Cover Photo: In this photograph, we are looking down on the florescent aisles of a grocery store. We see rows of brightly colored food aisles and red Chinese tomato lights hanging down against a bright, sky blue wall at the end of the store.
Photograph by Saman Tsang/Unsplash

Setting and Dialogue Exercise

Explore your scene writing or begin a flash fiction piece with this prompt from Catapult instructor Christine Sneed.

Write a scene that takes place in a grocery store. You can list items on the shelves, in the produce section, in the bakery, and have your character decide to buy (or not to buy) an item they really want. Or you might write a scene where your character overhears two people having a conversation about something they're trying to decide to buyits up to you. Use strong sensory detailssmell, taste, texture, etc. 


Did you enjoy this prompt? Check out Christine's Catapult page to check for upcoming classes with us.

Christine Sneed is the author of two novels and two story collections, the most recent of which is The Virginity of Famous Men. Her work has been included in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, New England Review, Ploughshares, and New York Times. After many years in Chicago and the Midwest, she now lives in southern California. She's on the fiction faculty and is also the faculty director of Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies’ graduate creative writing program. She teaches as well for Regis University’s low-residency MFA program.