Teachers Write: Tuesday Quick Write 6/19

19 Jun

Yay, time for Tuesday Quick Write for #teacherswrite! Here’s the prompt:

“Getting to know your characters is crucial. This means more than just the surface things like hair color or height. It means knowing what they like and what they don’t. What’s in their closet. How they talk and how they perceive the universe. Once you understand these things about your characters, their voices will shine in your writing.

So today, think of the main character in whatever you’re working on. Writing in that character’s voice, answer these two questions: How do you see yourself? How do others see you?”

I’m going to continue working with Sam. I’m not sure yet why she is troubled or even in trouble, so I’m anxious to let her reveal that to me.

She must be careful here, something is not right here. She quietly allowed one tear to break free and glide down her filthy face. That one tear felt like a rushing waterfall poured over her. It was a struggle to constrain the other tears that threatened to loose their grasp from her eyelashes. She felt worthy of the punishment which was sure to come. Sam cast a sideways glance through her knees to the chair. That formidable chair held so much power in this barren room. Sam rubbed her face on her pants, finally deciding to pull her head up out of her lap. “I won’t show them my tears,” she thought, “this place is not right.”

Sam thought back through the last year. She had a fight with her brother and ran away from home. She was too scared to go back and face the swift punishment from her father that was sure to come. So she kept running. She ran so far she knew she’d never be able to go home. “But why am I here?” she asked herself. She struggled to pinpoint her last memory – what she was doing before she found herself in this place. She could not remember. Her head rested against the stone wall and she let her eyes roll downward and she saw how tattered her clothes were. Sam’s jeans were ripped at the hem and the knees, her tank top was ripped at her midriff. “Oh God,” she thought as she battled the approaching thoughts.

She refused to believe she would be allowed to leave this place without harm. Preventing the optimistic thoughts from encroaching took all of what feeble effort she had left. She must not succumb to the whisper of hope. She must stay strong. Something is not right here.

She remembered the look on her brother’s face when she threatened to turn him in. His stupor conceded to rage as he shoved her against the wall. “Get up!” he screamed. As she rolled onto her hands and knees he kicked her in the stomach. Sam never felt such excruciating pain, not even when she fell out of the tree house and broke her arm and ankle. She tried to remember what it felt like when her brother attacked her that last time. She couldn’t remember. When her brother kicked her, she collapsed and curled up in pain. Then he picked her up and threw her down the stairs. She remembered the crack as her head dented the wall. After that, Sam remembers nothing.

“Surely this place can’t be worse,” uttered an encouraging thought. She balled up her fists and forced the thought out. She knew better. This would definitely be worse.

Okay, so I didn’t exactly write within the guidelines, I started to, but then I felt the need to just continue where the previous post left off. On the flip side, I did learn a little about her inner torment. I’m sure I won’t learn what caused Sam to be in this place, or even what “this place” is for a while. That’s okay. We’re taking this journey together, Sam and I. I’m eager to tell her story as she reveals more to me.

Want to learn more and join the fun? Check out #teacherswrite on Twitter! Also, be sure to check out Kate Messner’s blog for all of the writing prompts!

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