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gg's picture

Character Encounter

Getting Stories Started with Character Chemistry

Sometimes all you need to get a story started is a chemical reaction (between two characters that is!) You can find ideas for fictional characters anywhere -- at school, at the supermarket, at the swimming pool. And the thing about characters is that sometimes when you put them together you get a calm, peaceful interaction and sometimes you get . . . an explosion! It all depends on who they are. 

Exercise: Quickly brainstorm -- and write down -- a list of seven characters based on people you've observed (i.e. a teacher with a cold, an old man walking his dog, a woman buying 20 pineapples at the supermarket, etc.) 

Now, circle two of your characters.

Write a story-starting scene in which these two characters "bump into each other." How do they find themselves in the same place at the same time? What do they say to each other? What is each character's frame of mind, emotional state, and motivation in this scene? What happens?

  • Make sure to choose the PROJECT tag:  TaylorTalk  on the right of the blog form so it gets put in the right place.
  • YWP will be providing you some feedback and S.S. Taylor will read your posts and offer a reflection and some pointers.

Daily Read


Silently, I waited.
My hand cramping from holding it up,
But you just stare at me.
You refuse to ackknowledge my raised hand,
You barely try to ackknowledge my existence.
I move to raise my other hand.
My movement catches your eye.
You look right in my eyes
And turn your head.
I've held up my hand for three minutes now.
Everyone else in the room has been called on.
Some three or four times,
But I'm still raising my hand.
You ask if anyone has anything else to say.
I know you'll chastise me for calling out.
So I continue to raise my hand.
You begin to move on.
I wave my hand and look around.
Other students notice that you ignored my raised hand.
I hold it up for just a little longer.
Slowly my hand lowers.
I knew the answer that no one else knew.
I had something no one had thought about.
But you refused to even ackknowledge me...
You say we need to raise our hand and be outgoing.
Say what's on our minds and participate.
But how can I when you choose to ignore me.
You hate me.
I can see it in your eyes.
You are not very good at hiding your emotions.
You are angry that my dad refused to let me in you class with a that kid.
You think I should have to deal with him.
I messed your whole schedule up,
And uncovered your secret plans that were hidden behind my dad's back.
That's why you are upset.
Because you didn't get your way.
You think I'm only a child.
That I have to do what you say.
But I have a very strong father.
Who is a very hard worker,
And loves his children.
He pays part of your wages,
And reminds you of that.
You can't push my father around like you try to do with me.
He won't tolerate it.
He doesn't have to either,
But he can't change everything.
That's why my hand slowly lowered in defeat.
School is a battleground for me.
Between teachers like you
And the kids who started this mess.
But I was left on the battlefield without even a knife.
Only my will and love for education keeping me steady.
My want for success keeps me from running off.
So that when my hand lowered in defeat.
I picked up my pen,
And started jotting down the notes you had written.
The ones I already knew.
When you chose not to acknowledge my existence.
Until you really had to.
I still walked out of the room saying "Thank you"
Like I always do.
Hiding the tears and embarrassement that burned behind my eyes.
Because everyone knew you were ignoring me.
And they knew it wasn't a mistake.
They knew that my dad had called the school.
That he had told you exactly what you were going to do.
And this was my punishment for having a father who wanted the best for me.
tears stung my eyes for the second time that day.
As I told my friend what had happened.
I didn't need to though.
He was there.
He had been sitting right next to me.
He had seen the tears rin my eyes.
The ones I had tried so hard not to let fall.
But there was nothing I could do.
So my hand stayed lowered.
My defeat showed on my face.
And I felt inadequate

Lunablue42's picture

After the Beep

At the tone, please record your message. 
When you have finished dialing, 
please hang up, or press one for more options.
I know you don't want to hear this. 

And I'm not sorry. 

But I don't love you. 

Even though I do.

But.... It's complicated. 
You know that. 

That's the thing about us.
And everyone. 

We're so redundant. 
Just like life. 

I don't get it. 
..I just don't understand. 

We live life.
To die?

I mean...
What's that all about?

Ha. I guess it doesn't matter. 
Nothing matters. 

So, yeah. 
You probably read what I left for you on your table. 
I guess I explain better in there. 

But I just needed to talk?
One last time....

People will write. 
I know. 
They'll write about me. 
When I can no longer hear them. 

Listen to them. 
And don't believe a word they say. 
People want to remember the good in others. 
After they.....
Well. Just remember, 
That I was not good. 

Remember who I really was. 
I was never a good person. 
So, yeah. 

I guess,
I don't know. 


Recent Picks

jacketbundock's picture

1,000 words

The things about me you'll never know, 
things I'll never say, 
they're written on my face
in front of yours,
but you'll never hear those words;
they've hidden each other away. 

(portrait done entirely in words)

The Voice


2.10.16 VT Writes Day

Mark your calendars for this amazing, fun annual day of writing! Wednesday, February 10 is the day we stop everything for JUST SEVEN MINUTES and WRITE! It's open to anyone and everyone: young people, teachers, principals and parents! This is the seventh year that YWP has hosted Vermont Writes Day!

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