Fierce Desire

Can you recall a time when you wanted something so badly that thinking about consumed your thoughts? It was something so special, so dear, so precious that you couldn’t imagine life without it. It might not have been expensive, but it would be worth millions to you.

Who did you tell about it? How did you describe it? What was the waiting like?

When you asked for it, what was the reaction? Did you hear snickers or laughter? Did you receive promises that were never kept? Or did you get the item?

How long did you have to wait? Was it months? For a special day?

Your task is to write a scene in which your character desperately wants something. It can be something small or something large. It can be relatively inexpensive or something that costs quite a bit.

Begin with the discovery of the item. Where did he see it? Why does he want it? How does he see his life changing with it?

This might be a difficult story to write because most of it will take place inside the character’s head. Dialogue will help, however. In fact, it might be good to have your character express desire to a number of different individuals so as to see how each reacts.

Have fun with this one.

Remembering the First Day

Do you recall your first day of school? Were you nervous? Excited? A little of both? What did you think would happen? What were our worst fears?

Apply this to your first day at a new job. Try to remember how you felt as the day approached. What preparations did you make? Did you go through your wardrobe looking for the right outfit? Did you fill your backpack with pens, pencils, notebooks and a new calendar? What software did you put on your laptop?

When the day arrived and you entered the office, what happened? Were you greeted by your coworkers? Did the boss walk you around and introduce you? Who  explained the job duties?

Your task is to write a scene in which your character begins something new. It could be work or school, but she must exhibit a range of emotions as the day nears. One way to show this is through dialogue. Have her explain to a friend what she’s thinking about. Maybe the friend is in her class or works for the same company. Make it fun and interesting so that your readers will want to be engaged.

Have fun with this one.

Shopping Spree

Some of us are avid shoppers. We’ll travel distances for a good bargain. We sort through racks of clothes and other items in search of the perfect thing. We’ll try on a dozen garments to buy just one. For us, shopping is an outing.

There are those who detest shopping. They only enter a department store for special gifts. They know what they want, head straight to it, buy it and leave. Even when grocery shopping they go with a list that they strictly follow.

What about your character? What kind of shopper is she? Does she love the adventure or rush in and out happy to get it done?

Your task is to write a scene in which your character enters a store. It might be fun to have someone accompany him so that there is reflection through dialogue. Readers want to experience the store and the outing with the emotions of the character.

Make sure there are plenty of details. Perhaps there is canned music piped in. How does this make the character feel? Maybe items aren’t where they should be or the proper size and color are missing. Maybe cost is too high.

If he’s a bargain shopper, what items attract his attention? What goes in his cart and stays? What motivates him in his decision-making?

Enjoy writing this one. Reread to edit for details.

Have fun  with this one.

Handling Controversy

Many issues arise that require us to take a stand either for or against. For example, when younger perhaps a bully intimidated a peer. You might walk away and leave the victim to suffer alone. Or maybe you stepped in between the two and demanded that the teasing stop. Your actions depend upon how you normally handle adversity and those actions say a lot about you.

Your character’s reactions depend upon her personality. If she’s easygoing, she might laugh it off and make light of the issue. If she’s temperamental, she might explode and lash out, loudly stating her opinions. If she’s meek, she might duck her head and sit silently while the controversy swirls about her.

Your task is to write a scene in which a conflict arises and your character reacts. Begin by establishing scene peopled by a few individuals that are known. Dialogue is critical for without it, the controversy would not come to light. Details enrich the scene. We want to feel the tension, smell the sweat, taste the fear, see the reactions.

This will not be a happy scene but it will reveal quite a bit about your character.

Have fun with this one.

A Personal Dilemma

Generally a dilemma is presented as someone having to make a choice. One choice might be seen as the lesser in terms of risk and possible negative outcomes, but it might also not give the results that the individual desires.

The second type of choice may be clear, but it might result in things unforeseen, things that could be harmful or dangerous. In fact, the character might find the end life changing in an unbearable way.

When writing a scene in which your character must make a choice, present options that are demanding, clear-cut, but terrible. Create tension by making the reader question the character’s judgement. The reader should second-guess possible outcomes and want to warn the character away from taking the wrong step.

Your task is to write a scene in which your protagonist is faced with two equal choices. The decision must be made quickly as there is no time to research or deliberate. This will amplify tension. That hurry will lead to devastating consequences for himself or for those he loves. When the scene ends, perhaps an alternative presents itself that he didn’t see beforehand.

At the end the reader wants to know if the protagonist has changed in away way. Is he humbled? Chagrined? Remorseful? Ashamed? And if he is, how has the experience altered his thinking.

Have fun with this one.

Listening Skills

Some of us are truly great listeners. When someone speaks to us, we give undivided attention, make appropriate comments, and offer timely responses. We don’t interrupt and ask for clarification if needed. Our body language, usually leaning forward somewhat, signals our interest in what’s being said.

There are those of us who are terrible listeners. When someone speaks we are fiddling with our phones, shuffling papers, tapping our feet and fingers and thinking of ways to exit the situation. Our disinterest in what is being said is clearly telegraphed through our facial expressions and posture. We are impatient, wanting it to end so that we can present our take on the subject or terminate that discussion so as to bring forth one of our own.

Your characters have listening skills as well. How to present them in a story? There must be a situation in which listening takes place, such as a party, social gathering or workplace meeting. There must be dialogue and there must be physical reactions. Posture and behavior is critical. There must also be give and take, with your character saying something in response.

Your task is to write a scene in which your character displays listening skills appropriate to her personality. A domineering, bossy person might have extremely poor skills, while a quiet, thoughtful person might be excellent. It’s up to you.

Write an interesting scene. Reread looking to make sure that tension exists and that your character’s skills are clearly shown.

Have fun with this one.

Thanskgivings

There are times to celebrate all the good things that have come our way. Times to rejoice, to laugh, to pray, to give thanks.

Some choose to spend their personal thanksgivings with others, while others prefer being alone in order to quietly contemplate the positive things in their lives.

What type is your character?

Your task is to create two lists: one to list the types of things to celebrate alone, the second those that are best shared in the company of others.

From the lists choose which is easiest for you to put into a scene. Remember that emotional details are important because readers want to walk in the mind and heart of the characters.

Write the story. Dialogue might be crucial here so as to best relay what the characters are thinking and feeling.

When you reread look for tells that allow you to see into your characters’’ emotions. If they are missing, add them in.

Have fun with this one.