There’s a great online creative writing group called Write On Edge. They provide information for writers, writing prompts, and fantastic community support. There’s even a book club, of sorts, on the Twitter.
Here’s the Red Writing Hood prompt for this week.
This week, we’d like you to take an honest look in your toolbox and pull out one of the tools you believe needs a little polishing.
I don’t know if “writing men” is a tool, but, for the sake of the prompt, I’ll classify my problem under the “character development” tool. Also, the word count is a problem. It’s supposed to be 400. Well, I’ll work on that next time. (Sorry.)
This is another excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel. Again, unedited. I’ll get around to editing once I finish the crappy first draft. Whenever that is….
David woke up the next morning at eleven o’clock. He’d stayed up most of the night, reading “Christianity in a Modern World.” The more he read, the more he realized how hard it would be. He admired Sarah, and, above all, Bradley, the more the thought about it. He knew Sarah would give him a hard time for being late, no matter the reason. He wasn’t about to tell her why he’d been up all night. She’d read too much into it. He would show up and let her assume what she wished.
While in the shower, he thought about the girl he was supposed to go out with later. She was tall, blonde, too thin, and had the IQ of a sand gnat–his typical Saturday night date. He always had a good time, ensured by consuming large quantities of alcohol and the assurance of an overnight visit, but he wasn’t up to it today.
Standing in his towel, dripping on the carpet, he dialed the phone number written on a cocktail napkin. It rang once and a woman’s voice said hello on the other end of the line. “Hey, Brandy, this is David. What’s up?”
“Um, Mandy is my roommate. I’ll get her for you,” the woman said. David dropped the phone to his chest and then banged it on his head before putting it back to his ear. He heard the girl calling to Mandy. “Hey, Brandy, that jerk is on the phone for you.”
Mandy took the phone and he heard her confused voice talking back to her roommate. “Brandy? What is wrong with you, Lila?” He heard the roommate’s mumbled reply. “Shhh, Lila, he’ll hear you. It was an honest mistake.” Then, to him. “Hello?”
“Good morning, Mandy. It’s David.”
“Oh, hi David! I was wondering if you forgot about me. I can’t wait to go out tonight. My roommate is driving me crazy. She’s such a bitch.”
“About that. I can’t make it.”
The line went silent.
“Something came up and I can’t get out of it.” David knew he didn’t sound convincing. “Maybe we can go out next weekend?”
“You know what? How about we just forget it.” Her voice was cold.
Thank God. “Don’t be that way. I really wanted to go out tonight but I just can’t do it. Come on, don’t be mad. Go out with me next weekend.”
The line was silent for a few seconds before Mandy’s teasing voice said, “I really shouldn’t but I can’t say no to you. But you already know that from last weekend, don’t you?”
David cringed. He’d spent the better half of last Friday night kissing and groping Mandy, whom he’d known for exactly one hour, in the back table at a bar. If she hadn’t been so drunk, he’d have brought her home. As it was, her roommate and he had to drag her to her roommate’s car. He made the obligatory promise to call her. Her roommate had looked skeptical and it pissed him off. He’d called the next day before lunch. The short conversation made him regret the decision, but the equally satisfying prospects of a sure thing and making the roommate mad won the day. He made the date.
Now, three days later, he definitely did not want to go out with this girl. He refused to analyze the reasons, but he had to get out of it.
“Alright, Brandy, next Saturday. Can you pick me up? My car isn’t running at the moment.”
Mandy, voice absolutely arctic, answered, “Screw you, David.” The line went dead.
David hung up the phone. Crisis averted, he tossed the phone on the bed, and went to the bathroom to shave. He whistled happily as he spread the shaving cream on his face and made the first swipe across his face. The second swipe cut his face. “Dammit.” He grabbed a hand towel and pressed it on his face to stop the bleeding.
Serves you right.
The thought surprised David. He’d broken a date. That was all. No harm done.
He’d hurt her feelings, but it was for her own good. His intentions weren’t honorable.
David flipped on the radio and turned up the volume all the way. He wiped his face and got out his electric razor. He finished the job quickly and got dressed. When he was putting on his clothes, his roommate, Shane, stormed into the room and unplugged the radio. “What the hell, David? That shit woke me up.”
“It’s noon. About time you woke up, don’t you think?”
“I was out late. Anyway, I don’t want to wake up to that crap any time of day.” Shane went into the bathroom and yelled through the door. “What the hell happened in here? You get your period?”
“Nice, Shane. I cut myself shaving.”
Shane opened up the door. “Jesus, you’re not supposed to shave this way,” he mimicked shaving, flicking the “razor” horizontally across his face. “Where are you going, anyway?”
“To fix a girl’s computer.” Shane put on his jacket.
“Is that what you’re calling it now?” Shane made a crude gesture.
“Knock it off. I’m really fixing a girl’s computer.”
“Let me guess. Sarah. Dude, I do not get why you spend time with that chick. She sounds like a real…”
David threw a pair of balled-up socks at Shane and hit him in the chest. “I said knock it off.”
Shane held up his hands. “Whatever. It’s your life. At least I’m finally getting some sleep around here. It’s quiet without all the squealing.” Shane dodged the shoe that David threw at him. “Touchy, aren’t we? Are you sure you didn’t get your period?” He ran into his room and slammed the door right before the other shoe hit it. “Have fun with Sarah at church or wherever,” he called through the door.
David hit the door in response and left the apartment. He looked at his car clock. Twelve thirty. He decided to swing by The Bean Hill and pick up a latte for Sarah. Maybe it would keep her from ragging on him too bad. Somehow, he doubted it.