PROMPTuesday #89: The Basics

Let’s return to bare bones this week, what do you say?


I was given this exercise in a college writing class, and I clearly remember observing an older man who was eating alone. During my 15-minute study, I absorbed his every move and translated it to my writing. The way he carried the tray to his table, how his hands shook, how he saw me watching him, how his eyebrows raised in embarrassment, then annoyance, then back to embarrassment. How he shuffled out of the restaurant, pausing to give me “the hand.”


How I suffer so for my art.


Still, when you really watch a person, you pick up on subtleties and details that truly enrich your writing. Give it a try. You’ll see what I mean.


So this week, observe someone and write a character sketch. Watch how they move, talk, drink coffee. Suck up the smallest detail, and write it down. Then let me read it. I’m a voyeur that way.


Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.


First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here.
Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.


5 Responses to “PROMPTuesday #89: The Basics”

  1. De says:

    OK, babe, I’m back & I’m on it. It gives me an excuse to go out tomorrow instead of cleaning the house for the 3rd day in a row! :)

  2. Natalie says:

    What a great idea — I will do it tomorrow!

  3. OK, I’ll give it a shot! Tomorrow I’m going to take the test to be a Census Worker…should provide some interesting characters for observation.

  4. g says:

    A wonderful prompt, Deb. I am looking around myself and there is no one to observe….but what a great exercise – and what a great way to help take a person out of oneself and see beyond. I will try this, even if I don’t end up posting it.

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