Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Writing Prompts - Author Life

Via Wikipedia
So I'm a part of a small writing group in my area and we all do a bunch of different styles of writing. To start off the new year, we spent our first meeting this year doing some writing prompts and inspiration boards.

And boy, did these writing prompts SPARK something in me.

I may have mentioned before that I'm revamping book II of the Zyearth world a LOT. Kessie, one of my writing partners, suggested I throw Trecheon into the mix of book two (rather than book four) and the whole series is taking a huge turn a a result of it.

Somewhat outdated picture of Trecheon
Book II is now Trecheon's introduction book, and since he's such a prominent character in the world of Zyearth and a great catalyst for many other character's growth, he's popping up all over the place now.

One of the things that inspired this change in his intro book is a story idea Joe and I put together based on Trecheon's past. Originally this would have been somewhat late in the series, at least book eight or nine, but now it's slotted to be book five.

Book five! That's a much better time slot for it... especially since I'm DYING to write this story. And it shows, since I used the basic idea of it for the prompts we did in my group yesterday.

Neil Black by Joe Meenan
The story follows Trecheon's attempt to hunt down a rogue sniper from his days in the army, as a way to avenge a friend, Neil Black, shown above. The story is also a story of trust, as he and Matt are still barely getting to know each other and are thrown into this crazy hunt.

The prompt, however, led to some interesting character development that I didn't quite expect.

The way the prompt works is this. You have a bowl filled with random words and the you pick one of those words out and write for ten minutes based on that word. The word I got was "north star." Here's the results of Prompt Part One.


Matt looked up at the North Star.
"Bright, ain't it?" Trecheon chimed next to him.
"Yeah," Matt said. "Zyearth doesn't have a north star." 
"Really?" Trecheon raised an eyebrow. "Your sailors must have have a hell of a time exploring Zyearth."
Matt chuckled. "I don't know. Maybe they did." He stared up. "Think Rebekka is looking at it too?"
"Considering light is a sniper's best friend at night... probably." Trecheon sighed. "Probably."
"Questioning your objective?"
"No." 

Aaand that's as far a I got. I could have gone much further... and I probably will. I read the story out loud to my group and they were already hooked by the character development.

Now Part Two comes into play. From those words up there I was supposed to pick four more words and write something NEW based off that. This is where the surprising character development came in.

Being the happy person I am, I picked happy words. Star, Bright, Light, and Chimed. And then I proceeded to make the words not happy. Here's the results of Part Two.

"Star light, star bright," the gray fox muttered. "First target I see tonight. I wish I may," she slotted a round in the sniper rifle, "I wish I might," the scope chimed quietly into place, "take the shot," she aimed down the sights, "I need tonight." 
Rebekka's finger felt heavy on the trigger. The red quilar focused in her scope. Just a little pressure. Just one pull. Just one more target, like all the others.
But something ate at her heart. Her finger refused to cooperate.
Slowly the red quilar faded from view. And Rebekka lowered her rifle. 

"Damn."

Apparently Rebekka, Trecheon's hunt target, can't bring herself to kill HER target, Trecheon. And apparently she likes stars.

She's going to make for a very interesting character.

Try the prompt! It was a super fun exercise to get some character and story development down! I'd love to see your results here!

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