Recap: The Third Week of Turning Tales

Turning Tales. Recap of Week #3.

This was the writing topic of the week: Write what you see

People. They rush into elevators without letting the people inside get off first. They finish the milk and put the empty carton back in the fridge. They talk during movies! But aren’t they insanely interesting?

In the third week of Turning Tales, we went people watching. We plucked them right off the street (or, in the case of that one sleep paralysis demon, out of the upper right corner of our childhood bedroom :imp: ) and put them into our writing. The result is an impressive collection of finely drawn portraits!

A grandfather, jittery and frail, at peace after a good day. A stranger beside the road, carrying “a sign with oversized lettering that read, No cash, no food needed, just a hug will do, thanks!” A patient with frontal lobe dementia, “a very tall man, a little heavy”, gentle, almost childlike:

I remember the first time I visited him; I was a little afraid of him, and with reason, I am a little woman, in my seventies, with not too much force left after a heart attack. Soon, I discovered he is a sweet man. He probably has been a sweet man all his life.

It is amazing how just a few details conjure up a whole person, a whole life:

Marilyn Smith never wanted to be a waitress. She wanted to be a movie star. Each night she rolled her bleached blond hair in pink rollers – 1 inch; they had to be one inch. Marlene Dietrich only used one-inch rollers.

It’s almost impossible to describe a person without at least hinting at the relationship between them and the narrator. And just like that, there’s the seed of a plot! In the third week of Turning Tales, we read about fleeting encounters, complex relationships, even the onset of a meet-cute. Each of these scenes leads to a story.

The third week’s Turning Tales thread is now closed.

You can no longer post your own entry. But you still have a whole week to give Likes to the entries you love. :heart_eyes:

The submission that gets the most hearts will be celebrated with a full year of Papyrus Autor+. On top, we’ll give away another year of Papyrus Author+ to one of the participants at random.

On Tuesday, November 8th, you will find out if you won.

The fourth week of Turning Tales starts today, and this week … we need to talk. :speech_balloon:

How did you like the third week’s topic?

Do you find it easy to watch other people, perhaps strangers, so closely? What were the most significant details you captured? Did you do anything differently compared to your usual writing process? Did you discover anything you can apply to other projects you’re working on?

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I have known Iris (not her real name) for 15 years and last Tuesday took me completely by surprise! The prompt, to write about a person, was a gift.


It seems like I people watch much more often than I thought considering how hard it was to settle on who to write about, this was a blast of a prompt!


I had to, in college, go people watching and describe in detail what I was seeing. It was very uncomfortable to do it on command. :joy: Going on more subtle observation is my mojo. Thank you for letting me share some of my observations of people. It was a lot of fun.


Your entry was a gift, too. I can imagine her vividly. Do you think she’ll ever read the piece?

They’re free entertainment! And they’re often quite lovely.

Did you study psychology? My husband took a lot of social psychology, and for one of the classes, they had to commit mild social transgressions and record people’s reactions. It was beyond funny to watch, but I was low-key glad I didn’t have to do the assignment.

Oh yes, I will be playing canasta with her this afternoon. She will laugh.

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Yes, I did study psych. :joy:

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Is tomorrow’s prompt at 2pm or 3pm UK time?

Our next Prompt will go live at 3pm UK time.
Looking forward to reading your next entry @RTGraver :raised_hands:

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Perfect, thank you. It just determines when I take my break at work as to what time the prompt is :roll_eyes:


As a former bartender and waitress I have overheard many conversations. Some more interesting than others! Can’t wait to see what today’s prompt has in store for us :slight_smile:

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Darn, I will be out until after 5pm. Looking forward to the new topic.

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