Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #8 — Salesman
Welcome to Week 8 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Here’s a complete list of all the posts so far. Feel free to join in.
This week’s random word is: Salesman
Okay, this was a tough one. When the random word generator spat out salesman, my brain went blank. I had nothing for it. Like a lot of people, I’ve not had the best experience with them—especially car salesmen. But, tapping into my bad experiences gave me a starting point for the first five-minute sprint.
Here’s my first sprint (unedited):
An honest salesman? If there ever were such a thing, it would be a rare breed. Instead of pushing the benefits of the product, he’d go out of his way to point out its failings—all the while endearing himself to the customer.
With each transparent sales consultation, he’d garner insane commissions and gain another customer for life. And, even if someone were to complain, they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. He’d just point out that he explained the failures of the product.
Now, if he were a hitman’s salesman, how would that go? Would he run through the list of possible hit scenarios? Would he try to upsell alibis, upgrades, the latest offers?
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The above leans a bit on stream of consciousness writing. Not entirely, because I’m not a fan of SoC. Instead of getting down every thought in my head, I forced my mind to stick to the prompt.
After a ten-minute break, I came back and re-read the first sprint, looking for something to spark my imagination. Well, I’ve got to admit that there’s really nothing doing it for me. But, forcing my imagination to work is part of the job of a writer.
So, I’m going to go with the part that intrigued me a little: Would he run through the list of possible hit scenarios?
Here’s my second sprint (basic editing):
Avery eyed the weasel-faced man sitting across the table from him. Something was off about Weasle. He was sweating more than the weather conditions warranted. Avery glanced at the mirror above the man’s head, trying to get a read on the other patrons of the bar. No one stuck out as law enforcement.
“So, when can you do it?” Weasel man rubbed the back of his neck. “How will you do it?”
Most clients asked the same questions, but Weasle was jumpier than a wet rat on a livewire. Avery discreetly checked his signal scrambler was still active before leaning in. “How do you want me to do it? Car bomb, robbery gone wrong, accident? Or, you know, I could arrange to meet her in a bar. Slip a little something in her drink. She’ll start to sweat…” He let his eyes drift to the drink he’d handed Weasle when the man had arrived.
Well, this sprint went way better than I thought it would. It’s not perfect, but it fires my imagination. With the type of characters I write, I can’t be sure if Avery is the bad guy or if he’s the hero. I like the idea of him being the hero, mainly because my heroes live on the fringes and have broken moral compasses.
Thanks for reading!
HOW IT WORKS
- Don’t think too hard on the noun; just write about it for five minutes.
- Once the five minutes are up, walk away for about five/ten minutes.
- Now, come back to the text and re-read it,
- Pick out something that piques your interest and write about that for five minutes.
- Be courageous and post your results to your blog. (Both sets of writing sessions or just the one, it’s up to you.)
- Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
- Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
- Your text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
- No real-life stories.
- The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.
Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.