How Did I Get Here?

Imagine the LEAST likely character to be driving this jeep. Someone who does NOT want to be driving it but has to because of some circumstance.

Your task is first to conjure for yourself who this person is. Make up a character or use one you’re already working with, but make sure that person is not likely to be found driving this car. Then write down a plausible explanation or series of events that result in putting that person right there in the driver’s seat. You do this in the form of a note to yourself. How did Augustus, the appraiser of fine crystal, end up driving the burgundy jeep with the skull on the front? The series of events (or simple explanation) can be a bit crazy or totally normal (it’s his brother Plautus’ jeep and Plautus is too drunk to drive after their sister Lavinia’s wedding to the shipping magnate) but it must be believable to the reader.

Then, once you’ve dreamed this up, write a scene or passage about your character (poor Augustus for me) driving this car. What is it like for him or her? How do people react, if at all? Does anything go wrong? (Augustus never drives, for example, and does not even have a license.)

Above all, have fun with it!

Jennifer Buxton teaches fiction at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. She is a loudly proud alumna of YWW (‘84-‘85), where she once served as Writer-in-Residence with Elizabeth Hadaway, and later as writing teacher in fiction. She has an MFA from the University of Virginia, has published in Epoch, Puerto del Sol, and Blue Penny Quarterly, and is finishing a book of stories called Speaking Español.

Photo credit: Sook Seo