• Jessica Sherry

5 Story Writing Prompts on First Buys

What's the first thing your main character bought with his or her own money?


My first buy with my own money was a portable typewriter. This was before laptops were an affordable option, okay? I can't remember how old I was, yikes, but I'm guessing twelve. The machine ran on about ten D batteries. I could take it anywhere, and I especially loved cranking out stories in the third seat of Mom and Dad's Suburban on long car trips. It had a small screen, where I could type out a line of text before the mechanics kicked in and the words appeared on the page, which saved me quite a few mistakes. I bought it from Kmart for $129.99 plus tax using money I'd earned working at my parents' convenience store at the totally unfair rate of $1 per hour. SMH. I got up with my Dad to open the store at six a.m. and often worked until three or four. I didn't care how hard it was spending my summer this way or how little I got paid, only that I reached my goal. I'd wanted that typewriter for as long as I'd been writing. And, I got it!

Though I'd go on to make many purchases with my earnings, I remember the typewriter most of all because: I knew what I wanted and saved for it; I LOVED IT and took it everywhere; and it made me feel like a real writer.


Want more insights into how spending reflects personality? Check out this article.


BTW, my parents eventually realized the unfairness of my wage and bumped me up to a "real" employee.


Anyway, my first buy with my own money reveals a lot about me, right? It shows that even as a kid, I had a strong work ethic and loved writing enough to invest in it. Plus, it predicted my future as a writer. And, it reveals that my folks enjoyed cheap, child labor. *smirk*


So, what about your main character? Even if this topic never comes up in your story, your MC's background helps understand her better which will come out in your writing.

  • What's the first thing she bought with her own money?

  • Why did she want this thing?

  • How did it make her feel?

  • What did she have to go through to get it?

  • How does this reflect on her as an adult?

Have any insights? Share below! For more story ideas, check out www.coffeebrained.com. Happy brainstorming!

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