Writing workshop: building characters


This week, our group did a live writing exercise. We were all given a different character with basic information: name, age, and occupation. We were given a setting and then took 20 minutes to write an inner monologue.

The character I was given was: Per Jensen, 30 years old, stay at home dad. The setting was waiting in a long line at the grocery store check out. Here is the monologue I managed to write in 20 minutes, unedited.


Eggs. Milk. Diapers. Cheese? Aw, crap, I forgot the cheese. This line is so long, if I step out now that’s an extra 15 minutes at least and did I leave the oven on at home? Shit. No, better just skip the cheese.

Sonja will probably complain about that. “What do you mean you forgot the cheese? You know I like it on my toast. And all we have is strawberry jam and you know I’m allergic.” I mean, fuck, as if it’s the worst thing in the world to eat dry toast. Put some butter on it, if you’re that needy.

Ok, fine. I’ll deal with it. I mean, c’mon, I used to be the CEO of a tech startup. I can handle this. I mean sure the startup never really started up and it was only three people I was managing. I wonder how Jon is doing these days? Haven’t talked to that guy in…how old is Jacob? Born in February 2013…Crap, has it been two years already? How did that happen?

I should probably send him a Facebook message or something when I get home. Two years since the last company meeting where we all decided to pack it up. Three years of preparation and sweating blood and BOOM – some other team of 20 somethings come out with the same product, but better because they had some weird, trendy marketing ploy up their sleeve. Who is friends with Lady Gaga, anyway? And actually convinces her to write the music for their promo video?

I miss it sometimes. God, I do. But hey I’ll get another chance…I think. Only get one chance with these little nightmares, hehe. Oh, I’m next in line. Hmm, you know what, I better get that fucking cheese.

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