Perfect Strangers

Recall a time when you interacted with a stranger. Was it while standing in line at the grocery store? Going through security at the airport? Asking advice at a bookstore?

Was it a positive experience?  If so, why? What occurred that allowed you to feel good about the interaction?

Did you initiate the conversation? If so, what words did you use?

Your task is to place a character in a comparable situation. She is out and about. She runs into someone she doesn’t know, most likely will never see again, yet strikes up a conversation.

Be sure to describe the scene in sufficient detail that we hear the sounds, smell the smells, taste whatever is being offered, but not so much detail up front that the story never gets started.

Give us emotions. Fear? Dismay? Pleasure? But not all at once. Allow us to travel the range of emotions as the character experiences them. Much of this will have to take place in dialogue form.

Then give us a satisfactory ending.

Have fun with this one.

Take a Walk

Where do you get ideas for scenery? Take a walk!

Begin by checking out your neighborhood. Listen to all the sounds you here. Children playing. Adults laughing. Dogs barking. Trucks backing up. Music playing. Write it down.

What trees grow there? Are they in bloom? Growing fruit? How ripe is the fruit? Is anyone growing veggies in their side yard? Which kind? How many?

Flowers. Some people grow them, others don’t. Make note of what yards look like that have gardens. Are they neatly trimmed or massy, filled with weeds.

Your task is to record what you see, hear, and smell than use that information to write a story. Include details that give a dose of reality to the story.

When finished, reread, looking for places where you can expand description to add depth.

Have fun with this one.