Weigh in on these character writing prompts that focus on character that are overweight. I've been overweight for most of my life and as a kid it was really tough for me to deal with. Even though I had a bit of athletic skills, I was no stranger to getting picked close to the end for sports teams and as an adult, I still occasionally feel overlooked in certain aspects of my life. The fact that I'm on the edge of overweight and still feel this pressure means that those who have serious weight problems are likely to have it even tougher. When weight is an issue in your life, it can become an all-consuming problem that factors into your entire day. That being said, people who are overweight are still often active, loving and morally sound, and it's best not to vilify them in your stories.
Free Character Writing Prompts #51: Overweight
1. He was shunned by his classmates as one of the fattest kids in the school. He stopped caring about the way he dressed and he gave up eating anything but what made him feel as good as possible, despite what his parents did to stop him. When he returned home in the afternoon, he retreated into a world of video games, in which he frequently played as the most handsome, muscular character that could be conceived. He stopped thinking about himself as he was in the real world and began envisioning himself solely as the characters in his video games. Will he continue to live in this fantasy world or will he be able to learn to appreciate his own real-world attributes?
2. Throughout most of his life he'd been a skinny, fun-loving guy and while he wasn't what you'd call popular, he was well-liked by his peers. That's about when his health began to decline and the only medications that would solve his issues made affected his brain and his weight. He started acting very strangely and his weight shot up about a hundred pounds. He felt like he was seeing someone completely different in the mirror and he wasn't sure if he liked this person. He prayed that science would come up with better drugs to treat his condition, but after nearly a decade, those prayers had gone unanswered. How will his life change if he decides to go off the medication cold turkey?
3. Frankly, she didn't care if you found her attractive or not. She knew she was a full-figured woman and that most people called her fat, but she'd much rather be big than try to confirm to some societal vision of attractiveness. Sure, she sometimes ate her feelings and felt like she was at an unhealthy body weight, but she had a great singing voice and a personality that got her plenty of friends despite her size. She made fun of the skinny, popular girls and she was very much of the opinion that sexy is all in the curves. Who are some of her female role models and what will life be like for her as an adult?
4. At first, she tried to tackle her obesity with exercise and diet, but her metabolism was just too slow. That's when she decided to cope with humor. While she couldn't tone her arms, she could make herself the quickest and wittiest person she knew so that she could turn all jokes about her weight back onto the person who made them. Early on, she found that people loved her comedy all the more when it was at someone else's expense and her jokes grew meaner and meaner. She had a few friends who loved her to death, but she'd lost many due to her humor that many equated to a rusty nail. Will she continue to try to be funny and mean for the rest of her life or will she grow out of that trait with age?
5. He was a big dude, but then again, that didn't really surprise him. Every member of his family had been extremely overweight including his mom, his dad, his brothers and sisters and his extended family. They loved being huge and they often spent family reunions making mostly truthful "your momma's so fat" jokes. He never really considered trying to shed much of the weight, after all, he was one of the skinniest people in the family, even though he verged on morbidly obese. Being big was a way of life for him and his nearest and dearest, that's just the way it was. What will the future hold for this large man and the rest of his clan?
6. Throughout his childhood of abuse, divorce and constant uprooting, he had one major coping method: food. When he was sad, he would eat to dull the pain. When he was yelled at or touched inappropriately, he would fix himself a feast. In his mind, he was able to transport himself to a completely different world by putting as much food in his mouth as possible. This caused him to get so big that his family took him to several specialists. The specialists told them that there was nothing wrong with him, aside from eating about five times what a person his size should be eating. As he was forced to diet, all of his previous pain returned like a hurricane. How will he cope with his obesity and his pain while attempting to lose weight?
7. During high school and in the beginning of college she was definitely one of the pretty people. As time went on and her metabolism slowed, there was no amount of exercise that could keep her in the same shape she'd been when she won Homecoming Queen. She didn't relish being relegated from ringleader to the chubby friend and she even considered getting surgery to regain her original form. Her self-esteem took a big hit from this development and for the first time in her life, she experienced depression. What will happen with this former knockout and will she ever regain the popular status she so prizes?
8. She wasn't just any big girl, she was a state-ranked heavyweight wrestler who had as much muscle tone as some of the beefy middle-aged coaches did. In her usual day-to-day life, she was more or less a typical high school girl, taking classes, going on dates and hanging with her friends. When she got into the locker room, though, she was all business and was not willing to take any crap from any teammates or opponents. While it certainly wasn't her intention, she would frequently embarrass the boys she wrestled because she was such a tank compared to them. She was bigger and heavier than most women she knew, but she never saw that as an obstacle to her happiness. What will life be like for her as she gets older?
9. He was the biggest guy in this history of your company to walk through the front door. He was only slightly overweight when he began with the company but as his responsibilities and stress grew, so did he. To accommodate his weight, his cubicle size was increased and he was eventually given his own office. He had his own ergonomic chair for people over a certain size and he got to the office early in order to not inconvenience his peers as they tried to get to their desks. His doctors told him that he needed to do something drastic if he was going to live through the next decade. What will this co-worker of yours do to improve his health and how does he react to the way his peers look at him?
10. She wasn't born in the time when moms went to the gym while her kids were at school. She was at home cleaning, tidying and cooking. When her cooking was done, she spent her time eating and while she wasn't extremely overweight, the lack of movement was catching up with her as she got older. Her children warned her of health troubles and tried to get her to workout by placing exercise equipment throughout the house. She did a little more but tended to eat more to compensate. Her parents had been hungry during the Great Depression and she never wanted that to happen to her or her family. Describe a typical day for this hefty but caring mother.
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 Google+ and Facebook.