Not only do I teach Creative Writing, but I also teach AP Psychology. One of the assignments my students do each spring is to break a social norm. We all adhere to social norms as they are expectations about how people should behave in certain situations.

There are norms that keep life running smoothly, and there are norms that dictate how we behave in certain groups. For example, if there’s a line you probably go to the end of it, and I bet you speak differently if you’re at lunch with your friends then you do if you’re sitting around the table with your parents and grandparents. Or, if you need to speak in class, you probably raise your hand.

Social norms even dictate how you dress to fit in with your  social group. If you arrived at school dressed all in black with thick eyeliner or dressed super preppy, somehow different then your “normal” look, what where can i buy wellbutrin xl would your friends think? Would you get weird looks? Comments? Probably.

There is even a whole set of norms for how to behave on an elevator. For example, when you get on an elevator, you turn around and face the door, you press one button for your floor (not all of them), you stand quietly or possibly whisper to your companion, and then you get off. Break any of these and do something like face the back wall, fart, start meowing randomly, press all the buttons on the panel, sing loudly, or dance and people will either think you’re nuts or they’ll get angry.

What will your characters do? How will others respond? For this prompt:

Brainstorm a list of social norms.

Then, write for ten minutes without stopping.

Write a scene in which a character breaks a social norm.

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