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Free Character Writing Prompts #83: 
Drug Dealers

Here is a set of character writing prompts on drug dealers. Television, especially after-school specials, tend to portray drug dealers as evil peddlers of poison who are more likely to give their products to young children than they are to smile or say something kind. Now, while I'm in no way supporting drug dealers, to portray them as such malevolent souls would lead to very one-dimensional characters. Movies like Pineapple Express have shown us that some drug dealers are just idiots while shows like "Breaking Bad" have given us the conflicted, backed into a corner dealer character. Keep away from the clichés and give these characters a bit of panache with their stash.

Free Character Writing Prompts #83: Drug Dealers

1. When he got into the business, his friends always told him never to sample too much of his own supply. Before they even finished the warning, he was too high on marijuana to even remember the advice. He may have been a bit of an idiot but he wasn't mean-spirited. He frequently gave money to the homeless and even volunteered at a shelter once. He kept things simple and wasn't in the business for the money. He wanted to make enough money to sustain his habit, pay his bills and allow him to get some decent Christmas presents for his family. How does he feel morally about selling drugs?

2. It didn't start out with kids, he kept telling himself. He never wanted to be that guy who messed with kids' education, but before he knew it, he was providing product to high school students. It all started when his cousin started begging him to be a part of the business. He didn't want to say no to family, since family had always been important to him. He tried to make it clear though, that he shouldn't spread it around to his friends and especially not anybody younger. His cousin didn't listen, but found a way to nearly triple the money being pulled in within a few months. When he made the final payment on his mother's house, he was excited to reach a lifelong goal but hated the way in which it was achieved. Will he stop peddling his product to kids or will the lure of the added money be too great for him?

3. It wasn't hard for her to get her night's work complete within an hour or so. After all, she was a very attractive girl and people usually came up to her in the booming club whether or not they knew she had drugs. Her goal was to unload enough ecstasy and other products to get her through the next month and she had little to no problem doing that on a good night. She had become an expert at doing the exchange of money and pills discretely and she had a reputation as a bit of a ghost, sneaking in and out of the club so quickly, you'd swear she wasn't there. She rarely took part in the drugs herself as it wasn't good for her bottom line. Besides, while others had a good time letting go of their inhibitions, she much more enjoyed being in control while counting her earnings. How did she get into this business in the first place?

4. People had a lot of pain and she wanted to be the one to fix it. She'd grown up in a household of drugs and when her family was having trouble, she naturally gravitated toward selling drugs as a way to get out of it. She made a few deals with some local corrupt doctors to procure a seemingly endless supply of pain pills like OxyContin. She found her appropriate demographic as young adults who felt the world was too much for them. They would take the pills straight up or crush them and snort the powder. The pills were extremely addictive and she tried and failed to avoid addiction herself. She felt like a zombie walking around and selling the drugs at a heck of a profit. From the looks of things,finding the best inpatient OxyContin rehab centers would be the farthest thing from her mind. Even when she'd more than dealt with her family's financial worries, she kept the routine up because she felt too zoned out to do much of anything else. What will be the end result of her attempts to dull her pain and the pain of others?

5. Crime had been a part of his life since he was a baby, which was why his parents moved the family to the states when he was a teenager. He didn't have much problem adopting the language but he hated being labeled as one of the poor kids. He shoplifted multiple times until he was caught and thrown in juvenile hall. That's when he learned that drug dealing could be a much more lucrative trade. He began dealing whatever drugs he could find, but made sure to do it all from his car, so that the police couldn't track him to one location. His parents were both unemployed, so most of the money he made went to them. They knew what their son was doing, but they were proud that he was willing to risk his life to take care of them. Has he ever had any close calls with the law or with unruly customers?

6. When people asked him if he was a "drug dealer," he laughed. After all, most people viewed drug dealers as those having to deal with crazy addicts and run from the cops every night. He was on the top of the food chain. He was the one who brought product direct from the "factory" and sold it to regional dealers at a 10 to 1 profit. He only dealt with people he knew well and he kept his spending discrete so as not to raise a lot of attention. He didn't really think too much about where the drugs were going, he mostly thought about his own life and his own problems. Anyone who got addicted to the stuff he was pushing in their general direction had to deal with their issues on their own. How did he become so high up in the area's drug trade?

7. She was recruited to be a holder at the age of 11, because nobody would suspect a tiny, little girl to be holding onto drugs and guns. Then again, she was holding these things for kids only a few years older than her. As she got older and she began to blossom into a devilishly cunning young woman, her friends realized that she could use her skills to get into places most of them couldn't. She began making deals with people running drugs in clubs throughout the city. She enjoyed getting the chance to dress up all nice and pretend to be 21. She even flirted her way out of a cop searching her boss' car on the way to a deal. Why did she decide to continue in this line of work throughout her teens instead of branching out and doing her own thing?

8. When her husband was locked away for a long time, she had no idea what she was going to do to keep her family going. She hadn't had a job for years, because her husband's drug dealing had kept them secure as long as she'd been a mother. She realized though, that she still had all of her husband's contacts and that it wouldn't be hard for her to do what he had done all these years, after all, she'd watched and even accompanied him throughout all his activities. She decided to use her children to move the product, making it look like they were delivering birthday presents to family friends and loved ones. She felt a pang of sorrow, recruiting her kids into such a dirty business, but she knew that if she was going to put them through college, all of them were going to need to work a little harder. What are some of the ways in which she works differently than her husband did?

9. He went to college to learn how to run his own business, though he never expected he'd be running that business while he was still attending. He'd never really been into drugs himself, but he quickly noticed that the people moving the stuff around campus were doing it in an extremely inefficient way. He worked his way into the group and eventually took over as he was obviously one of the smartest of the bunch. He quickly grew their organization and eventually they were selling nearly twice as much to the sororities and fraternities on campus. He even made some connections with campus police to keep them safer from authorities. By the time he left school, he had become an expert in the area. How would his college life have been different if he hadn't gotten into the drug trade?

10. Most people knew her as the kind, little old lady who lived at the end of the block. Her closest friends knew her as their marijuana supplier. The woman, in her 70s, had started growing the drug because it helped her with some of her ailments such as back pain and depression. Now that her husband had passed away, she didn't have much to do aside from tending to her marijuana garden. When friends inquired about it, she shared pot brownies and cookies with them to heal their own pain. Word eventually got out and the woman's crop was taken from her. She decided to fight back in court and try to get special dispensation for those who needed medical marijuana. How successful will she be in her efforts be become a dealer once again? 

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Done with Character Writing Prompts about Drug Dealers? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts. 

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.

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