What’s In A Name: Writing Challenge Week 1, Sample 1

We are moving on to  a new set of writing challenges for a few weeks, this time focusing on characters and setting while applying our study of POV. Details for this week’s assignment can be found here.


Chipped chrome glinted like diamonds in the glaring Florida sun. Ron reached up and shielded his eyes, despite the dark, thin-wired aviators. He pulled in a long breath, tasting the oil and gasoline on the breeze. The exhaust of passing cars. The pungent smoke of a cheap cigarette. He followed his nose to the shack on the corner of the lot. Two of the four windows on the rusty garage door had been broken out and taped over with plastic bags that pulsed in the raking wind. They framed the source of the cigarette, the king of the car lot on his throne. His mesh-backed hat perched loosely on the top of his balding head, a chrome nameplate flashing like a silver crown.

Ron had found his kingdom, now he needed his steed.


  1. Based on your own perception of the name, did it seem fit the story being told? Yes. I can’t recall a “soft” Ron, and this one definitely sounds like a man’s man.
    Which setting did the author chose? The used car lot.
    What personality traits did you pick up on from the character? MANLY! A bit macho, self-absorbed. Likely knows his way around cars. The kind of guy who’s accustomed to getting what he wants.
    Could you relate to/commiserate with this character? As a character, yes. I probably wouldn’t “like” him, but I could see myself understanding a story from his point of view.

    I was mildly confused regarding who is what in the setting. I can picture the garage doors with the plastic covers, a cigarette, a man, and someone is this “king,” but I’m having a hard time telling who is where. Ron could as easily be in the garage as looking at it. Without knowing more, Ron could be this “king of the car lot,” or it could be another person or an image/statue.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the scene, the words you used, and all of the sensory descriptions you included! Very immersive and easy to experience.


  2. I was a little confused as to whether this scene contained Ron and some other guy in the used car lot, or just Ron. I’m hoping for the sake of his hairdresser that this scene occurred after his stint in the chair, because few things stink worse than hair after a recently-extinguished cigarette.


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