Characters Demand Attention

Haikuandydotcom sends a daily Haiku if you sign up for it. Today’s makes a good writing prompt.

chinese restaurant

the future manager

refills our water

Makes me wonder about the future manager. Does he/she know about the future promotion? How long will it take? What is the character like, kind or ruthless? Is there an internal struggle? Perhaps accomplishing success in a restaurant doesn’t satisfy the deep desire to do other work. What does the facial expression look like? What is revealed by the body language as the water is poured?

I sense the character emerging but I have to say “later”. I already have characters clamoring for attention. Hada wants to be published this year. Lilli wants her story completed since she’s ready to redeem herself from her deeds in Hada’s story. Jill wants to time travel, but she sits in an outline.

Maybe someone else will be inspired to write about the future restaurant manager. I’d love to read the story.


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For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

4 thoughts on “Characters Demand Attention”

  1. It is strange how the human mind works. Your prompt catches me at a time when Casey Lawrence is fighting to figure out marketing strategies and Magdelaine LaFramboise is arguing with me over how to tell her story. I read your blog and my thoughts skipped down a crazy path from one random idea to another. Chinese restaurant. Any restaurant. My daughter considered opening a restaurant. A teenage slob, she was to be a future manager. She morphed into the ultimate organizer, juggling her work, her kids, and even me. Onward my thoughts skittered, to a dinner out. My daughter leaving us to babysit when she and her husband enjoyed a short reprieve. .Hmmm, it was a lot of mental leapfrogging, but I’m seeing a story come to the forefront to displace other competition for my writing time. It will have no resemblance to the prompt. Maybe that’s the beauty of prompts. They can lead us anywhere. Thanks.


  2. Julaina – I love where writing prompts, both words and visuals send my mind. I’ll often wake in the night and think of snips of stories. However, I’m not sure that’s a good idea for someone who suffers from insomnia. My own characters continue to clammer in my head but had a big break through a little over a week ago – a real duh moment. Now I’m anxious to move along into the final stretch.


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