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Exercise Wednesday: After the bad day

June 11, 2014

Last week your character had a bad day at work. But the story often only begins with the bad day. After all, the bad day isn’t what’s interesting, it’s how your character recovers the from the bad day.

Make no mistake about it, this bad day should be staying with your character. It should gnaw at him. She should lie awake at night in response. Maybe their response to the bad day includes the artificial creation  of regional wine, chocolate, beer, or Scotch shortages for everyone else.

Today is about what comes next. And what comes next isn’t always redemption or victory. It could be wallowing only to have a needed butt-kicking from an unlikely source. It could be running away, or even walking away with a head held high. It could be an overreaction to the bad day with tragic or comical results.

It could be the next step in the chain of screaming (or, the circle of screaming if you prefer), where the spouse (who also had a horrible day, doncha know?), child, cat, or the person at Publix who takes nine stinking years to slice a quarter pound of salami–the damn slicer can handle more than one pass every six minute…oh, sorry. It could be any of those people who feel the outcome.

Or it could be some deep soul searching and a vow to take the correct and very difficult next step. It could be taking a deep breath and going back to work to start the long, ego-deflating task of cleaning up the mess.

Time limit: 30 minutes

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