Something Useful for 2016 - Exercise No. 23

The Christmas Market in Chester Town Hall Square

Last week, my family and I trundled into Chester on a chilly Thursday night to watch the city lights switch on. The streets were heaving with people, young and old, all come together to share the experience. When the time came, all eyes turned to watch Santa who stood on the walkway where the city clock sits above the main street. He waved cheerily as the steamers of fireworks raced into the sky from either side of him.

I say all eyes. I took a sneaky look at the crowds as they watched. I noticed the three teenage girls hunched together, the toddler doing his best to escape from his parents, and the old man blowing on his ungloved hands. All of them were strangers to me. I didn't know their names or where they lived, or how happy their lives were. I could only imagine.

This month, as the streets and the shops fill with crowds preparing for the festive break, take some time to people watch. Who catches your eye? Who could be the inspiration for a character? What exchange could provide a what-if for a story? Even better, do it from the warmth and safety of a coffee shop that looks out on the masses. What better excuse do you need for a mug of hot chocolate?


  1. The holidays are excellent people watching time--personal stories revealed by their reactions to supposedly happy things -- it's a writer's buffet! Great idea, Fi.

  2. So many possibilities! Great writing prompt idea.


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