Looking for my next character

Customers shuffle in and out of the Starbucks where I sit in an uncomfortable orange wingback chair, looking for my next character. A young woman stands at the counter waiting for her venti white mocha no whip in slippers. A gray-haired man in overalls, hands shoved into his pockets, opens the door with his shoulder. A smartly dressed professional glides toward a table, a laptop bag slung over her shoulder. I wonder how she can wear short sleeves when it’s only 45 degrees outside. But I am looking for a quirky, strange character. And these people are strictly ordinary.

Perhaps tomorrow I will try the Subway at Wal-Mart.

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23 Comments (+add yours?)

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  3. dayner
    May 13, 2010 @ 10:45:58

    BUT– I bet you could find tons of interesting stories inside Wal-Mart.

    Reply

  4. dayner
    May 13, 2010 @ 10:44:09

    I think there’s a lot to be found in the ordinary.

    The guy with his hands in his pockets has serious issues. You should explore him further. Hands in pockets not touching the door…hum.
    He could be hiding a hook…
    He’s phobic…
    He’s trying to keep from leaving fingerprints…

    The woman with the laptop seems ordinary in her professional attire but really she has a drug problem she’s hiding, the lack of a jacket is proof. She could be an alien sent to Earth to study humans and Starbucks seems like the best place to observe.

    The woman in slippers is taking her first day off in five years. She on the brink of a nervous breakdown and the only thing keeping her sane is the white mocha. When the barista gives her a regular mocha instead, she completely losses it inside Starbucks and pulls out a kitchen knife or a machete.
    She could be a ‘Sandra Bullock’ type celebrity is disguise, hiding from the paparazzi.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      May 13, 2010 @ 10:50:28

      LOL – Dayner, I am totally on the floor in laughter right now! You are hilarious, I never would have thought these stories from what I wrote. Great!! I think I might need to grab one of these and go crazy!

      Reply

      • kathanink
        May 13, 2010 @ 10:51:00

        But not as crazy as the girl wearing slippers and carrying a machete…

        Reply

        • dayner
          May 13, 2010 @ 11:48:21

          Yes, Wal-Mart definitely smells. 🙂 And I smell a challenge. Hum…what about the flash 55 tomorrow. You up for it? I get the man with his hands in his pockets.

          And I’m smacking myself for not catching the irony–duh! I get it now.

          Reply

          • darksculptures
            May 13, 2010 @ 12:10:07

            I’ll take the smartly dressed professional with the laptop bag. I haven’t written a flash in months – I’m rusty, but it will be fun.

            Reply

            • kathanink
              May 13, 2010 @ 12:13:36

              Sounds good! I guess that leaves me with crazy, machete weilding white mocha girl! 🙂 I was going to forgo my flash 55 because I had something else, but I’ll save that one for Monday.

          • Natasha
            May 13, 2010 @ 12:47:56

            I’m in. I’m not sure which one it’ll be though.

            Reply

            • kathanink
              May 13, 2010 @ 12:56:10

              You could do the girl shopping to refill her panty! LOL or pantry!

              Really, you can use any of them, it’s not like we’ll write the same flash. Pick whichever one you want! 🙂

  5. Darksculptures
    May 13, 2010 @ 08:04:51

    Some of the best stories are about ordinary people doing extordinary things. I’d continue to watch those ordinary people and begin asking the deeper questions.

    Why does the white haired old man leave his hands in his pocket? Is he hiding something? Maybe scars on his wrist? Missing fingers? How did these things happen?

    Maybe the girl in the slippers is another writer like you who is busy writing a new novel and neglected to shop and refill her panty, thus the hurried trip to Starbucks for her morning caffeine. What else has she neglected and how has it effected her life?

    And the young business woman, trying so hard to impress and show her independence that she is willing to bare the cold in order to make a statement. What has caused her this amount of insecurity.

    Keep watching and asking questions. New characters are all around you.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      May 13, 2010 @ 10:48:27

      I agree – and actually, I wrote this with a bit of irony (which apparently nobody got!). But you guys really came up with some good story ideas from the not-so-outwardly weird characters I did see…I amy steal some of these ideas!

      Besides, the Wal-Mart kinda smells…

      Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2010 @ 11:26:58

      Hey, I’m late here and have a boatload of Stuff That Must Be Done For Money — but DEFINITELY there’s a lot going on in the seemingly ordinary. Think of my painting buddy, Jake, from a couple of weeks ago….

      Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2010 @ 11:28:16

      Oh, oh — Freudian? Intentional? Tell us, DS. She’s REFILLING HER PANTY???

      See — there is most definitely the extraordinary in the ordinary.

      Reply

  6. Dr. Tom Bibey
    May 13, 2010 @ 05:46:03

    Writers observe and document the ordinary that surrounds them while it passes by others unnoticed.

    Dr. B

    Reply

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