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Exercise #354

Exercise #354: Craft
Posted  2/5/10

A pause in the use of your Exercise #336 suggestions for Craft while I shamelessly exploit this one sent in by Steven Williamson:

“Someone on DD wanted to practice details, I think. People-watching leads to great imaginings. Sometimes we make rash judgments based on how a person looks or acts, or we make instant stories and histories about a passerby.

We had this prompt in high school and I never forgot it. Show us a subway car or elevator with at least five people in it. Tell us where they are going, who they may be, why are they here, using only details we can see. What can we read by their faces? Is there a business man? Can we tell if he is cheating on his wife? Is that cleaning lady really a spy, placing bugs in offices? The mother with the baby? Is she trapped by the child? Could we tell that by her manner or dress?

I do this a lot; watching people go by on the street or in a mall if I have to wait. Everyone has a story.”

Since I don’t know where that high school prompt came from and don’t want to infringe on copyrights, I’m going to use Steven’s own technique and say:

You are waiting for something at the local shopping mall. While you wait, various people catch your eye. Five of them are worth watching. Show us these people. Let us know why they’re here, who they may be, what’s going on in their lives, using only details you can see.

Critiquers, can you feel yourself transported to this mall?

Note the increased word limit.

Word limit: 1500
Please use the subject line
       SUB: Exercise #354/yourname

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