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Sunday, December 18

Writing Prompt: The Skill Builder: A Tough Choice Made at Sunset

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt focuses on an exercise designed to work on a particular skill or technique, such as a POV exercise or character builder. Today’s skill:

Using description to evoke motive.


People find meaning and inspiration in the world around them, so how our characters feel at a particular moment will affect how they see the world. This can also influence their decision while they make that hard decision. For example, someone in a happy, peaceful setting might look on the bright side or give the benefit of the doubt to another, while a person struggling with what to do in a dire, stressful situation might make a darker, less optimistic choice.

Write a descriptive paragraph (or more) about someone making a tough choice while watching a sunset. Use words that evoke the struggle to make that choice that also describe the setting sun, and the feelings both the choice and the location create in them.

Pick one of these choices (or do all three for an extra challenge):

1. Someone making a choice that will result in happiness, but will cost them something they care deeply about. Show why they want to make this choice.

2. Someone deciding whether or not to take a life—theirs or someone else’s. Show why they want to take this life.

3. Someone choosing which person in their life will receive very bad news. Show why they need to be the person who gives this bad news.

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