This may come as a shock, but I actually did last week’s exercise, and am posting this week’s writing prompt almost on time! (I try to get them up by 9 a.m.) This exercise was inspired by my current work in progress, namely the sample chapter for a nonfiction book on domestic violence. It’s going pretty slowly, primarily because I’m really good at procrastinating. But also, this chapter tells part of my friend’s story, and writing these terrible things when I know that they have happened to my friend, is a little draining. Still, I’m about halfway through, and hope that once this is done, we can finish putting the proposal together and send it out.
One of the things that I have been researching is the phenomenon of the sociopath, and his cousin, the narcissist. These are people who either cannot feel emotion or empathy, or if they do, these feelings have become dysfunctional. But the common theme appears to be that they are easily able to put on the facade of normal human being, and even become quite charming and lovable … until the object of their manipulation fails to go along with their program. And then they show their true colors.
Thus, the theme for this week is: “The Hidden Monster.” Whether you choose the prosaic or the supernatural, think about these encounters that we have every day, and in those fleeting moments, do we know that the person with whom we are chatting DOESN’T have a body in the trunk?
Exercise 14: Choose a perspective from which to write – is your main character the unfortunate who encounters a monster cloaked in human skin? Or is he or she the one hiding behind a thin veil of humanity? How easily does the monster pass for human? What gives him or her away? Write the scene where the facade starts to slip …