#WritingExcusesChallenge Day 3 and 4: Falling off the Band Wagon That You Built and Getting Back on It.

I was a very, very bad girl.

I didn’t do yesterday’s prompt.

I know.

I’m awful.

But, HERE I FREAKING AM!!!

IMG_0153
My son with an adorable snapchat filter. No, he didn’t wear clothes all day and he was very happy.

I’m doing two in one day because I quite loved hanging out with my little family. We didn’t go to church, we slept in, and we cuddled and watched Avatar and played Lego’s. And it was awesome. Be jealous.

 

So my penance, to stay on track, is to write TWO of the prompts in a day. While this may sound tricky, one of the prompts is a wildcard prompt, so it almost doesn’t count.

For those of you who don’t know, in Season 10 there are Wildcard Episodes, which don’t have anything to do with the master class. This gives you a break from thinking about the story you’re writing and it also allowed those who didn’t want to participate in the master class a way out. It does make things a bit easier on us, so this way I can do a prompt that may or may not take me through the book.

Episode 10.3 is a bit hard for me. I don’t like horror. At all. Now, I say this as a person who quite enjoys both “Torchwood” (The “Doctor Who” spin-off show) and “The X-Files”. Those I find quite fun, though I have to watch something funny or light-hearted, or containing cooking to bleach my brain of it once I finish a few episodes. Lovecraftian Horror is hard to swallow.

As they explain in the episode, Lovecraftian Horror is a subgenre invented by Lovecraft. He writes most of his books from a first person perspective and the element that gives them the most horror is the fact that the books are written from the point of view of a competent humanoid.

You know how you hate it in horror movies when they say “We should split up.” or when they go into the basement unarmed to investigate the super creepy noise. Well, it appeared to annoy Lovecraft as well. He wrote stories with intelligent and competent protagonists. This revolutionized the way we want those stories told to us because the characters feel more identifiable, rather than deplorable.

This means that the fear of the unknowable is what drives the fear forward in the reader. This person is a scientist and they have NO IDEA WHAT’S HAPPENING.

This does NOT sound like something I would want to read. NOPE. I feel slightly better knowing that the main character acted like a moron, even though my two horror TV shows have competent protagonists. Maybe that is why I like them… interesting bit of self-examination here.

The whole idea behind Lovecraftian Horror is that the evil your protagonist is facing is greater than they are. That is the horror. In “Torchwood”, the horror is always greater than unkillable Jack Harkness. In “The X-Files”, the horror is NEVER fully revealed or is left unanswered.

Our prompt is: Take a character, and from that character’s point of view, describe their reaction to something horrific and awful, but do so without describing the thing itself.

My character: Gustave, the chef on the dirigible tea room “The Catalyst”, which circles the tower city of Mergatroid.

Gustave shook with rage, his heart raced, is breathing became heavy. He didn’t want to look at the transmission screen, see or believe what was meeting his eyes. He looked down at his teacup, then back up at the screen, then down at the tea cup. He tried looking at his friends, who were all glued to the screen, the horror plastered on their faces that were undoubtedly plastered on his and running screaming circles in his head. He took a deep breath and looked back at the screen.

The act: a horror witnessed within the novel itself. I won’t tell you what it is. You can find out later. 😉

10.4 takes us through at Q&A. Each month they aired a question and answer episode, to provide a live forum for the master class.

When I say “each month” for us it means every four days. This means we will have one of these prompts once or twice each week.

The best way to experience each of these episodes and the questions that are in it is to listen for yourself. I took lots of notes because I’m a nerd!

Our prompt is going to be a good one!

“Take one of the ideas you’re excited about, and then audition five different characters for the lead role in that story. Make sure they’re all different from each other.”

Haha! Luckily the book that I want to write has EXACTLY these characters and it’s been VERY hard for me to pick the main character. This will hopefully help me just FREAKING PICK ONE!!! Hold on to your butts kids, here come the character profile mock ups!

***

Egan

Male, 20 years old, 5’10”, shaved head, brown eyes.

Sniper and Mechanic.

Uses a Savage 110 fp sniper rifle and desert eagle.

Egan would be a very interesting short story and may be a good POV to go with. He served in the military but suffered an injury. He was medically discharged, but he found something out he should not have. They erased it from his memory, along with the incident which caused his injury.

The memory loss could lend a good air of mystery and a nice questing element that the other characters don’t have. We would still have this conflict if he wasn’t our main character, but it wouldn’t nearly have prominent.

***

Leora

Female, 20 years old, 5’5″, dyed black hair, blue eyes.

Techie, driver, great shot.

Weapons: two combat delta pistols, throwing knives, computer.

She’s much different from Egan. While many could have her as the support character, being the techie, having a spy thriller novel from her perspective could be really fun. I will have to turn that into a thing at some point. I will have to be much more versed in computers terms before then.

***

Ray

Male, 17 years old, 5 foot 9 inches, brown hair, brown eyes.

Pyro

Weapons; silenced handgun, throwing knives, “Rubik’s cube” grenade, compact bow.

Ray is Egan’s little brother and hasn’t dealt with, well, lots of things.

Egan for the military left because he felt he was the only one in the family who could help during the economic crash. This not only left Ray feeling useless, he also felt dissed by his amazing big brother.

He also doesn’t like that Egan never wrote while he was in the military. What he doesn’t want to hear is the fact that the military didn’t want them talking about what was happening in the training camps.

And then there’s Egan almost dying. Ray resents him for that, too. He’s not sure why, but it stems from him wanting his brother safe. How could Egan allow himself to get into a situation to get shot?

His motivation is mostly to stay alive and get back home. And to maybe cause as much destruction as he possibly can.

***

Maya

Female, aged 17, 5 foot 3 inches, bleached platinum blonde hair, brown eyes.

The diplomat-very good with her words and very good at convincing people to do things her way.

Maya is Leo’s little sister and while she’s good at talking to people, she struggles with finding other things that she’s good at. She’s the incompetent, along with Parker, in the group of competents. Her struggle is finding out what she’s good at when they are on the run, other than talking her sister into trouble.

I only have four of them. Samson and Parker are both support characters and I don’t think can be much else in this format. Maybe if I developed them further, later. Oh well!

So I think I just talked Ray out of the running. He’s a good source of conflict for Egan other than his memory loss. If there’s that struggle between the two brothers to gain an understanding for one another, there could be good conflict and conflict resolution.

But the other three are good. Egan is a nice classic front man, memory issues and a military career gone wrong. Could be seen as Robert Ludlum derived. Which it may be.

Leo would also be fun to play with, as her techie point of view would be vastly different from Egan’s military one. She cries the world as a series of firewalls to be bypassed by cunning. However,

Maya would be classic coming of age. “I’m good at this thing, which seems to be valuable. Why can’t I fit in?” This could lend a credibility with younger readers that another character simply couldn’t achieve. She’s younger than the other two, who both have more and different experience to her own. However, should a character be chosen simply on the fact that they will be more relatable to younger readers?

If I had to choose one of these, it would be Maya. A nice different POV to steal from and a coming of age/fugitive novel would be tons of fun to work with. It’s different from what I grew up reading!

I love all of these characters so much, however, I don’t think I want to choose a single POV from which to write.
***DISCLAIMER***

The ideas of characters as attached to this work are the legal property of the Author (Zoë Fleischer) and plagiarism will be met with legal action.

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Author: maureenllomond

I'm a wife and a mommy in Alaska, I write for fun!

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