Writing 101: Day Eighteen – “Hone Your Point of View”

Day Eighteen – Hone Your Point of View:  

* Today’s Prompt:  The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

* Today’s Twist:  For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.


Dad said that this was gonna happen one day, and I guess he was right. But I guess Dad’s always right. At least that’s what Mom always says. “Listen to your father, young man. If you want to grow up to be a good man like him, then listen to your father. He’s always right, don’t you know.” That’s what she always says. And after that she says: “And whatever you do, don’t follow in your brother’s footsteps. Look what happened to him. If he had listened to your father, he wouldn’t be in the situation that he’s in now. And he’s full of regrets, believe you me. And that’s one thing you don’t want to be – full of regrets. So listen to your father.” I just hate it when she talks about Danny like that. I know that one of these days he’s gonna show them that they’re wrong about him and then they’ll be sorry that they bad-mouthed him.

But Dad was right about old Mrs. Pauley. She’s lived across the street for so long that I thought for sure that some day they’d find her dead in some corner of her house. She was really sad after Mr. Pauley died a few months ago and never even left her house after that. I heard somewhere that sometimes people died of a broken heart and I thought maybe that would happen to her. When I asked Dad about this, he just laughed at me and said that was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard. He’s always making fun of me, and I just hate it when he does. I think that’s one of the reasons that Danny left when he did because Dad did the same thing to him. I don’t blame him for leaving. But Mrs. Pauley sure must have been lonely after Mr. Pauley died. All her kids moved away a long time ago, so she didn’t have anyone to talk to. It’s too bad she didn’t have a dog or cat.

One night at supper Dad said that he heard she couldn’t pay her rent and he thought she was gonna get kicked out of her house pretty soon. And she doesn’t have a job like Dad does, so I guess she doesn’t have any money to pay for the rent.

And sure enough, there’s the man who Dad says is the landlord and he’s even got a policeman with him. So I guess it’s pretty serious to get kicked out of your house. I hope they don’t arrest her because I don’t think Mrs. Pauley would do good in jail. And she’s pretty old to be in jail. Geez – I feel sorry for old Mrs. Pauley. It’s not her fault that her husband died on her and that all her kids moved away. It must be awful to get old like that. I wonder what’s gonna happen to her. I mean, where’s she gonna go? Who’s gonna take care of her? I hope I never get old . . .


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