New Prompts & Tips

Learning the writers craft, with Tracey Ambrose..

Click over to my blog for new writing prompts and some great links on writing body language.

How’s everyone else doing in the preparation for NaNoWriMo?

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Character Sheet – Madra’s Chair

character

I’ve used the following image to inspire a very short scene, a reaction from three characters to a single object, an old chair.

Madra Flemming

Madra walks around the lone chair, examining it’s flaws and assets, how she can use it to full effect or replace it with something more suitable to her needs. She deems it unsuitable and dismisses it, turning her attention to the houses other assets.

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Character Sheet – Madra Flemming Interview

character

LAYER THREE: INNER VALUES AND MANNERISMS

Why do you want the ancestral planet?

Because it is our ancestral home.

Why?

My ancestors were emperors before they were all executed or sent to this rock.

Why?

Why what? Why were they emperors or why were they sent here? Really they are they same answer. They were powerful people. Intelligent, beautiful, better then the masses below them and so other governments, other lesser planets feared their superiority and took action against them.

Why?

We always fear what we don’t understand, what we can’t assimilate.

Why?

Human nature.

The emperor started the Cleansing war.

So your history says. We don’t believe that.

Why?

We know better. It comes back to fear again. The old emperor closed the planet to all immigration and began to make it pure. The emperor convinced our immediate neighbours of the sense of the Cleansing and so he began to spread the cause. A few infidels resisted the truth and began to spark unrest in the galaxy. Spreading their own fear and prejudice, riling up the outer planets to declare war. They started the war, not us.

The Cleansing war ended over 300 years ago, another war has been fought since. Why do you now want the ancestral planet back. No one alive in the Convex Confederacy has ever even set foot on the soil there.

Because it’s our home and it was taken from us. We are still pure or blood and spirit, just as the last emperor would have us. This planet is going to be devoured and we want to go home.

You are being given a home on one of the moon colonies.

If we move to a moon colony, our people will be spread out over the surface, split into conclaves. Within a few generations they will forget who they are. Their blood will mix and thin and we will no longer be pure, no longer exist.

Why?

Because memory is weak and temptation is strong. Moon colonies don’t allow segregation. Schools are public, religion shared. Our young will be exposed to inferior education and mixed information. We will not allow that. We will not allow ourselves to be lost in the multicultural soup. It is time to regain what was taken from our people and for the galaxy to leave us alone.

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Character Sheet – Lexie’s Chair

character

I’ve used the following image to inspire a very short scene, a reaction from three characters to a single object, an old chair.

Lexie Petrone

Lexie looks at the old chair. She notices it’s solid structure. Places her hands on the top rung she feels the woods strength. There’s a few spots where it wiggles a little but on further examination she can see it would be easy to tighten. She makes a list of the supplies she needs to restore it before heading out to the hardware store with an excited bounce in her step as she imagines how lovely it will look once it’s restored.

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Character Sheet – Lexie Petrone Interview

character

LAYER THREE: INNER VALUES AND MANNERISMS

Why did you become a nurse?

I like helping people.

Why?

It feels right. Like an obligation almost.

Why?

I don’t know, because my parents killed so many during the wars, this is my chance to give back.

How do you feel about your parents, most people think of them as heroes.

Yep, big damn heroes that gave their lives to end the war, and left their little girl to grow up with their legend instead of their love.

How does that make you feel?

Abandoned, alone. Like I’m constantly walking in their shadow and all eyes are on me.

Why?

Growing up everyone would talk about them, we’d do assignments on the war at school, especially around Anniversary day. Tributes to my parents and the other heroes of the war. Then people would start to whisper, and watch me. Teachers would tell me how they expected such great things from me. Recruiters would pick me out at the job fares and ask if I was planning to sign up to military college, just like my parents had. I hated it.

Why?

I wanted to be my own person. Not some copy of my parents. And it was like people wanted to me to join the military, then there could be another war and I could fight and give my life like my parents so they could have a whole family of heroes, a collectors set.

And that bothers you?

War isn’t a game. Once enough time passes, people start to treat it like one, hell, the even make actual games that simulate the real deal. War should never be idolised and never should those who fought in it. It’s a tragic event that should never be forgotten, but it should never be repeated and worshiped either. War ruins lives. It’s why I became a nurse. It seemed like the furthest thing from what my parents did.

Why?

It helps to repair and save lives I guess.

Why a nurse, why not a doctor?

People don’t notice nurses as much.

Why don’t you want to be noticed?

I had enough of that at school. I prefer peace and quiet and anonymity.

Why?

Gives me the space to think.

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Character Sheet – Ed’s Chair

character

I’ve used the following image to inspire a very short scene, a reaction from three characters to a single object, an old chair. Next week I’ll post the character sheet, interview and chair reaction from Lexie (the female romantic lead) and the antagonist the following week.

Edsel Flemming

Ed looks at the beat up old chair and sees rubbish. Picking it up by the top rails he brings it crashing down to the floor, shattering it into a dozen pieces in one blow. Sweeping up the pieces he throws them into the fire grate before heading out to by something new, bigger, comfier. He steps into the street, blood still pumping rapidly through his veins after the rush of smashing the chair to pieces. His lips tilt up on one side in a grin.

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Character Sheet – Edsel Flemming Interview

character

LAYER THREE: INNER VALUES AND MANNERISMS

1.

Why are you a Securities Pilot?

It seemed like a good career choice.

Why?

Your always active, doing something. It’s an adrenaline rush every day.

Why?

Because you’re always on the edge of your seat, fighting the good fight.

Why?

Because we are trying to defend people against injustices.

Why?

Because everyone deserves to live their own life, as they choose too.

Why?

Because this is your only life, you get one chance to live it.

Why?

Because death is permanent.

Why?

Because we haven’t found a way to cure that particular illness.

2.

Why are you a Securities Pilot?

It seemed like a good career choice.

Why?

Your always active, doing something. It’s an adrenaline rush every day.

Why do you feel the need to keep moving?

I just hate sitting still

Why?

Sitting still gives you too much time to think.

Think about what?

Life, past, future, family

Why don’t you want to think about those things?

Don’t really want to talk about it.

Ok, Edsel, let’s talk about something else. Why did you become a Securities Pilot?

I already answered that.

Ok, why did you choose the military?

I was a military brat.

How so?

My dad was military, my parents friends were all military.

Your father died when you were young and your mum left didn’t she?

Yeah

But you still chose military, why?

My uncle, family friend really, brought me up. He was also military, I grew up my whole life on military bases.

Ok Edsel, why Securities Pilot and not something else?

It’s just Ed, okay. I was a good pilot, learnt to fly before I could drive, seemed a good fit.

Why don’t you want me to call you Edsel?

It’s not my name.

It says Edsel on your file.

It’s my fathers name. I prefer Ed.

Ok, Ed. Was your father a pilot too?

No, ground forces.

Tell me about your father.

Not much to tell. Everyone knows his story anyway.

Humour me.

Whatever. High ranking brass, killed before the end of the last war right before he was to be investigated under suspicion of being a collaborator.

And your mother.

She couldn’t take the shame. The sideways looks, the whispers. The way I look so much like him. So she left.

How did that make you feel?

How do you think it made me feel? Alone. Abandoned. That if maybe I looked different, or had been born a girl she would have stayed or taken me with her.

You said people whispered about your dad? How did you deal with that, growing up?

I ignored it. I got bigger then the other kids so nobody messed with me. And I worked my ass off to prove to everyone that I wasn’t my father. I followed the rules, put in my time and then some. I earned my place and peoples trust.

And your father?

Nobody talks about him, including me. Besides, Dave’s more my dad then anyone else could ever be. That old saying, blood’s thicker then water, bullshit. Your family are the people who raise you, look out for you, care about you and don’t abandon you when things get tough. Blood means nothing.

 

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More stories by Tracey Ambrose @ traceyambrose.com
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