Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Short Stories & Such: Ghost of Your Grandmother

Martin Lastrapes said in a recent Writer’s Workshop that “any story worth telling has a character worth caring about.”
If the writer develops a character like this, then the reader is engaged- connects to the story, and they care because the character becomes real. Believable as a human is with both good and bad traits.

Lastrapes also said that writers leave their “fingerprints”when building characters, molding characters as if they were clay. As you progress to form the clay into an object, the impression of your fingers remain until you smooth out the surface and it becomes its own entity.
For the following writing prompt about the Ghost of Your Grandmother, I found some of those “fingerprints” Lastrapes discussed in his workshop.  If you read it, you will see that I tend to have characters who ask a lot of questions, which is something I tend to do.

                                                        Ghost of Your Grandmother

            My grandmother died two days ago, but I didn’t feel like the loss was great. Except, I keep having these recurring nightmares. Now I’m dealing with a bout of insomnia because they were the same dream. I just kept staring into the ceiling for affirmation that sleep would come.

Suddenly, I see a ghost who claimed to be my grandmother's spirit. I didn't believe it. Why would my grandmother come back? She waved her arms in the air like she always did when she witnessed me to be totally absurd. She began to order me to take care of something she wasn’t able to before she passed away. If I did it, she would leave me alone and won't haunt me forever. Good news, right?

I wasn't really close to her and wasn't intending to spend the rest of my nights talking to her. So, I asked what that big favor was. And do you know what she wanted me to take care of? She wanted me to go down to the drugstore and tell the pharmacist holding some medication for her to cancel the order!!

This prompt was posted onto Writer’s Digest on November 15, 2011 at

You can find Martin Lastrapes here: http://www.martinlastrapes.com/

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