(Image from PostSecret)
I have two external scars of note. The one on my left arm is about 3.5 inches long, the one on my right shoulder is a little longer. I got them both ten years ago this week, when a meticulous surgeon did a great job cutting out the scary melanomas that grew there.
There is much, much more to the story, of course, but I’m going to keep those cards close to my chest until the time comes to spread them out in a novel.
Realizing that I have made the ten-year mark (not completely clean, alas; I had a pre-melanoma removed last year… but clean enough to celebrate!) made me think about the power of setting to evoke strong characterization and conflict potential.
“I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
William Carlos Williams
Today’s prompt: Write a scene in a doctor’s office. It can be one from your own life. One that you imagine a relative went through. It could be a famous person, stripped down and wrapped in a paper gown, about to get The News. Try to alternate the patient’s thoughts with details from the room. Introduce other characters; nurses, other patents, medical students, the doctor, the patient’s beloved companion, the person the character sees in the mirror. You don’t necessarily have to tell the reader exactly what is wrong with the character. Draw out the tension. Let the reader add his own tension that inevitably comes into play in this setting.
Scribble… scribble… scribble…