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Where Oh Where?

Let's play a game. What do the following have in common?

  • a place of worship (whether formal or the Church of Universal Light Ministry in a back room on Walworth Road)

  • a council meeting - full council or a committee

  • a minicab office (just ask to hang out)

  • a children's playground after school (maybe not one for the chaps)

  • Battersea Dogs' Home

  • a courtroom

Give up?

These are suggestions for places to go that might be out of my MA group's comfort zone. The task at hand is to go some place where:

  1. you are a stranger

  2. you can blend in / not be obtrusive

  3. people who are there are "regulars" and will have some kind of interaction (beyond store clerks waiting on customers)

And then we write a scene from the point of view of one of the regulars. I'd really like to go sit in at the winner's table of one of Nottingham's sexed-up Wednesday pub quizzes and write from the POV of a losing table, but deadlines are deadlines.

So, in lieu of that, where would you go? Where would you suggest I go? The piece (500-1,000 words, not too long) has to be turned in by 6pm on Sunday, so I'd like to have my visiting done before noontime on Saturday. That gives me Thursday evening, Friday morning, Friday evening and early Saturday.

Oh, we've gotten additional instructions: "sordid is best; try to make your pieces involve action/story not memory/editorializing/thinking (it's always easy to invent a character with a whole lot of angst/opinion); what cuts the mustard is people showing themselves by their actions, by being in a place and doing their thing; the characters should all belong in the place you visit - no observers or fishes out of water, it's about how a place/event works and how the people make it function."

All suggestions welcome. Go.