The Judgement – The Bus Station Test

As well as announcing something I’ve been planning to do for a while, this blog is an invitation.

This idea was proposed to me by an online friend. He suggested I take a notebook to my local bus station (where I find myself wasting hours away often) and then write down opinions of people. He stated he would do the same and we would report back to each other.

I explain that these opinions DO NOT include the following:
“Mutton dressed as lamb”
“Poof”
“Junkie”
Instead, observations would be made of those present and we would try to determine the persons reason for being at the station at that particular time on that particular day.

All of this completely flew out my mind until I was intrigued by a dishevelled man as I was waiting on a bus.

He had a short pull along cart that wasn’t working very well and in which was a duffel bag as well as an ASDA plastic bag, he was wearing tatty jeans and a large black coat. His hair was rather short and fairly smart. He appeared to be in his late thirties or forties. He boarded his desired bus and scraped the correct amount of change from the carrier bag which I then realised was his makeshift wallet.

I began to wonder what had happened to him.

I can usually tell when someone has been using drugs and this man didn’t have any physical signs of being a drug addict. However, some may stereo-typically think that due to his clothing. It was possible that he has been homeless for a short period of time. I then expanded on that idea by deciding that his wife had thrown him out and he was travelling to temporary accommodation. Of course that is all just a fiction created in my mind.

Although this was called The Bus Station Test it can be done anywhere. Take a notepad or use the notes application on your phone, sit and observe. Write down a description of each person you see then create a scenario for them.

It would be a fantastic exercise for aspiring writers as it allows the creative juices to flow when you are not sitting at a desk and therefore it doesn’t feel like work.

You never know, you might meet someone so interesting that your little scenario becomes a best selling novel!

I know that if someone wrote a scenario based on what I was wearing, where I was and at what time then I would love to hear it.

So; grab your notebooks, get going and report back to me!

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