Helping Hand

            Everyone needs a little help now and then. Perhaps while driving on the freeway your car gets a flat. Do you change it yourself or call for help?

            You see a senior citizen struggling with two heavy bags. He smiles and you offer to help. The man’s shoulders relax after you’ve relieved him of his burden.

            How we ask for help, how we react when help is given says a lot about us. Imagine the car driver barking into her phone, demanding a tow truck driver drop everything to come to her aid. What if the senior citizen yelled instead of being grateful? How would these reactions change the giver or receiver?

            Your task is to write a story in which a helping hand is needed or offered. Begin with a plausible situation, perhaps something you’ve experienced somewhere along the way.

Identify your protagonist’s personality, which is the key factor in determining how she behaves.

Establish the setting so that readers know where the event is taking place. Put your characters into motion. Use both description and dialogue to bring the story to life.

Have fun with this one.

Being Helpfu

Happy people are more likely to help others. It doesn’t take a researcher to verify that statement for we’ve all seen it in action.

Imagine walking down the street at the same time as a mother pushing a stroller while holding the hand of a young child. As she goes down the curb, the stroller tips, threatening to dislodge the toddler.

On one side of the street is a young man walking to the beat of music only he hears. On the other side is another young man stomping forward, bent over, lost in some negative event.

Which of these two will rush to help the woman?

Your task is to write a story in which someone needs help. You can make the need as large as you wish. For example, perhaps an older gentleman needs a new roof or maybe an item is too high for a young girl to reach. Your character reacts. Or perhaps she doesn’t.

Readers will need to meet your character before the event occurs in order to understand the motivations between action or inaction. Set the scene by including sensory details that establish the when, where and why. Make sure readers also meet the person in need of help. Establishing personalities is crucial. Once the story gets going, allow readers to see and feel what happens next.

Have fun with this one.

Unexpected Help

            You’ve got to trim the trees in your yard. The problem is that you are terrified of heights and the job can’t get done without someone climbing a ladder. Or maybe there’s a glitch in your computer that you can’t solve. Perhaps you’re in the midst of a complex project at work and won’t meet the deadline.

            Imagine that someone appears who offers to help, either out of the kindness of his heart or because he was told to do so. With his help, the task is completed satisfactorily.

            Your character might need help at some time during the story. How he asks for and accepts help says a lot about who he is. For example, what if he is gruff and ungrateful? The helper might walk away. On the other hand, what if he offers a free meal in payment?

            Your task is to write a story in which help is needed and provided. How is the need communicated and received, if offered? What kind of person is the helper? Is he rude and disrespectful or patient and kind? Does he humiliate the person needing help or patiently jump in?

            Both description and dialogue is important in this story. Emotions and behavior play key roles. A little tension might make the story more interesting.

            Have fun with this one.