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11 April 2015

character development


Start with blank card.
Write - in fat marker - numbers
1 through 6
down the left side.
Leave room
for words.
Place a dot
after each.

Line 1: A name,
but not your own.
Make it up.
Now, pass the card
to the writer
beside  you.

Line 2: A place
someone could live.
It could be nice
or real
or not.

Line 3: A hobby.
Or a bad habit.
Your choice.

Line 4: A job.
Any job.
Post-hole Digger.

Line 5: A trait.
Personality, that is.
Nothing physical.
Not yet.

Line 6: here's your chance.
In a word or three.
No more.

Write the story on the card.


We did this in writing class yesterday.
Here's what I ended up with:

1. Jakob
2. India
3. Drinking
4. Engineer
5. Pompous
6. Always wore a suit

(Incidentally, there were enough of us in class that we didn't get any of our own additions to the cards, which is why mine is so... bland. My additions were ...well, if I can remember them, I'll write them all down. Later.)

Our facilitator added these prompts to choose from: "I wish I could be like..." or "S/he'd always been that way..."

This is what I wrote:

 Jakob had always worn a suit. Even as an infant, his mother had made him tiny suits, replicas of his father's, and shoved his bubbly body in there. "You must never be less," she told the growing boy, "you must always be more." He followed his father, attending the best university in India, and never regretted his British name.
He chose Chemical Engineering. Something about its precision, and the selective behavior of elements appealed to him. Elements wouldn't bond with just any other element - the conditions had to be met, had to be just right.
At night, he comes home to a crisp white penthouse where the plants are only on TV and the dust knows not to settle. In his fine leather chair he pours himself a scotch, no rocks. Some solutions should not be diluted.


  1. What an interesting challenge.. never done it would be fun to try. I agree about the undiluted scotch

  2. Oh my goodness! What an excellent idea to provoke ideas for writing and I think you've expertly handled the details that you were handed!! Awesome Flash Fiction here! I love the selective behavior of elements, the dust knowing not to settle and the reason behind no rocks...brilliant!!

  3. This seems so intriguing...! I liked it :)

  4. Love the idea of an infant in a tiny suit. I know it sounds impractical and perhaps uncomfortable for the babe, but what a solid character.

  5. very cool, Katy ~

  6. Interesting!! Might be fun with children, too.

  7. Great idea.... and you wrote a terrific piece. It begs to be a book.