Writing Prompt #2
Think about an event that happened today. Who was around you? Pick one of the people in the room or area and try to imagine what it was like to be them during this event. Write out the event from what you would imagine their perspective would be. For an extra challenge, try to pick someone who is the opposite gender as you. This should be written in the first person.
What this will accomplish: This will help you to understand how something that may have happened directly to you could have been seen by another person. This will allow you to create more realistic character responses when an action happens to a side character (or how to better write your main character when something happens that does not directly affect them). Furthermore, this will allow you to better empathize with not only your main character, but with your side characters when creating a believable scene.
Writing Prompt #1 Response
Personality #1: Jenny
Jenny’s work days were always just a little too long with never enough to occupy the 8 hours she sat cramped in her cubicle. The pay was decent, but she knew this wasn’t what she really wanted to do. After all, who really wants to be an underwriting assistant for a life insurance company? By the time the clock struck 5:00 PM, her computer was already powered down and she was pretending to rearrange the pens and paper on her desk.
She joined her co-workers in their mad dash to the elevators, where they crammed in as closely as they dared for such a professional place. Her black ’09 Honda Accord waited for her in the parking structure, ready for her to tuck herself into it and make the commute back home. She sighed as she realized that her high school sweetheart of a boyfriend, Dave, would still be at work, as he was asked to stay late every other Friday.
Connecting her phone to her car’s Bluetooth, she listened to her driving mix as she let her mind wander through the haze of red and green traffic lights. She wondered if she would ever make her way back to a city. She had gone to college in Los Angeles, but had to move back to Phoenix after graduation. Sure it was a city, but it wasn’t LA. She sighed as she dreamed of working anywhere artistic, with a huge desk and a corner office. But her heart grew heavy as she knew Dave would never go. He used to visit her in school telling her stories about how drivers tried to run him off the road on the way there, and how bad he felt for the homeless people who stood on the freeway off-ramps.
She pulled up to a brown house with red accents. The clock on her dashboard blinked 5:45 PM and let her know that she was listening to Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” She let the song finish playing before she realized that she had accidentally driven herself to Dave’s house, instead of her own. Damn autopilot, she thought to herself before spotting Dave’s car in the driveway.
Maybe they didn’t make him work overtime today? She said to herself as she grabbed her purse and locked her car before checking her reflection in her car’s back window. She quickly fixed her hair and hurried to the front door.
He answered the door with his shirt half tucked in and his hair flattened on one side. His pants were unbuttoned and his hand sat at the waistband to hold them up. His smile dropped when he saw his girlfriend’s face staring at him with a look of horror and disbelief.
“Do you need cash for the tip?” called a female from down the hall.
An awkward silence hung between the two of them before Jenny decided to speak. “I don’t recall you mentioning changing your career. Maybe if you do a good job, your boss in there will offer to pay for the whole delivery next time.”
With that, Jenny turned on her heels and began the agonizing walk to her car. She clutched her stomach as she heard the creek of the front door, but didn’t break stride. Tears burned at the corners of her eyes as she heard him fumbling around for the right words to say. She couldn’t explain it, but she was actually happy. Her life was unfurling at the seams, but at least she would finally allow herself to move to a real city.
She made it to her car and heard her engine roar to life. She didn’t even glance over her shoulder, she wouldn’t grant him the satisfaction. On her way out, she passed a car with a Pizza Hut cone lit up and fixed to the roof.
Personality #2: Teresa
Teresa’s work days seemed to fly by. She never really had too much to do and it was happy to take her time to make sure everything was filed flawlessly. The pay wasn’t bad either. Enough for her to have her own apartment, a 401K and a savings account that she often referred to as her “dream home bank account.” Though most people might see her job as boring, she knew she was making a difference in people’s life with what she did as an underwriting assistant.
It was 5:00 PM and she watched her co-workers race to the time clock as she began saving her files and powering down her computer. When the crowd cleared she walked down the 4 flights of stairs with her headphones in and mouthed the words to “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. She sighed as she realized that her high school sweetheart of a boyfriend, Charles, would still be at work, as he was asked to stay late every other Friday.
Connecting her iPod to her car’s Bluetooth, she sang along loudly and a bit off key to her bubblegum pop driving mix. Through the haze of red and green traffic lights, she began daydreaming about how she wanted her house to be, 4 bedrooms at least. One for her and her future husband, one for each of her two kids, and an office, in case she ever had to work from home if her kids were ever sick.
She pulled up to a brown house with red accents. The clock on her dashboard blinked 5:55 PM and let her know that she was listening to Toybox’s “Best Friend.” She finished singing along to the song before realizing that she had accidentally driven herself to Charles’s house, instead of her own. Oops! Autopilot! she thought to herself before spotting Charles’s car in the driveway.
Yay he’s home! Guess they didn’t need him to stay late today! She said to herself, flipping down the visor’s mirror and touching up her mascara then pulling a few stubborn hairs back under her bobby pins. She bounced out of her car, locking the door behind her and skipping up to the door while humming “Doctor Jones,” the next song on her playlist.
Charles answered the door with his shirt half tucked in and his hair flattened on one side. His pants were unbuttoned and his hand sat at the waistband to hold them up. His smile dropped when he saw his girlfriend’s face staring at him with a look of shock and horror.
“Do you need cash for the tip?” called a female from down the hall.
An awkward silence hung between the two of them before Teresa decided to speak. “Who was that?” was all she could think to say.
“Nobody,” replied Charles, stepping out of the doorway and closing the door most of the way behind him, stopping the screen from falling and making too much of a racket.
“But you… have you been seeing her every time you told me you were working late?” She asked, voice cracking as her tears smeared her freshly applied eyeliner down her cheeks.
“No Teresa, of course not, I mean, it’s not like that!”
“No? Then what is it like?”
“Well I’m not the one trying to keep tabs! I mean you shouldn’t even be here! You thought I was working!”
“Oh so it’s my fault!?” Screamed Teresa.
“Who is that?” called the female’s voice from down the hall.
“Nobody!” yelled Charles, I’ll be in there in just a minute sweetie!”
“Oh, so that’s who I am? Nobody?”
“No, baby, you know what I mean.”
“No Charles, I don’t.” said Teresa wiping the tears from her face and successfully smudging her make-up into darker black streaks. She pushed past Charles and into the house. “Put your clothes on and stop fucking my boyfriend you home-wrecking whore!” Teresa shouted as she stomped down the hall.
“Teresa!” yelled Charles tripping over his pants as he chased after her. “Please don’t do this!”
“No? Why? Give me one good reason. I’m with you for the better half of 11 years and this is what I get? Fine! You can have her! And you in there!” she yelled down the hall, “maybe you should think before you drop your pants! Did you really think that giant pink stuffed teddy bear in the room was his? Are you seriously that dumb? Or are you just that desperate?” She shoved Charles out of the way, making him trip over his pants and fall in the hallway. When she opened the door to leave, there stood a woman in a Pizza Hut uniform, a heater bag in one hand and a bill in another.
“Hi miss, that will be $38.95 will you be paying with cash or card today?”
“Ask him, maybe if you smile pretty, he’ll drop his pants for you too.” Teresa ducked around the delivery girl and began walking to her car, being sure to stomp on each plant she had bought and placed in Charles’s garden.