of him towards these professions agitated him. Being a resentful teenager who knows everything, he decided that he was going to spite his parents and go to drama school. With an impressive list of schools on his resume, Phil was able to get accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His parents did not support his decision and decided that they were not going to pay for his university and they would not give him any more money. They had good intentions; they planned for him to see how hard it was to be an actor and come back to them and change his degree focus. Instead, Phil saw it as his parents were turning their backs on him and he resented them ever since. With no source of income, Phil became a mix of a starving artist and a broke college student. His third year of schooling, Phil had to pick up a part-time job as a barista at Knockbox Coffee to help pay for his student loans. He intended for this to be a temporary job until he graduated from his program then would be a top prospect for acting work.

Graduation came and went and Phil had a very important audition lined up. It would be a supporting role for a musical at the Royal National Theatre. His audition was singing and dancing, something he had been doing for as long as he could remember. It was very important that he makes it to this audition because it was being conducted by a highly-respected director and his word has been known to carry a lot of weight. Being nervous the night before, Phil and a few friends from drama school went down to the pub to wash away his fear. Turns out that Phil may have had a little too much to drink. So much that it may hinder his performance at the audition. Over the speaker system, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen came on. His friends quickly realized how bad Phil was when he stood on the bar and began to belt out "I see a little silhouetto of a man Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?". His friends pulled him down from the bar and hailed a cab home.

Feeling horrible the next morning, Phil woke up an hour before his audition time. He quickly showered and gets on the bus down to the theater. The motion of the bus and number of people did not help his splitting headache. He arrived five minutes late to his performance but the director still lets him audition. He began to sing and realize that his voice is off. It sounds as though he swallowed glass and when he started to dance he immediately became nauseous and dizzy. Afterward, the director thanked him for his audition and asked him if something was the matter. Having seen Phil’s resume, he expected big things from him. Phil explained the situation and the director was ashamed but understood. The director could not risk giving the role to Phil in case something like this were to happen again. Phil understood and left with a heavy heart.

Phil went to work the next day but was not his chipper self. He hummed a much sadder song and did not have his notorious smile. This audition really bummed him out. He knew how much influence that director has and figured he was ruined for a couple months, or until everyone forgot about his name. Phil then remembered what allowed him to get through school; his passion for music. Later that evening he grabbed his old acoustic guitar and a microphone and headed down to Blackfriars station. He set up his guitar case and began to play songs that he grew up with in the 90’s. His favorite was Wonderwall.

After doing this for a few nights, he began to feel much better about himself and had some extra pocket change to help pay the rent. He dreamed of making it big just as other buskers had before him: Robin Williams, Bernie Mac, Ed Sheeran, the list goes on. He has a new ambition in life. Treat each performance in the tube station as an audition. One day he will get the gig he auditions for.


After Rebecca had left the restaurant, she was walking along the Thames back towards the bus stop when she noticed a very handsome man using a vaporizer. He was tall, had light hair and light eyes, and in a very nice suit that fit him well. She hoped he would stop and talk to her as she thought he was very cute. As they got closer she smiled at him and he gave her a half-hearted smile back. She just assumed a man like that had a girlfriend so she didn’t take it personally. Little did she know he was dying to talk to her but just couldn't't bring himself to do it. As she walked by Blackfriars station, she heard a song that reminded her of her childhood: Wonderwall by Oasis. She couldn’t help but not sing along and threw a few of her leftover pence from lunch into his guitar case. She went on back to the bus stop. She had to go back to the store to make more cookie dough for tomorrow.

Making them into "Londoners"

The goal of my writing was to not make the characters if my stories stereotypical Londoners. The goal of the pieces is to make the demographics of the characters resemble them the demographics of the city.

In my stories, I made Graham 31 years old, Rebecca 27 years old and Phil in his 20's, since 20% of the population is between the age of 25-34. In the UK 49% of citizens are white and from the U.K., Graham and Phil both fit this category. Phil's mother is from the Caribbean along with 7% of the population. I chose to make her from the Caribbean because 37% of the citizens of London were not born in the United Kingdom.

In terms of occupations, finance is one of the largest professions in London, so it was only fitting that I make Graham a wealth manager and make Phil's dad try to push Phil into studying finance. Health care is another major occupation in London. This is why Phil's mother was a surgeon. The other major occupation in London is construction. By making Phil's dad in the construction business, I was able to incorporate all the major job areas in London into one story. I made Rebecca a small business owner because there have been trends that small businesses have been becoming more prominent and that 2 out of every 3 restaurants or hotels were owned by women.

Since Croydon is the most populated borough in London, I had to incorporate it into my story. Making Graham grow up there allowed me to incorporate this. Since Ilford had the cheapest rent in the city, it was fitting that Rebecca had a flat there because she just opened a small business and didn't have much money. In terms of gender for my characters, I made them realistic of what you would see in London. Almost half of the population is males and almost half the population is females. This is why I wrote a story about a man, Graham, and a woman, Rebecca. I made the busker a man because, in my 3 separate visits here, I have yet to see a woman busking. Every busker I have seen was a man. This is why I chose Phil for my story. I am not saying that there aren't woman buskers because I'm sure there are. Just in my experience, I have never seen a woman busking. By including these details, they represent more of the London you are likely to see when you come to visit.

Voices of the People

Voice was also an important component of making these pieces unique. "Voice has been regarded as a key marker of individuality and as an ideological expression of Western cultural hegemony."[14] The term refers to the expression of a point of view in speech and the way we engage with others. Our voice can do things such as simplify syntax, delay or emphasize arguements[15]. Voice allows the author to show an image of themselves regarding their argument, community, and reader[16]. Any piece of literature you write will always have your voice in it. The author of a piece can change their voice to allow characters to have an individual voice. The creation of voices in writing requires the author to change the diction and tone[17]. The diction of a piece is your choice of vocabulary. An email to a professor or final exam paper would have a formal diction. Whereas a text message to your friend would have either a casual diction or slang diction. Formal diction tends to lack contractions and use more sophisticated language. Within diction are positive and negative connotations. This is the way something is said, either making it sound positive or negative[18]. Pieces are defined not just by what they write, but how they write it. This is called tone. The tone of a piece is the overall attitude of the writing. It is important that the tone is appropriate for the intended audience[19].

For the story about Graham, I used formal diction, negative connotations, and an appropriate tone for the message I was trying to portray. I used a formal diction because he is a well-educated wealth advisor. I allowed him to use a casual diction a few times because he wasn't the best at English in school and not everyone speaks formally all the time. This distinguishes himself from others because others often use casual diction more frequently. Connotation and tone helped me to portray my underlying message. When he discusses how hot the tube was, squeezing his way out of the tube station and a few other places are examples of the negative connotations. The tone of this piece can be described as pessimistic/sad. Throughout the piece, he makes comments about how sad he is with his life. This combination of tone and connotation allowed me to be effective in accurately portraying this message.

The story about Rebecca is very different. In Rebecca's story, I used casual diction, positive connotations, and a happier tone. I used casual diction because since the story is in the third person point of view, this is how I normally speak. This point of view and language makes you feel as though you are hearing the story from one of your friends. Americans, very often, speak to each other in a casual diction. Through my experience here, the British tend to speak a little more formally and use a mix of casual and formal diction (this is just an observation.) You can see this in my word choice when describing her experiences.This makes Rebecca stand out from other citizens. I use positive connotations to make the story more upbeat and attribute to the happy tone. The tone of this piece is meant to be happy because it shows that anyone can do anything in London. It is an amazing city, full of opportunity.

In Phil's story, I use casual and formal diction, a combination of positive and negative connotations, and portrayed an inspirational tone. I chose to use a mix of formal and casual diction because, through my experiences in London, British people tend to use a mix of formal and casual diction when they speak. This diction made Phil appear to be a normal London citizen. In terms of connotation, I used different connotations for the different experiences he went through. After he did not get the role, I made used negative connotations to express the negative tone and to help the reader understand how upset he was at not getting the part. When he got the idea to start busking, I used positive connotations to show the reader that he had cheered up. I strategically used an inspirational tone because it gave the reader mixed emotions. The reader is supposed to feel sad along with Phil when he doesn't get the part, and feel happy when he starts busking and becomes happy. The inspirational tone shows that nothing in life can set you back from making yourself happy. The resilience shown here is another reason Phil stands out.


To conclude, the people of London are very diverse. They range in age, ethnicity, and occupation. The backstories of the citizens are just as diverse as the population. By researching demographics and including different writing styles and literary devices into my fictional stories, it makes it more believable to the reader if they are familiar with London. If I were to continue, I would not do fictional writing. I feel it would be more interesting to talk to someone from London that you meet, and get their backstory from them. I feel that would hold more true to the "average" Londoner.


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  11. Hyland, Ken, and Carmen Sancho Guinda, eds. Stance and voice in written academic genres. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  12. Lorés-Sanz, R. (2011). The construction of the author's voice in academic writing: The interplay of cultural and disciplinary factors. Text & Talk-An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies, 31(2), 173-193.
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  14. Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary Discourses, Michigan Classics Ed.: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. University of Michigan Press.

  1. 2011 Census. (2012). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  2. 2011 Census. (2012). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  3. 2011 Census. (2012). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  4. 2011 Census. (2012). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  5. L. (2017, June 05). London Rents map.
  6. Londons Population Change 2001-2011. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  7. Clegg, R. (2017, May 17). Statistical bulletin:UK labour market: May 2017. Retrieved June 09, 2017, from
  8. Unemployment Rate, Region. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  9. FSB. (2016). Women In Enterprise: The Untapped Potential [Pamphlet]. Blackpool, UK: Federation of Small Businesses.
  10. The Argument About Narrative Essay. (2017, June 16). Retrieved June 22, 2017, from
  11. Narrative Essays. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  12. Descriptive Essays. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from
  13. Writing A Descriptive Essay. (2016, August 22). Retrieved June 22, 2017, from
  14. Lorés-Sanz, R. (2011). The construction of the author's voice in academic writing: The interplay of cultural and disciplinary factors. Text & Talk-An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies, 31(2), 173-193.
  15. Hyland, Ken, and Carmen Sancho Guinda, eds. Stance and voice in written academic genres. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  16. Lorés-Sanz, R. (2011). The construction of the author's voice in academic writing: The interplay of cultural and disciplinary factors. Text & Talk-An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies, 31(2), 173-193.
  17. Style, Diction, Tone, and Voice. (2009). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from
  18. Style, Diction, Tone, and Voice. (2009). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from
  19. Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary Discourses, Michigan Classics Ed.: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. University of Michigan Press.