By Cait Collins
Things happen. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they’re hell. We can write great scenes, but if the characters do not react in keeping with their personalities, the story loses its integrity. Let’s try this. Your story has three female characters. Missy is in her early twenties. She is shy, withdraw, and nervous. Prissy is about 25. She’s been on her own since her late teens. She’s outgoing, friendly and independent. At 32, Krissy is strong, confident, and a take-no prisoners woman.
There have been a number of break-ins in town recently. The authorities are looking for suspects, but no one has witnessed the robberies. People are adding more security to their homes, but not everyone can afford the extras.
One weekend, Missy goes to visit her friend in Oklahoma. Prissy is attending a wedding in San Antonio. Krissy attends a conference in Denver. When they return home, they find they are victims of the bugler. Two of them have lost jewelry, TV sets, and computers. The police were able to contact the two women to warn them of the break-ins, but Krissy is not answering her cell phone and no one seems to know where she went. She has no warning.
Based on the information provided, pick one of the women and write a scene about her arrival home and facing the disaster. Here is my take on Krissy’s response.
Krissy dropped the phone into the cradle. Her cell phone bit the dust when she was pushed into a fountain by a group of rowdy teenagers. At least she could phone the police, her boss, and her brother. Thank goodness nothing appeared to have been taken. The only evidence of the entry was the banged up door facings and leaves that had blown in through the open doorway.
“It could have been worse, Kris,” her brother stated. “You could have been here when he came through the door. You could have been hurt bad.”
“The jerk could have been killed. I don’t miss.”
“Can I get you something? I mean, have you eaten anything?”
“There’s a bottle of Merlot in the wine fridge. Pour me a large glass.” Please,” she added.
The doorbell chimed. Krissy stormed to the front hall. Peeking around the curtain, she muttered a curse. The bell chimed again. She yanked open the door. A sheriff’s deputy grabbed her into a fierce hug.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again, Kris. I thought you were kidnapped or worse. I had to report you as a missing person. He released her.
“That should have thrilled you. I’ve been invisible for years. You haven’t seen me since I chose to take the job with Senator Sellers. I’ve been nothing but an irritation since you decided there was no relationship. Not even a friendship. Go back to your office, report me found, and forget I exist. I never want to see you again.”