Free Character Writing Prompts #75:
These character writing prompts are so twisted, they're likely to make your head spin. When you look into the eyes of some certain people, you can't help but think that they might be just a little bit off. You know the type, they tend to wear strange clothes, sit down in odd places, say very weird combinations of words and they engage in some strange activities. Most of them are merely odd people who are otherwise kind and loving. Others make every effort to make interpersonal situations bizarre and uncomfortable to rile the feathers of everyone within range. Some writers love using these odd duck characters while others shy away from them, deeming them too unrealistic. From personal experience I can tell you that there is no limit to the strangeness of some of the twisted people in our midst.
Free Character Writing Prompts #75: The Twisted
1. He wasn't interested in what most people would call conventional. He traveled to most places wearing a bathrobe because it was comfortable. He rarely shaved and it was anyone's guess how long it had been before he'd showered. He was quiet, intelligent, occasionally daring, but mostly unreliable. You weren't sure what it was he did all day, and despite this, he was late to everywhere he went. The first time you met him, he spoke completely in gibberish to you, which he never addressed again. What has made this strange person into who he is today?
2. He absolutely loved watching people, which doesn't make him that much different from those who hang out on a city bench watching the office workers go by. The thing that does make him different is that his house is hard-wired for watching all of his neighbors at all times. He fitted his house with a series of telescopes, mirrors and cameras that gave him the ability not only to see what his neighbors were doing but to record these things as well. He did this somewhat out of a sense of fear that he could be living next to a killer or a drug dealer. He also did it because he was obsessed with surveillance and fashioned himself a bit of an amateur spy. What are some of the things he's seen during his unlawful attempts to watch his neighbors?
3. When you met her through an online dating site, she seemed a lot more normal than you expected. After all, why would an attractive blond athlete in the prime of her life need to go online to find love. You figured her picture would be from a decade earlier and that she would have gained 200 pounds since then. When you met her, you were happy to find that everything on her profile was true. One things it omitted, however, was the fact that she loved watching things that you found completely disgusting. Whenever she wanted to get romantic, she had to watch torture movies like Hostel or Saw to get into the mood. On a third date, she wanted to go to a slaughterhouse and make out in a utility closet there. When you opened her fridge and saw road kill inside after the fourth date, you decided to call it quits. Why is this girl so completely into the grossest things imaginable?
4. Her nickname around town was the skinny grifter because of the game she liked to play with guys who thought she was cute. After getting to know them, she would flirt with them incessantly until they would more or less do anything she said. After all, with her all-American looks and her adorable laugh, it wasn't hard for her to reign them in. Once they were more or less hypnotized, she lured them out to the lake for a bit of skinny dipping. She would wait until the guy had completely stripped down and she'd challenge him to see how long he could hold his breath. While he was under, she ran away with his clothes and left him low and wet. Why did this skinny grifter get such pleasure at putting these guys in a precarious position?
5. When he was a kid, one of his greatest passions in life was playing with his action figures. As he got older, that desire never died as it did with most kids. The action figures just got more detailed and the fights between them that he made up grew longer. By the time he was 30, he had over 1,000 toy figures that he pitted against each other every single night. His parents worried that by putting himself in this state of arrested development that he would never find someone to settle down with. Considering they had to come over to his apartment to clean up his toys every so often, they weren't even sure he'd be able to handle life once they had passed on. Why is this man-child so obsessed with keeping his youth alive?
6. During some holidays and sporting events, you might see people completely painted from head to toe in a provocative way. You were used to seeing it for such occasions, but he wasn't the kind of guy who stuck to a schedule. It seemed like about twice a week that he would go walking the streets with nothing but an ill-fitting codpiece and a whole lot of body paint. He wasn't going anywhere in particular, he more or less just walked the streets as if he were part of the Blue Man Group. Aside from his time in shades of green, purple and red, he was an average city employee who went to work, came home and watched TV. This habit certainly set him apart. What is the story behind his frequently self-artistry?
7. Seeing an episode of the game/reality show Fear Factor was kind of like looking at a day in this fear junkie's life. Some people got their kicks with extreme sports, others with exotic trips, but she got her adrenaline pumping by covering herself with bugs or running through sewers. When she was a little kid, she tripped and fell down a shallow well and became very acquainted with the mice and snakes that made their home there. She was completely mortified and her parents took her to years of therapy. There was something about that wild experience, however, that she craved and she made every effort to recreate such a scary, disgusting event as often as she could. What are some of the grossest situations she's put herself in?
8. She absolutely loved music and could barely stop herself from singing her favorite lyrics at every moment of the day. There were two problems with this scenario, however. One issue was that the music she listened to was vile and dirty and that these were the kind of lyrics that would make people cringe and want to wash out their ears. The second concern was that her line of work was the child care industry. Several times a day, despite her best efforts, she taught some of these kids words they might not have learned for another decade or two. She was fantastic with kids aside from the unintentional potty mouth, so parents tended to give her a couple of chances. She usually used them all up within a week and was back out looking for work. What was it about these songs that made it so difficult for her to keep them from spilling out?
9. Things would be different if he had a malicious intent in what he was doing. After all, the only reason he sabotaged the careers of his co-workers was because he had a compulsion to do so. He didn't actually want them to lose their jobs, he frequently enjoyed their company. Deep down he had this feeling though, that they should receive some sort of punishment and that he was the one who had to dole it out. He would steal money from the company and frame it on a secretary. He would cause a major error on someone's computer system and make it look like the person had been avoiding work for months. When he was successful, he would go home and laugh for hours at a time, followed by sadness that he had lost another co-worker. What caused this man to need to take down his fellow employees?
10. Forty or fifty years earlier, she might have been considered somewhat normal. She was relentlessly perky and had the most positive attitude her friends had ever experienced. It was almost as if she was from a black and white TV show she was so overwhelmingly optimistic. In such a cynical world, most people assumed she was up to something or that she was about to try to sell them a time share. In reality, without coffee or any other type of stimulation, this was just how she was. As a result of the gap in the happiness continuum between her and everybody else, most thought she was absolutely out of her mind. How did this eternal optimist feel, being labeled as bonkers because of the way that she was born?
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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 Google+ and Facebook.
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