Writing Prompt Monday!

Writing Prompt Monday (Actually on Monday this time!)

I’m hoping to actually be productive today. I figured I’d start by getting this out on time for the first time in six months–Yay, me!

The problem is that I’m running out of ideas for prompts. Phooey. I’ll come up with something eventually.

AHA!

Q. Are your characters religious? If so, what do they believe? Is it obvious in their characterization?

A. Most of mine are, since…well…*cough* pastor’s kid, and all that jazz, but not all of them. The villains obviously aren’t, and there are a couple of side characters/semi-protagonists who, to quote dear Sherlock “may fight on the side of the angels, but don’t think for a second that they are angels.” It wasn’t exactly planned that way; said characters just popped up fully formed and that’s just the way they are for now.  *shrugs*

However, a significant amount of my characters are religious. My main character is because she’s an tenuous extension of me. Judging by the religions of the time period in her area, she probably would’ve been some sort of Anglican, though I tend to project my own beliefs onto her.

As far as the characterization, I have trouble with that aspect of character. Faith is such a personal experience that it’s difficult to put into words, particularly when you’re trying to use someone else’s words. But I’m working on it.

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Writing Prompt…Wednesday?

I do, in fact, realize that this is rather late. Lo siento, mi amigos/amigas. Getting back into a blogging schedule is rather nuts, particularly when coupled with the rest of madness that is life outside the computer screen. However, if I’m lucky(and dedicated…as if that will ever happen), things will get back to normal soon.

This Week’s Prompt:

Boil your story/novel/whatever’s theme down to one word. See if there is any other way to sneak that into the project in question without clubbing your readers with it.

My answer:

This particular part of writing is seriously the hardest part for me. But, thanks to a creative writing teacher who refused to let us even start anything without a theme, I’ve learned that it actually does help the writing process. It can help you determine what stays and what goes during the editing process, help nail down your characters, and even inspire better plot points. And as for my story’s word? I think the only one that really fits is discovery. In the midst of thugs, bombs, a few swordfights, jumps off moving trains, and a kiss or two, she’s finding out quite a lot. Learning that she isn’t alone. Discovering new parts of herself.  Rediscovering things she thought she’d sworn off.

Your Answer?

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Writing Prompt Monday ~ Entry #CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

         It’s tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s tomorrow! Well…not that it is tomorrow now, as that’s a physical impossibility and the actual “tomorrow” will never be, but you know what I mean. It honestly doesn’t feel like Christmas should be here yet. But all the same, here it is, looming up with the promise of fun, family time, and Doctor Who. Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful people beyond my dusty screen and may you have a safe and happy New Year! Thanks for taking the time to drop by!

         Obviously, today’s prompt must relate to the holiday.

Q. Using three(or more) random words from the generator, create characters who receive those items as Christmas gifts and describe what they would do with them.

A. My words are as follows: pocket watch, bubble, wire.

Hmmm…as for the pocket watch, the first thing that always comes to mind is of course that one Doctor Who episode. So I believe this person would be a Whovian, given the pocket-watch by her boyfriend with a “Will you marry me?” note tucked inside.She will obviously carry it with her the rest of her life. (Also, the boyfriend’s name is Alonso.)

For the bubble, it’s a man born without an immune system who, with his protective bubble, can leave the sterile environment of his home, travel the world, go Zorbing wherever he wishes, and lead a double life as a crime-fighter who bulldozes his opponents with his indestructible bubble.

And with the wire, it was given to a twelve year-old evil genius by his aunt and mentor in the business of eviling. He intends to create a full-sized ,solar-powered ion disrupter and was running low on copper-coated wire.

Your answer?

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #12

WordPress is snowing. But it is currently 70 degrees outside. In December. *sobs* My life is ruined.

And now back to our regularly scheduled writing drivel, this week’s post relates to editing and polishing up your work. One thing I’ve noticed as I frantically try to finish the revisions on my novel before Christmas (just an abstract goal, I’m not going to curse anyone with it as a gift) is that you can lose a lot in editing. If you are–as I am–trying to work mainly on the plot, the prose itself can get lost in the scuffle and as such, sink your work just as quickly as a bad plot. Ergo, this week’s…assignment(it’s not technically a prompt, I suppose).

Q. Take 1-2 paragraphs of your current work. Give it a good spit-polish keeping these points in mind.

-Passive is bad.

Appropriate, gripping adjectives are good in small doses.

Awkward phrases are bad.

 Unnecessary words are also bad.

Run-on sentences are an evil spawned in the darkest pits of the dark side of the moon and should be killed on sight.

A.

I’m starting with the first paragraphs of my novel. They really, really need help at the moment. Here is the unedited version…

“Before you’re sucked into the chaos that makes up my life, allow me to point out one thing. This was in no way my fault. Well…the stairwell incident sort of was, but that’s beside the point. All in all, I was just a perfect innocent (not a word I get to use often) who happened to get sucked into the blasted mess.

Then again, it isn’t unusual for me to be in trouble. But usually, it’s of my own making rather than something someone else planned for me to stumble into. A gadget gone wrong, a trip gone weird, or simply my own blasted curiosity typically catapults me into trouble—and I don’t mind. It can be one of the most amusing past-times for a peculiar person to get oneself in and out of trouble. This time, I wasn’t given the choice.”

And here is the edited version.

“Before you’re sucked into my three-ring circus of a life, allow to point out one very important little fact. The events of this tale were not my fault. Well…outside of the stairwell incident. That was probably me. But, either way, it’s beside the point. 

For once in my life, I can honestly say that I was an innocent bystander, sucked into trouble by a certain n’erdowell and forced to cause a bit of chaos of my own in the process of getting out.  Granted, it isn’t unusual for me to be embroiled in one mess or another, but I generally make it myself rather than letting someone else do it for me. One of my gizmos gone wrong, a trip gone wrong, or simply my own blasted curiosity–and I don’t mind. It can be vastly amusing for someone with a good sense of adventure and significant amounts of explosives. But someone else setting a trap for me to fall into? This was a first.”

Your answers?

 

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry # 11

Dude…it hasn’t even been a week since Thanksgiving and it already feels like it should be Christmas Eve. Christmas music, stores full of Christmas stuff, shopping horror stories, and it’s supposed to snow tonight–’tis now my favorite season.

And therefore, I’m doing Christmas early as well adding a new element to the Monday prompts.

Q. Using three or more random words from the generator, write a summary of a Christmas short story using the characters of your choosing.

Well, my words aren’t exactly Christmasy. But that’s part of the fun. 1.Blister. 2. Mill. 3. Second.

As per usual when a Churchill is involved, chaos ensues at the annual Christmas celebration. Five year-old Chance Griffin decides that fireworks are absolutely necessary for the perfect Christmas (and breaks into his mother’s lab to procure them) and very nearly blows himself to kingdom come while setting them. The adults(who aren’t much more responsible than young Chance) rush outside just in time to see said fireworks ignite the abandoned mill in the next field, which of course sparks a race to make sure the fire doesn’t spread to the surrounding fields and cottages. Luckily, a few blisters were the only injuries sustained. Unluckily, the mill owner and a humorless police chap were the second group on the scene. With a bit of quick talking from the silver tongue of Mr. Alec Griffin and a substantial settlement from a certain well-off Lord Flynn Churchill, all tempers quickly cooled off and everyone retired to the cottage to finish the interrupted Christmas dinner.

Your answers?

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #10

Firstly, I have not in fact been abducted, horribly murdered,  thrown into a terribly engrossing adventure, or snatched by extraterrestrials.

It was a disappointing couple of weeks.

Anyways,  there’s been a lot of crazy stuff going on hereabouts, the least of which being that I’ve been sick for three weeks straight. Hence my prolonged absence. But I’m back now, and hopefully now that I have my school schedule worked out, we can get this blog back on track.

Q. It’s Thanksgiving! Write a short scene detailing your character’s idea of the perfect Thanksgiving.

Setting: Churchill Manor, London, England, 1895

A muffled kaboom shook the manor. Alec Griffin shot an inquiring glance at his wife, but Zissa shook her head vigorously.

“Nope. That one wasn’t mine.”

Corinn, now a perfect know-it-all at twenty, glanced up from folding napkins. “That would be Ami and the boys poking into what’s left of your lab, I’d wager. I heard Socrates say he’d run across a few of your discard explosives in the bookcase panel.”

Zissa grinned, setting down the turkey she held. Luckily for those planning to eat it, she hadn’t been the chef. Alec and Chance had meandered down to the village that morning and returned with a four-course Thanksgiving dinner cooked by one of the local kitchen masters who was acquainted with the American tradition. “I wondered what had happened to those…”

Flynn shook his head, plopping into his seat at the head of the table. “Would you mind taking them with you when you go? That’s the last thing Socrates and Ami need at their disposal.”

“Si…they get into enough trouble already.” Prilla nodded her agreement, then poked her husband in the ribs(with a sweet smile,naturally). “Caro, would you go fetch the troublemakers? I think we’re ready.”

“Right, then.” He gave an exaggerated sigh about the hardships of being forced to get up after just sitting down, but did it anyway. Zissa slid into the seat next to Alec and smirked.

“Come now…they can’t do any more harm than I ever did. They’d have fun, I think.”

“Zissa, dear, if they do half the damage you did, we’ll need a new house.” Prilla said, with an arched brow.

“Ooooh–can I design the secret passages?” A slightly singed Ami appeared behind her mother, grinning from ear to ear. Chance and Socrates, both completely covered in thick, black soot followed. Alec snorted, covering his mouth with one hand to smother the explosive laughter threatening to detonate. Flynn limped back to his spot, then glared at his sister.

“You know, I no longer have a conservatory, thanks to your leftovers.”

“No, no, Daddy, you still have one. Or…part of one. It’s just open-air now.” Ami grinned and Zissa grinned right along with her.

“See? Explosives. Marvelous things.”

Flynn sighed. ” Of all the things I have to be thankful for, a sane family isn’t one of them.”

“And lucky for you, neither is a dull one.” Zissa smiled at him and reached out to pat his hand(a distinctly ornery twinkle in her eyes). “Also, you’ve got the only open-air conservatory in the county.”

“Oy.” Flynn rolled his eyes, a chuckle breaking through. “Considering thatwe have you to thank for the day’s excitement, I elect you to bless the food.”

“Why, certainly.” Zissa chuckled as the joined hands (some of them rather sooty). It was shaping up to be an offbeat day. It always did when the entire family was together. And Zissa was immensely grateful for a chance to all be offbeat together. It was perfect.

Well, certainly not my best effort, but oh, well. It’s been a busy day and my brain is probably over-easy by now. Your answers?

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #9

I seem to have an uncanny ability to collect scars. If I fall or scrape a knee or even get scratched by a cat, I’ve got an automatic new scar. But then again, everyone has scars of some sort. And typically an awesome story to go with all of them. Therefore, it makes sense that your characters would have a couple of their own.

Q. Does your MC have a scar/multiple scars? List them and how they got them.

A.

Zissa Churchill: “Do I have scars? Oh, good grief, yes. You can’t be an adventurer–or even just an inventor–for long without collecting a few. Erm…as far as listing them, I don’t even remember how I came by some of them. *dark look* Though some are rather memorable. There’s a small burn mark on the inside of my left wrist; it happened two days before I ran away from England and in the process of trying to get my late mother’s jewels back.  A cut across my ribcage from an explosion I was in last year. Another along my ankle from the incident in Prague. Honestly, there are too many to mention.”

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #8

Well…I’m back in one slightly traumatized piece from what was quite possibly the most harrowing trip of my lifetime thus far (I’m sure that, with my family history, I’ll one up myself eventually.). We were in the first car accident I’ve ever experienced, ended up with a pair of grumpy, rude, inefficient officers taking our statement and leaving both of us in tears, and came back to the hotel to find our bathroom ceiling dripping.

No offense, but I hate Ohio.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. No one was hurt in the accident, we didn’t get dangerously lost, the ceiling was eventually fixed, and the Youth Challenge services were awesome. God is good, even if I tend to forget it at times.

So, on to the business at hand! This was inevitable, considering the time of year. I know it’s predictable, but it’s also fun.

Q. What would your character dress up as for a costume party?

A.

Zissa Churchill:

I had a surprising amount of trouble pinning down what Zissa would wear, but (bending the time-line slightly) I think she would’ve picked Irene Adler. I get the feeling that had she read that particular Holmes story it would’ve been her favorite solely because of Adler.

Irene Adler

Irene Adler (Photo credit: Arkana de Eidos)

Flynn Churchill:

Flynn would sulk in his room, refusing to dress up until someone dragged him kicking and screaming out to a costume shop and shoved him inside. But I think he would choose a pirate after he finished seething. He was mistaken for one after he was shanghaied in San Francisco and he loves sailing the seven seas anyway.

Will Turner

Will Turner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enola Graves:

A vampire, most likely. She’s about as much a creature of the night as they are.

Vampires

Vampires (Photo credit: Velovotee)

Alec Griffin:

Robin Hood. It was his favorite book growing up and he’s rather a kindred spirit to the character.

With Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Ho...

With Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #7

I am in the draining process of coming down with the latest virus circulated by munchkins under age five (a.k.a.- my babysitting kids). Therefore, I’m forced to stumble around the house like a feverish, light-headed zombie who craves a nap instead of brains. It’s not fun. Which brings me to this week’s prompt, and–surprise!–it’s a two parter.

Q. Suppose your main character is sick. How does he/she deal with it?

A. Zissa would probably hide out in her room, burrowed into her bed with a book and a cloud of handkerchiefs and only emerge from her cocoon to find fluids and deal with…erm…bodily functions. Also, she would either ignore anyone who tried to talk to her while she was so utterly miserable or she would snarl at them, and leave them with singed spats from her patent deathglare.

Q. How would you plot change if your main character fell ill, and the narration was handed off to a secondary character? Would it still work? 

A. Well, generally speaking, the plot that I have wouldn’t work. All the things that Zissa has at stake are the kickers of the conflict. If I dropped it all on Alec or Prilla, it just wouldn’t have the same impact. But if I absolutely had to…I suppose the romance element would end up becoming the main focus if Zissa was sick, because Alec would have to take care of her. *gag* Not happening. Ever. It’s hard enough to write as it is. And if Prilla was stuck with it–chaos. Utter chaos (Hi, Prills! 😉 ). I can’t even describe the madness that would occur if she became the main character in that plot. The interactions with Enola, dealing with Alec, the ball–it would be a mess. A hilarious mess, but a mess.

Your answer?

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry Something-or-other

How do your characters respond to authority and authority figures? Absolute obedience? Grudging acceptance? Outright mockery?

A. Hmmm…That depends from character to character with me. Though almost all of them have issues of some sort with doing what they’re told (and you can think what you will of that). Here are their responses, character by character.

  Zissa Churchill: “Well…that hinges entirely upon who exactly is trying to give orders. If I respect or even like the person, I’m likely to do what they ask. Otherwise, they’ll have better luck building a snowman in Death Valley.

Flynn Churchill: “In general, I’m an agreeable fellow. But I don’t appreciate someone attempting to make my decisions for me. If said figure is my employer or someone otherwise qualified to issue orders, fine–unless they’re idiotic orders, in which case they will be duly ignored–but anyone else is going to have to find a different lackey.

Enola Graves: “No. I do not care who it is; I do what I wish.”

Benedict Churchill: “Of course. Following the accepted system is absolutely mandatory for an efficient, cohesive business, family, or other organization.*glares at Flynn and Zissa* Hence why my own is less than ideal.”

And your answers? (Gifs aren’t mandatory. But they’re fun.)

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