Category Archives: Plot Development

Writing Prompt: Rosalind at Home

So I was supposed to do A Trip to the Store for all of my characters, but I couldn’t think what good a trip to the store would do for Rosalind.  So instead I wrote a scene from Rosalind at home to help me know better how she would react in some situations.

Centripetal Force

It was after 8:00 when Rosalind got to her house.  She could hear the TV through the door.  Brad was over.  She found him sitting in his usual spot, slouched in the middle of the couch in a wifebeater and basketball shorts.  Three empty beer bottles stood on the folding side table, with a pile of mail behind it.  Rosalind crossed over to the table and sifted through the mail. Two of them had “PAST DUE” in red letters across the front.  Nothing from the talent company.

“What’re you doing home so late?” grumbled Brad.

“I was out with friends,” Rosalind clipped back.

“Doin’ what?” he grumbled louder.

“Eating pizza, gosh!” Roalind snapped, throwing the mail back onto the table and heading into the kitchen.

“Your momma and I were supposed to go out tonight,” said Brad.

“What does that have to do with me? Happy hour isn’t even open yet.”  She opened the fridge, looked in, and shut it again.

“We were gonna go to dinner.”

This piqued Rosalind’s interest.  “Oh yeah, where?”

“Swordfish,” mumbled Brad through a mouthful of chips.

Rosalind snickered to herself. The Swordfish was where her mom usually took her boyfriends to break up with them. “Lucky break,” she said as she looked into the cupboard.  She found a box of crackers at the back.

“What’sat supposed to mean?”

Just then, Rosalind’s mom, Jeannie, came out of the bedroom in a rush of perfume, calling, “Brad, are you ready?”

“Rosalind’s here,” Brad said, jerking his thumb back.

“Oh, hi honey!” Jeannie cruised over to Rosalind and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“New perfume, Mom?” Rosalind asked with a raised eyebrow.

Her mom’s blue eyes widened. “Oh, no, just one of the old ones I have…lying around,” she said.

“Uh-huh…,” Rosalind murmured.

Jeannie gave her a look.

Rosalind responded with her own innocent look and a shrug.

Flustered, Jeannie turned her attention back to the boyfriend. “Brad, you’re not dressed yet.”

“Just a minute,” he complained, reaching across the couch and picking up a crumpled piece of blue fabric.  “Where we goin’ tonight?” he asked as he draped it over his shoulders and pulled his large frame up.

“Brad said you were going to the Swordfish today,” Rosalind said, whining out the restaurant name.

Her mom huffed and brushed a loose bang away from her face. “Well, now we’re going to Bunky’s.  Why not?  They’ve got good food,” she rushed, pulling on her red blazer too hard. “Did you get something to eat, honey?”

Nice change of subject, Mom, Rosalind thought.  “I had pizza with Gray,” she said.

A big smile broke out on her mom’s face.  “Oh, how nice!” she cooed.  “What is that, 3 dates now?  Next thing you know you’ll be wearing a white dress!”  Rosalind rolled her eyes but didn’t respond.

“I’m starving, babe, let’s go,” growled Brad at the doorway.  His frame took up the entire opening.

Jeannie snatched her matching red purse and whirled to him.

“Have fun, Mom,” Rosalind said.  “See you…whenever.”  The door shut behind them.

She sighed and flopped down onto the couch.  Chips crunched under her.  “Gross!” she muttered, brushing them onto the floor.  She flipped the TV to a game show.  Some woman had just won $3000.  Rosalind scowled. I should apply to be on that show Three thousand dollars could get me out of this dump and somewhere I can start over.  A dark, antsy feeling seeped in.  She sighed again and pulled herself back off the couch.  Time for a walk.  But first a change of clothes.

She stared at her closet.  Her closet always made her happy.  There was nothing she loved more than clothes.  When the rest of her life was dragging her down, she could always open her closet and breathe in all the pretty things.  Not only that, but clothes meant she could be whoever she wanted to be on any given day.  Today, what grabbed her first was her favorite vest.  It was oversized and fringed all along the bottom.  Next she grabbed her favorite pants, the ridiculously wide-legged white ones that the 70s forgot.  Next, her red heels with the gold studs all up the back.  What kind of top underneath though?  Impact was the important thing.  Red heels weren’t enough of a statement by themselves to counter the bland vest and pants.  She sifted through her shirts until–That’s it!  She yanked out the crop top with the large Aztec print.  Perfect.

 

Clop, clop, clop, clop. Rosalind enjoyed the sound of her heels clicking on the sidewalk.  She imagined herself on stage, belting out the last note of a song, all eyes on her.  Sprays of sparks behind her and smoke on the ground.  What a feeling!  She straightened her back and exaggerated her steps.  That’s what life was meant to feel like.  Not… The memory of chips crunching and the smell of beer intruded upon her fantasy life, causing her good mood to grate to a halt.  The image of her mom’s desperate look before she went off to Bucky’s with Brad rose up before her.  Why did her mom pick such losers to date?  “Why can’t you just stop dating altogether?” she asked out loud.

A pale flash of hair just ahead startled Rosalind out of her thoughts.  A pair of steely eyes glared at her out of a petite, pointed face.  “What did you say?” the mysterious girl asked.

“I wasn’t talking to you,” Rosalind reacted.

“Good. Because my dating habits are none of your business,” she answered.

Rosalind scoffed.  “Why would I care about your ‘dating habits’?  I don’t even know you!”

The girl narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips a moment.  “You’re Rosalind.”

Rosalind’s mouth fell open.  For once in her life, she was speechless.

The girl smirked. “I see you in the halls between 4th and 5th period.  Building B.  Coming out from Mr. Burkhaus’s class.”

 

“What are you doing standing out here all by yourself?”

“I was studying constellations.  What are you doing walking out here all by yourself?” said the girl stiffly.

Rosalind shifted away a little.  “Walking,” she said.

The glanced at her feet. “In those?”

Rosalind took in the girl’s attire.  Beige jacket, knee-length skirt, blue canvas shoes with white ankle socks.  This girl needs some serious fashion help, she thought.

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Writing Prompt: A Trip to the Store (Katharine)

I made up my own writing prompt.  Write what happens to your character on a trip to the store.  Make sure *something* happens that will help the plot move along.

(Please ignore my complete ignorance of how a construction business works.)

KATHARINE

“Hi, Katharine,” said the store clerk. “How’s your father doing?”

“Fine, Alice, thanks for asking,” Katharine said as she laid clementines on the conveyor belt.  “He’s ordering more supplies for the housing development on 85th.”

“That’s the 3rd time this month, isn’t it?” Alice asked.

“Yeah. Joe just can’t get it through his head that an entire condominium complex needs much more to work with than a cul-de-sac.”

“Your father should be the one running the business,” said Alice. “He always did have a head for that kind of thing.  $38.17 today, dear.”

Katharine filled in the check.

“Do you need help out?” asked Alice.

Katharine glanced at the two bags.  “Well, I walked, so unless you’re paying Nick to walk all the way to Glencoe, I don’t think so,” she said.

“You know he would, with or without pay,” teased Alice.

“Oh stop,” Katharine laughed. ” I don’t have time for that kind of drama.”

“You sound just like your father,” said Alice with a smile. “Take care, dear. Watch out for cars.”

Katharine laughed to herself as she left with the grocery bags.  Alice had sort of taken on the “mother” role since Katharine’s mom had passed away 8 years ago, and sometimes it seemed like Katharine was frozen at that age to Alice, even though it’d been almost 9 years.  Still, it was nice to be cared for.

As she hit the button for the crosswalk, she noticed a rowdy group of kids from the high school on the other side.  Her brow furrowed and she clutched her groceries a little tighter.  Maybe I’ll let Nick help me next time, she thought for a moment.  The light changed and Katharine started across.  The kids weren’t paying attention to her, and she’d gotten almost all the way across when one of the boys shoved another one right into her, and groceries tumbled out of the top of one of her bags.

“Aw, look what you did, loser!” said the first boy to the one he’d pushed.

“Whatever, man, you did that!”

“What? C’mere, I’ll punch you again!” said the first boy as they continued walking, leaving Katharine to gather her groceries alone.  Katharine let out her breath as she knelt down.

Suddenly long blonde hair was flying back through the posse at her and she heard someone shouting, “Losers! Learn some respect!” Rosalind crew bent down beside her to help.  “Sorry about that, those guys are idiots.”

The two of them hopped up onto the sidewalk just as traffic started moving again.

“Why do you hang out with them?” Katharine asked, placing some bruised bananas on the top of the bag.

“Who else is going to teach them respect?” Rosalind asked.

Katharine raised her eyebrows and looked down the crosswalk.  The guys had disappeared with the rest of the group into the pizza parlor.

“Besides,” Rosalind continued, “Gray likes me. He’s way nicer than Leo and Neal. I gotta run or they’ll order without me. See you later!” And she was off with a dash.

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Protected: Hidden Things Part II – Katharine (TOTC)

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TOTC Revisited – Entrances?

After two years of leaving it alone, I’ve picked up my Tales of the Crystals story again.  I wrote lots and lots of pages in it the last time I looked at it, but it started to drag.  I lost my way and so did the girls!  So I’ve got to start from the second chapter (the first one is great; I just tweaked it a little here and there) and rewrite it, starting with how in the world they get into Collingwood.

Ideas…

Door portal idea.
Voice? (their names?)
Sound of bells
Chased into the woods

Before I had them enter voluntarily.  But them suddenly finding themselves in it is much more fun.

I can definitely make use of the woods…Or the old schoolhouse…But what one earth would motivate them to enter an old, abandoned, dilapidated schoolhouse?  A fairy light?  No, something more concrete than that is needed for Lea.  A rushing wind that nearly knocks her over?

More time in conversation before entering Collingwood?  Perhaps a way of getting them to problem-solve on their own, like I thought of in an earlier post?

Oh I know…A light glowing from the inside of the schoolhouse.  That’s simple. (In broad daylight?)

Okay, if I were to enter into another world voluntarily, how would I do it? Voluntarily stepping through a shimmering, transparent doorway or a rainbow’s end or a sun ray or a waterfall.

Magic notes appearing?  Same handwriting?

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Bluebell

Bluebell is a sweet, innocent flower fairy whose days are filled with dancing and singing, talking with birds and happy thoughts.  She has dear friends (Iris, Violet, Rose, Marigold or Blossom) and a very simple life.  One day she meets a tree fairy, Cedarbark, a rough boy who has spent more time fighting goblins and bad elves than he has living among his own kind.  Although he usually tries to avoid fairies of all kinds, Cedarbark is drawn to Bluebell.

Bluebell dislikes his seeming brutality and doesn’t understand his need to carry around a dagger all the time.  Cedarbark sees her at first as a naive girl who needs to grow up.  Later he realizes she is someone in need of protection.  Their relationship is full of ups and downs and many adventures, and in the end, they both even each other out.  Cedarbark becomes more sensitive and begins to see more beauty in the world, while Bluebell learns that not every place is safe, not everyone can be trusted, but there is someone who will protect her in those circumstances.

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TOTC – What next?

What happens next?

Girls tour Collingwood

  1. Tour guides:
    1. Orianna
    2. A talking forest animal
    3. A sprite or elf
    4. A unicorn
  2. Possible scavenger hunt for them to learn their own way around Collingwood
    1. Objects to look for:
      1. Stars
      2. Just the clues
HA. I figured it out.
Somewhere in their hunt, news will come to them of Lady Morphia’s latest attack–and then the adventure will really begin.

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TOTC – Orianna

I just realized I’m going to need to make character profiles for other characters who will be in my story, however small their part.  It’ll help things come together a bit faster.

I’ve been working on my story in bits and pieces, but I haven’t been able to get past this roadblock, this dilemma of getting them FROM the real world TO Collingwood.  It’s so hard to make a story fantastical and believable all at once.

On a random note: I’ve been reading Emily Rodda’s Fairy Realm books.  Genius writer!  Absolutely genius.

NAME: Orianna, Oracle of the Forest

//
//

BIOGRAPHY: She’s a kind of spirit.  She’s the wisdom of the forest embodied, but she can take different forms.  She’s also a kind of message-deliverer.

EYES: No matter what form she takes, her eyes are always lavender.  That’s how she’s recognizable.

HAIR: When she’s in human form, her hair is blonde and wavy and flowing.

CLOTHING STYLE: She wears white, flowing gowns with silver ties.

SPEAKING STYLE: Is he short and to the point? Or is he long winded?

GENERAL DEMEANOR: Ethereal

JOB: What is her part in the forest?  What are her duties?

WEAKNESSES: She isn’t able to do anything, just speak to others and send them places.  (Collingwood really needs a central authoritative, human figure.  Or several human figures.)

Plot idea: The girls have normal lives in the real world, so they can’t necessarily just stay in Collingwood and rule.  But they COULD delegate a human villager that they deem worthy to be king or queen of Collingwood.  That’s truly what Collingwood needs. :/  How have they survived this long?  Perhaps Lady Morphia was the first inhabitant of Collingwood to turn on them.  Can’t they banish her to some other place?  Well, they do in the game, but she causes trouble later.  And “causing trouble” is really the only thing she does, like an unruly child.  It’s such an innocent game.

So I could, conceivably, make Lady Morphia nothing more than that: an unruly, rebellious, vengeful child.  Oy. I don’t know. Ponder.

12:41: Apparently I’m too realistic (or cynical!) to write fairytales… To make a character just conveniently notice exactly what they need to notice is so hard for me to do in good conscience!

12:53: AAH!  I figured it out!  YES!  My problem is that I’m writing from the perspective of THE most cynical character in the entire book!  HA!  What an easy problem to fix!  And then I can add mores of Megara into the story, which solves a whole WORLD of problems right now, and….. Oh, I can’t wait to see what comes next!  I’m a genius!!

Sorry–so excited to figure it out I just had to tell somebody! 😀

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