Characters Anonymous

Like I’ve said during my Friday posts: I’ve been busy at work planning for Summer Reading. What does that mean? It means I don’t have a lot of time to write–at least, not write chapters in my current stories that I think are up to the quality they should be. And yet it is story day on the schedule, so… quite a dilemma. But then I thought it might be fun to try my hand at some “flash fiction.” It would be a good writing exercise for me and still (hopefully) provide an enjoyable read. So I found a prompt and challenged myself to write that story in only 500 words or less.

Prompt: Write a story entirely in dialogue.

Note: This one is me kicking myself a little bit. Ah… all those poor characters I’ve abandoned thanks to Writer’s Block. The first character is from a story I started for this blog–it starts here. I’m hoping one day to come back to it. In fact, it’s probably highest on my priority list. (Just don’t tell the other characters.)

                “Um… my name is Bo.”

                “Hi, Bo.”

                “Right… well… this is my first time at, um, Characters Anonymous.”

                “Welcome to the meeting, Bo. I know it can very hard to admit that the Writer has forgotten about us.”

                “Yeah, you can say that again.”

                “Why don’t you tell us your story?”

                “Well, I can tell you what I have. You see… the story started out with me as an old man–”

                “But you don’t appear to be any older than… 18, 19?”

                “That’s right. Because then the story went back to when I was a teen. And I was running away. But then I got kidnapped by this guy who left town a few years before.”

                “Is he here with us?”

                “No… he’s still holding out hope that the Writer will come back to our story. She took a lot of time and care describing him.”

                “Denial is all part of the process. Tell us what happened next.”

                “Nothing. She left the two of us driving down the road, going to Montana.”

                “Why Montana?”

                “I don’t think she knew.”

                “We all understand. Would anyone else like to share their stories–or at least the stories that they have.”

                “My name is Shad.”

                “Hi, Shad.”

                “I only got one chapter. All I know is that I like exploring caves and I want to go to college to be an archaeologist.”

                “Not much to go on, huh?”

                “No. I feel very lost.”

                “Bo, do you understand that feeling.”

                “Literally. I’m on a highway going nowhere!”

                “At least you’re above ground. The Writer left me in a cave!”

                “Anyone else?”

                “My name is Cal.”

                “Hi, Cal.”

                “All I know about me is that I’m a troublemaker, but that I’m best friend with a good, upstanding kid named Jeremy. We’re roommates in college.”

                “Anything else?”

                “I think I’m funny. The Writer was smiling when she wrote some of my dialogue.”

                “That’s more than I got….”

                “We all feel for you, Shad. We understand. But now it’s Cal’s turn.”

                “It’s just that… here I am, with this imagined life, but nothing to do with it. I’m just–”

                “Stuck?”

                “Yes.”

                “We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt lost. We’ve all felt stuck. But here’s what we have to remember: The Writer hasn’t stopped writing.”

                “So there’s hope?”

                “As long as the file is on the computer, there is always hope.”

                “Do you think my story will be next?”

                “Why would yours be next?”

                “Mine should be next!”

                “No, mine! Come on, archaelogy! That’s a great start!”

                “What part of ‘kidnapping’ did you not understand?”

                “But I’m funny! That makes mine way more enticing, right? Right?”

                “Everyone, everyone–please calm down!”

                “She’s going to pick me!”

                “No, me!”

                “QUIET!”

                …..

                “The computer is turning on.”  

Copyright Sarah Davidson 2021

2 thoughts on “Characters Anonymous

  1. Enjoyed this, thanks. I love writing dialogue. I’ve found it to be an economical means of showing rather than telling. I guess this is why I took to screenplays so readily when the opportunity arose. One comment, though … your dream of being an author has already been realised. I used to refer to myself as a ‘wannabee-writer’. I finally achieved publication once I decided to drop that monicker and accept the fact that I was already a writer.

    Like

    1. Thank you! Your comment means a lot… And you’re right…. How a person thinks of themselves has a big impact on how the world sees them. I need to just start being a writer. Thank you!

      Like

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