Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Booze

Maybe you're writing a story that's for an all-ages audience, or for a YA audience, or maybe your story just doesn't involve booze. That's cool, but for the sake of argument, why not explore the potential role of alcohol in your characters' lives?

Pick a few of your characters who are legally able to drink (if you want) and analyze their preferences. I'm not just talking about taste - think about everything from calorie count to ethical considerations. Does your character only drink union-made beer? Or maybe they prefer artificially-sweetened margaritas out of a bottle, or maybe they're a total bourbon snob. No matter what you end up deciding, think about why - maybe they avoid sugary drinks not because of a taste preference, but because they know the combination of sugar and alcohol will wake them up with a hangover at 5 a.m.
Maybe their drink of choice for getting fuckin' smashed is one of those 24-ounce caffeinated sugar bombs that got more-or-less banned in the U.S., but they know how to pace themselves and always stop after two cans.

Is there a story behind their choices? Maybe an ex got them hooked on a certain kind of wine and they still drink it to this day? Maybe there's a ritual of some kind to their drinking - drunk smoking, hanging out with the same group of friends until 4 a.m., or a particular bar that serves as a backdrop for their drama. Or maybe your character doesn't drink for religious reasons, but ended up accidentally sipping some spiked punch in college and has been paranoid about their drinks ever since. Alcohol tends to loosen tongues and tell a million stories - write them!

In a fictional universe, maybe alcohol is banned or exists in fewer varieties than in our world - feel free to explore based on the rules of your universe, or ignore those rules altogether! Maybe inspiration for a new story will emerge from it.

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