Writing Practice while People Watching at Starbucks

Last week I began reading Kate Messner’s Teacher Write blog and used the writing prompts shared to draft my own story.

I read this suggestion on Tue: watch people in a public space and create a story based on someone you watch.

Then on Wed I found myself in a Starbucks so I gave the prompt a try. I looked around and noticed a man at the table to my left, in his 20s, studying something and drinking an iced latte. I decided to call him Nate. Here’s the story I created:

Nate sets his backpack down next to his grande iced latte and pulls out the MCAT practice book and a notebook. Turning to the page he left off from yesterday, he reads the question. Reads it again. Takes a sip of his drink. Pulls his cell phone out of his breast pocket and clicks to check email. Two minutes pass. Five minutes pass. He glances back to the practice book. Nate clicks out of email and slides his cell phone back into his shirt pocket. Grabbing his pen, he begins to solve for the answer.

In ten days he will take a test that he has to score well on so he can submit the score to the med school at UVA so they can accept him into their oncology department so he can graduate with top honors and be selected to head their department where he will lead the researchers to develop the drug that cures all cancers.

But first, the test needs to be taken in ten days. First he needs to remind his brain how to solve for x in a complicated problem. First he needs to stop being distracted by his phone and his daydreaming and focus on the here and now.

Nate takes another sip of his drink and solves the next ten problems in the practice  book without interruption.


So technically this isn’t a slice from my life.
But maybe it is a slice  about how I imagined a story and wrote it down while sitting at Starbucks.
Either way, it was a fun way to practice my narrative writing skills.


13 thoughts on “Writing Practice while People Watching at Starbucks

  1. Linda Baie says:

    So now you've made me wonder about this young man, and how he will fare in his life. I love the paragraph with the 'firsts', Sally, and love that you shared your kind of slicing today!


  2. Julieanne says:

    I did the same Sally! I went to Starbucks and watched. I spied on a woman on her cell phone venting about her ex husband. She was vile. Angry. Swearing every other word. Then a friend walked up. And it was like a light switched on. She became this lovely person. I set my notes aside not knowing what to do with them. She left such a bad feeling in me. But with a little distance and your example, I'm inspired. Thanks for being a mentor.


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