My morning started out like most of my week days these past few months. I had breakfast with my husband, a sniper of daily news on YouTube, and a short walk to the car to drop him off at work. When the door opened I wasn’t greeted by an outdoor sauna by with my first breathe of morning air.
The usual chatter about work and our YouTube finds of the week filled the car. Then, my husband started talking about the people who roamed the abandoned hallways at work. He told me about the man who did a disappearing act in front of one the HR people for the food service vendors after their morning meetings. For weeks, this co-worker baffled his team because they would turn around and he would suddenly be gone – like he vanished from thin air. Apparently, “thin” was the key work. A man we’ll call Mr. Slim is a runner and he shimmied his way through two partitions that no one else could possibly squeeze through to pull of his act. One team member just turned around fast enough from their zoom meeting to catch the secret of the trick.
Me being a writer pictured this magician act. When my husband described him like a “pencil”, I burst out laughing. He is a tall and abnormally skinny man. Not only am I a writer, I’m a visual person. I immediately pictured a pencil with two huge eyeballs squeezing through a hole in the wall. I laughed enough harder because I started to sing “Who moved my cheese” in the shower this morning. Okay, maybe this is my twisted mind but it all created a silly short in my head.
Then, I turned to my husband and told him I was going to blog about our conversation, and save it for one of my novels. Everyone who reads my blog knows, what’s next. My writing prompt for you is to ask the people around you about funny phrases they’ve heard. How do your friends describe other people without being derogatory?
You know what else I pictured? A giant yellow pencil walking around the office. Maybe I should tell my husband to have him wear a giant yellow striped shirt one day.
When you run out of writing prompts or ways to write about your characters, picture them as objects. If you find yourself repeating certain action verbs or adverbs, then think about sports or hobbies. Instead of having someone run, have them glide by on skates. Characters can dance around corners, walk on their toes like ballerinas, or lean forward like an eager line backer facing their competition. Friends can chew food like dainty deer or stand like flamingoes afraid to get the other foot wet.
The point is to stretch your imagination. Sit outside and people watch. How many different ways can you write their actions?
My posts are Monday through Friday. You can find a copy of my new Writer’s Journal at https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Notes/dp/B0931QRL7C.
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