This weekend’s writing prompt is designed to put your character in an unexpected situation and to explore how they deal with it. Depending on how you use the prompt, it could also help you discover a key plot moment for your story. How your character reacts, and what they’re reacting to, could be the core plot and conflict of your story. Enjoy –
The Scarlet Letter
Your character is walking to their car. They can be any gender, any age, any place, that’s all for you to decide. The only thing that matters is that they are walking to a vehicle that they are going to drive. It can be theirs, it can be borrowed, it could be stolen… Again, up to you.
Where is your character coming from? Why? What kind of mood are they in? What environment are they in? Are there lots of people around, or is it deserted? Are they alone, or is someone walking with them?
When your character gets to the car they discover there is some form of graffiti written on it in bright red paint. It’s obvious and large and impossible to miss, and it’s something that has personal meaning for the character.
Is it good or bad, funny or heartbreaking? What does it say? Is it something that everyone will understand, or is it cryptic and meant only to have meaning to your character? How does the character react?
Are they embarrassed? Horrified? Amused? Angry? Saddened? Hurt? Do they immediately try to cover it up or wipe it away? Or do they ignore it and act like it’s no big deal? If someone was with your character, how does this secondary character react? Does your character try to explain?
How about bystanders, what do they do? And what about the person who did it? Are they still around watching, or long gone? Does the character know who it is that committed the crime?
Explore this act and the meaning behind it. If you go with the graffiti being something negative it could lead to endless story possibilities, and positive ones could lead to a ton of character relationship development between the message leaver and the recipient.
Until next time, happy writing!
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