Posted by: victanguera | January 11, 2012

But That’s My Space: Writing Prompt #354

I’ve got an extremely large personal bubble around me. Along with that, my sense of personal boundaries is quite sensitive. And the older I get, the more it seems that my tolerance for encroaching my boundaries shrinks. So we’ve got a new guy at work. And he comes around on my side of the desk to talk to me. Ooh, so many possible reactions, but I try not to turn into a puffer fish and spine him to death. Really I do.

So for today’s prompt, what boundaries does your character have? Do they get up inside other people’s personal space when they talk? Try to maintain a set distance from people at all times? Imagine both perspectives. If your character likes to get inside another person’s boundaries, why do they do it? What reaction do they get? If your character is someone like a cop or detective, invading personal space could be a tactic to garner information. Would it work? Write a scene where you can explore issues of personal boundaries and the conflict/tension that can result from not listening to someone else’s body clues.



  1. My pet peeve is people sitting on my desk. I don’t mind them coming into my cubicle, but I don’t like desk-sitting, so I always make sure my desk has too much stuff on it. 🙂

    This is a good prompt. My detective character is very tall, and when she’s trying to get information out of somebody she sometimes sets it up so the other person is sitting and she’s standing, looming over him (as far as I can remember, she’s only done this with men). When talking with her daughter, though, she always sits, so they’re at eye level.

    • Someone sitting on my desk would also drive me nuts. I like how your detective uses her stance during a conversation. Was the thing with standing when talking to men intentional? I really like that.

      • We never see these scene from her POV (the stories are told by her “Watson”), but I think it’s safe to say that it’s deliberate.

  2. Hahahahaha, awesome!

    I think I have a larger bubble of personal-space than most people. I’m definitely not a hugger. And I always have to walk to the left of people (long story).

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