Hump Day Writing Prompt: The Name on the Sign


I don’t think we’ve ever done a writing prompt that dealt with a minor character.

Minor is, of course, a relative term. There are characters in literature who aren’t the protagonist or the antagonist who absolutely make the story. Here are some classics:

  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Professor Dumbledore
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Tinkerbell
  • Mr. Tumnus

So, last night I was driving my daughter to soccer practice and I passed a sign that I see practically everyday, but never really notice. There’s an apartment (or maybe condo?) complex with a small golf course attached to it. The Trent Jones golf course.

For the first time I wondered . . . who is Trent Jones?

Here’s your challenge today. Think of a street or building or . . . golf course in your town that’s named after someone you don’t know. Then write about who that person is. Try to make them someone who might have a place in your current work-in-progress, even if you never put them in your story.

My Turn

In my story, Wonder Roo, the two main characters (Gideon and Roona) rush to a local Old Folks Home to try to retrieve a blueberry pie that Roona’s mother made while she was very sad. Roona believes that her mother bakes her emotions into her cakes and pies. When they arrive at the Old Folks Home, everyone is crying. They’re too late


Trent Jones is eighty-six years old. He used to be so strong. An athlete. He was a champion golfer once. The city even named a municipal golf course after him. But, he’s more frail than he used to be, since his heart attack on his eightieth birthday.

He had to move to a nursing home. It was the lowest point of his life. He’d been married for fifty-three years. He didn’t want to leave his home or his wife or his life. And then Sarah came with him. Like it wasn’t even a question. She put their house up for sale and they moved into assisted living.

He thought she probably wouldn’t have to live in the nursing home long. He went to bed every night sure that he wouldn’t wake up again. But he did. And he got better. Stronger, although he never got back to where he had been.

And then one morning, six years later, it was Sarah who didn’t wake up. His Sarah was gone.

Your Turn

Pick a person a street or building or whatever in your town is named after and write about them. But them into your story somehow, then come share it on Facebook if you want some feedback.


Did you know that there’s an ebook full of all the Hump Day Writing Prompts from 2016? Every Patreon Patron gets a copy–even at the $1 level! Check out the $10 level for The 100 Day MFA.


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