Roadside Meal

            How many times have you been away from home and stopped to eat? What types of places do you normally choose? Fast food chains? Sit-down restaurants? Or something in between?

            When you scan the menu, do you have go-to preferences? Some go for hamburgers, while others choose salads. Some like sweet potato fries, eggs over-easy, chocolate cream pie.

            Your task is to write a story in which your character is traveling and stops for a meal. Depending upon the restaurant, she either reads from a menu board or from a handheld menu.

What does she order? Is it served cold or hot? How does it taste? From her reactions, you tell if it’s as she expected and whether or not she’s satisfied.

If there’s waitstaff, when someone checks in, your character responds by saying what she likes or doesn’t like, whether she’s satisfied or might like to order additional items.

To make it interesting, have someone strike up a conversation with your character. A little tension builds because this person is annoying or clinging and doesn’t take the hint that she’d like to eat alone.

Have fun with this one.

A Day at the Beach

            Let’s say you’ve been to the beach. It could be at the ocean, at a lake, or even at a large river. No matter where, but there’s some type of beach.

            If you’re lucky, it’s soft sand. If you’re not, it’s rocks that cut the bottoms of your feet.

            Perhaps the water’s warm, but there’s a good chance that it’s not.

            There might be waves, especially if a strong breeze arises or it a watercraft motors by.

            And there are creatures in the water.

            Your task is to write the story.

            Your character and friends go to a beach for the afternoon. Or the weekend if they rent a cabin or pitch tents.

            They’re excited, looking forward to a great time.

            In your story, we want to see what they see, feel what they feel, see and taste all the things they do.

            How does the beach feel on the feet? Describe the picture of them getting to the beach. They’ll talk and laugh and maybe cry out in pain.

How cold is the water? Show us the group as they enter the water. Does one of them run and dive? Do some stand in only ankle-deep water?

Make at least one character worry about whatever might be in the water. Perhaps someone freaks out when seagrasses brush their legs.

Have fun with this one.

Forgettable Memory

Not all memories are good ones. All of us can recall at least one incident that embarrassed us, humiliated us or angered us. Or maybe it was something we did that we wish we never had.

Think of the story this could become! Fill in with sensory details and it becomes rich and full of life.

Your task is first to make a list of five events that you wish had never happened. Then choose the one which would be the easiest for you to write about.

When you write, embellish with dialogue and details. There must be tension, so bring in a person that enriches the telling.

Have fun with this one.