If you ask an author, ‘Where do you get your ideas,’ the author will probably mock you. And then they’ll say, ‘Oh, from a little “idea of the month” club or from a little ideas shop behind Charing Cross.’ Or they’ll just be horrible to you. This is because authors are scared. And we don’t know.Neil Gaiman
I sent a message in to a blog over on tumblr that specializes in questions about how to write disabled characters to ask for advice on a future plot point. It was a very informative answer, so I’ve decided to crosspost it here.
Hi. I have a story in which one of the protagonists loses a limb during a major event in the plot. My plan is for her to opt for a prosthesis rather than magical intervention to repair the damage; she’s used to adapting and looking forward, as she puts it. I’m wondering how to respectfully handle the other characters reacting to the injury and her choice. They’ll want to help and support her as she retrains her body, but I don’t want it to seem like pity/guilt drives them. They’re just shaken.
Mod Kate – I don’t think that it’s necessary that they have no feelings of guilt, actually. Their friend got hurt and they may very well feel as though they should have been able to stop her from getting hurt. I don’t know if this would count as survivor’s guilt, since no one actually died, but it’s a similar concept. The thing is to make sure that the focus of those feelings is more that she was hurt and not so much that she is now disabled.
When they learn of her choice to use a prosthetic, depending on how you write it you could go a few ways. One is that they just don’t question it, because it’s her own decision and her own body. Another is that they could be shocked for a bit and maybe question if she’s really sure, but ultimately, like the first option, settle into the idea that it’s not really their business. I would recommend you steer away from a plotline where they try to convince her to get the magical intervention, but with enough research it could probably be done.
It varies how people react to things like this. When I was born the most memorable reaction was that my grampa immediately started trying to figure out how to hold a golf club one handed and decided “Oh, she can still golf with me so it’s fine.”
The age-old foe. I had a rough time wanting to write last week, but this week I appear to have defeated the beast!
I do still appreciate the things I wrote while I was working through it. I might not keep all of them, but it feels good to accomplish even a little bit when struggling to write. I would encourage writing 50 words on days when it’s hard to find that motivation; you don’t need a lot, just enough to let yourself know you Did It.
Though I have many varieties of sprites that I like to play with in my Fairy Tales sandbox, the wood sprites are my first love. Images of forests with their lush greenery and natural curves and lines always bring the wood sprites to mind. Where would they set up their homes? What would they cultivate the most in their free time? What games would they play? The green and gold of a forest in its peak is the essence of a wood sprite.
Images sourced from Pexels.
I don’t usually do much for a cover for my NaNoWriMo projects, but I thought I’d toss something together this time.
BG image sourced from Pexels, other editing work by me.
This year, one of my Resolutions was to undertake a writing challenge, and on October 21 I met the goal! It was a lot of fun, and very good practice for me, so I’m going to share what I did in case anyone else wants to give it a go.
300 Mini Prompts in under a year
- The prompts don’t have to be finished; in fact, I left many open ended to pick up the threads later. Most were 250-350 words.
- I used sentence starter prompts, giving me a starting point and leaving the rest up to me (the prompt itself didn’t count towards the total words written).
- In general, they can’t all be part of the same continuous scene. I had some universes I visited more than once in these snippets, but the prompts themselves are meant to be new scenes.
- Fanfiction, AU, Original stuff all appeared in the prompts.
- They don’t have to be good or polished (In fact, unless one is really speaking to you, I recommend leaving them alone until after it’s all done). I have several that were duds and probably won’t be expanded upon, but that’s normal with so many pieces in a short time.
Goal of the Challenge
I wanted to explore new ideas/characters and revitalize old ones. This challenge was helpful for me when my writing felt stagnant and I didn’t feel I was making much progress or engaging my readers. The idea was to make myself write a variety of stories, to practice and learn how to move different scenes in different ways, while also establishing background in a limited space. I definitely feel an improvement in my writing after this challenge.
Note: 300 prompts in a year was a lot for me, based on my schedule and general energy levels. If it’s too much, the challenge can be 200 or 100 prompts instead. If 300 or a whole year sounds to easy, well, make it a little bit tougher. The point is that it pushes you a little (but not too much!). A year is also a lot to plan ahead, so it can help to divide the task (so, for my goal, so long as I wrote at least 25 prompts a month I was on track).
The results are well worth the hard work.