Rounding Out Characters

This entry is a writing prompt from the Start Writing Fiction course. Here, we are tasked to round out a character that is a certain stereotype, and basically tossing it on its head by showing a characteristic that is contradictory. The one I came up with is a psychiatrist – who is also a suicidal pill-popper…

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“I just cannot seem to get through to her,” Tom said dryly, “she is always off in her own little world. Every time I bring something up, she just rolls her eyes and walks out of the room. I mean, what in the hell should I do? I feel like I am the only one trying to work on this and I’m over it!”

“Well, how does that make you feel?” Renee almost audibly groaned at the fact that she actually said that. Could she be any more obtuse? “I’m sorry, Tom – I know how aggravating it is that Sherry seems so disinterested.

“Disinterested? Fuck, if that ain’t the understatement of the century! It’s like she isn’t even there.”

“I hear you. Have you tried any of the things we talked about last week? Did she agree to a dinner?” Renee glanced at the clock. Thank God.

“No, I figured it wouldn’t work. I mean, honestly, what’s the point? If she won’t even acknowledge me why in the hell should I try to take her to dinner?”

“Okay, then why are you coming to see me each week?”

“Because I want to save my marriage.”

“Well then, don’t you think you should at least try to do what I suggest? That is why you are coming to me – to help you work through this and to help your marriage. How can I help if you won’t take any of my advice? Try again this week, and we will discuss it when you come back next Tuesday.”

“Alright, Doc. I’ll try – though I doubt she’s going to go for it. Same time next week?”

“Yes, Tom. I will see you next week. Good luck.” Renee was happy that the time was over and hoped her exasperation wasn’t coming through in her voice. Tom was her last patient of the day, and she couldn’t wait to get out of the office. These days she felt like a fraud; what right did she have trying to tell people their lives will work out when hers was falling apart? She opened up her purse for her keys and grabbed the bottle instead. It wasn’t time for her next dose, but she really didn’t care. There’s about a dozen left. The only thing that’ll accomplish is killing my career when everyone finds out my stomach was pumped…not to mention the mandatory psych hold. What the fuck, Renee – knock it the hell off. She took the pill with the last of her mineral water, grabbed her keys and headed out the door.

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