Career Path

Everyone has a job to go to, no matter how young or old. Babies have a lot to learn in their early years. School children hopefully learn something new every day and then do work to demonstrate mastery. In high school, students take classes to prepare for college or career.

Some might not consider this learning work, but it is. If you are writing a book for young people, you need to take into account that a portion of their day must be spent encountering new things, being exposed to lessons not yet learned.

Beginning with the teen years, many students have after-school jobs. They might work in an office, sell jewelry at a boutique or do basic maintenance on cars. How do they like their jobs? Do they yearn for something more, and if they do, what is it? Do they wear a uniform at their job? Is it mustard-yellow or sky blue? Does it fit snuggly or bag around the waist?

In college, many students work for professors. They run workshops, correct papers, help prepare students for tests. Some work in the bookstore while others in the cafeteria. Some are lucky enough to not have to work, but join fraternities and sororities that take up much of their time.

When you write about college students, their jobs affect how they look at life, what they are able to do during their free time, and who their friends are.

Most adults work. Yes, there are the disabled and homeless who are unable to find jobs that they can successfully master. There are the emotionally damaged and those with physical challenges who cannot work, but their jobs are healing, getting stronger, overcoming fear and loss.

Even into retirement, adults keep busy. They go to the gym, join organizations and attend meetings, volunteer at schools, teach classes part-time and attend workshops. They work for the Census when the time arises and staff polling places during elections. They help at their church or with scouts or around the house, making improvements and keeping up with yardwork.

Your task is to create a scene in which your character has a job to do. It might not be the job of her dreams, but it is a job. Write about her feelings as she prepares to go to work. Tell what she sees, hears, smells as she brushes her teeth, combs her hair, drinks her coffee.

Describe her commute. Is the train crowded and stuffy? Does she get stuck in traffic that creeps along? What does she do while commuting? Catch up on email? Listen to an audiobook? Read? Talk to a friend?

Once at work, what does he do? Imagine walking in his shoes and doing what he does. Is there any point during the day when he has to complete a task that he hates? What is it? Why does he hate it?

How does she feel when her work is complete and she gets to go home? Is she exhausted? Relieved? Still thinking about unfinished tasks?

Walk us through the day, from beginning to end.

Have fun with this one.

Good luck.

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