wrote: At the top of a piece of paper, write the words: “I’m sorry.” Free write for five minutes (or more if you are on a roll). Go with whatever comes to mind, and don’t worry if your thoughts shift mid-sentence. Let stream of consciousness guide you. Make a list, write a paragraph, do whatever feels right. If you don’t feel like getting personal, try the exercise from you main character’s pov. He or she might surprise you!

This is vaguely in the voice of the mc of one of my novels:


I’m sorry.

Sort of sorry, anyway. I mean, I can’t be completely sorry for something that isn’t my fault. I’m sorry it all happened but what can I do about it now? Other than tell you I’m sorry? I hate that word sometimes. Sorry. What does it really mean? No one really means it. You don’t. Ever. You say it sometimes but then nothing changes. Mabye that’s why I can’t mean it either. If you really meant it, it would change you. It would force you into action over the thing that went wrong, even if you’d had no control over it in the first place. But you’re not sorry. You’re never truly sorry. When do you ever try to make things right? I don’t think you’re ever sorry at all. Deep down you’re happy things went wrong, wanting it all to somehow make me grow up, make me a man. “Life’s tough,” you say. “Gotta face it or run,” you say. Well, when did you ever face it, tough guy? When did you ever look it square in the jaw and try to lick it? ‘Cause if you had, you’d know sorry. You’d be sorry for what’s happened now. Not just helpless. Not just pathetic.

Sorry? Yeah, I’m sorry. Sorry you can’t let yourself be sorry.


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