Everyday Lives

People have routines that they follow. During the week, those of us who work traditional jobs, get up, eat, go to work, come home, eat, relax, go to bed. We do this day in and day out, without fail, until we are lucky enough to retire.

On weekends, our routines vary. We might sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, go for a run or work out in the gym, meet up with friends or family, travel to visit someone we care about, go to movies or plays and so on.

Your characters must have everyday lives as well.

Your task is to write the routine that your character follows on work days. Be specific. This will not be your best writing, but don’t worry about it. Think like a kid when asked by your mother, “What did you do today?” Begin with the alarm going off in the morning. Include the most mundane details, such as showering and brushing teeth. What does he eat for breakfast, if he eats at all. Coffee? At home or at a shop. What type of coffee? How does she get to work? What does she do on the way there?

If in a car, does he listen to sports channel or rap music? News or country? If commuting by train, bus or metro, does he text, email, work on reports or read a book? Does he get on board early enough to sit or does she have to stand the whole way? How long is the commute?

How does he check in at work? Punching a time card or is it an honor system? What is the first thing she does? Turn on computer or put lunch in the refrigerator? Does he have friends at work? If so, how do they greet each other in the morning? Do they eat lunch together? Go out for drinks after work?

What type of work does your character do? Be specific. She might work on an assembly line installing doors in cars, design apps for hand held devices, or be a CEO of a developing company. Are there meetings? Pep rallies? Reports? Research? Lectures?

What time does he leave work? How long does it take him to get home? Once she is home, what is the first thing she does? Pet the cat? Take the dog for a walk? Change clothes? Start dinner? Pour a drink?

Think of all the possible things that he might do before going to bed. The last two things might be turning on the alarm and turning off the lights.

Now that the work day is finished, write the details of the weekend. There are different types of weekends: traveling ones and routine ones. Go through the same steps that you did earlier, one list for each type of day that she might experience.

While this might seem like a colossal waste of time, it is not. It will give you details that you can plug into your story later on. Plus it gives you a better understanding of who your character is.

Good luck!

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