Start Writing Fiction – 2.1 Setting as antagonist – Activity 18

List 6 objects found in a character’s bedroom, office, garage, or other semi-private space. Be specific. Name them, for example:

    plants
    books
    magazine

Describe them, for example:

    clothes
    snacks
    photographs
    detritus

In 200 words, describe the character’s space in a way that provides clues to character. Now consider: could any of these objects lead to a larger story? For example:

    Is there a shameful or glorious memory attached to one of them?
    Do any of them belong to someone else?
    Is one of them being hidden on behalf of another character?

The walls were a soft pink, the paint chipping around the edges. It hadn’t been changed in a decade. There was a wrought iron bed topped with a lacy white coverlet.  A dresser, white and with painted pink roses and carnations, matching the walls, with a simple, matching white-framed mirror was pushed against the far wall.  On it sat a framed picture of a mother and a 10-year-old daughter. A generic one taken at some soulless department store studio. They both smiled, but not really. The mother’s hand appeared to rest on her daughter’s shoulder.

It was a room for a little girl.  No one would have guessed that it belonged to a young woman of 21. Not unless they lifted the spotless white coverlet and saw the jagged piece of metal between the mattress and box spring, brown with rust and spots of dried blood. And deep in the darkness underneath the bed lay a pristine suitcase that had only seen daylight once, yet to be unpacked. Yes, if you lifted the bedspread you would finally understand, the girl who lived here was trapped.

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