DIY MFA Prompt: The Name Game

Prompt: Pick first and last name from the provided list. Answer a few character questions. Begin a scene with the provided line of dialogue (You think you know what it’s like, but you don’t) and write until you fill the page.

DIY MFA Name Game


“You think you know what it’s like, but you don’t!” Isadora said before stomping up the stairs to her attic bedroom. She tried to ignore the hurt look on her aunt’s face, holding back tears of her own.

After a few minutes, there was a knock on her door. Isadora’s cousin Charlie poked his head into the room.

“Can I come in?”

Isadora shrugged. She was staring out the window at the snow-covered yard. Charlie walked over to join her.

“She means well, ya know,” he said after a moment.


“She misses your mom too.”

Isadora sniffed and wiped under her eyes. “Yeah.” She sighed. “It’s just…I feel so alone sometimes, and I wish Aunt Barb would…I dunno…”

“Be more like a mom?” Charlie suggested.

“Yeah, something like that…”

Charlie pulled her in for a hug. “She’s a teacher by nature. Motherhood comes second. I guess I’m used to it because it’s the only way I’ve ever known her. But I can also see what you mean. But she does try. Really.”

“I know… And I appreciate her letting me come here to stay and getting me the job at the library, but… I feel so out of place.”

“Where would you rather be?”
Isadora didn’t answer for a minute. Her eyes glazed over as she pictured a stage illuminated in bright lights. She could hear a band playing out of sight as she walked out to the center and belted out a solo. “I don’t know,” she said at last. She still wasn’t ready to talk about her ambitions. Only Anne knew the truth. But Anne was out of town for Christmas and Isadora was feeling particularly lonely. Charlie just wouldn’t understand.

“So, we need to make the best of what you’ve got then. Come downstairs when you’re ready. We’re making cookies tonight, so the twins can leave them out for Santa.”

Isadora couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, I guess that sounds fun.”

“As long as they don’t get ahold of the mixer, it will be a great time,” Charlie said. He hugged her again. “See you in the kitchen.”

Isadora watched him go and then sat on her bed. She pulled her lockbox out from under the side table and recounted her money. Wouldn’t be long now before she could buy her train ticket to New York and start school. But she’d have to tell them soon, and that was the part she wasn’t looking forward to.