Change (advanced)-Section 2: Lecture 13

Trying to get back on track with my writing and need to make up a lot of work both class and personal. The last lecture/writing exercise was about character flaws. This lecture is about changes. How the character overcomes his/her flaws. I went back to refresh my memory and my character was a pirate that hated conflict and now he needs to overcome his issue with conflict. To refresh your memory as well here’s the pirate that couldn’t handle conflict-Oh and I only have 10 minutes.

The pirate captain, Mamoon sat in his room cradling his forehead in his fingertips worrying about the next raid. He could over hear his crew bantering back and forth followed by laughter. He knew deep down they were laughing at him and planning a mutiny. Mamoon decided that his ship and crew will travel the seas tonight in search for a ship to raid. With all the courage he had he busted through his door onto the deck and yelled at his men to prepare the ship and lift anchors. The men scurried about trying to get the ship in order. He could see that he took the men by surprise and was pleased with the hustle around him. The ship sailed into the darkness only the moonlight leading the way. In the distance the captain could see a larger ship; one he knew was too much. He hid his fear well. Deep down he knew this ship had to have twice as many men as he. He looked and he didn’t recognize his crew’s expressions. It was fear! A lack of confidence! He saw that his men didn’t want to battle anyone from this ship. He sneered at how the tables have turned and in that moment he found courage. Mamoon quietly told his men what to do and before he realized it, he was the first on the ship. He stealthily entered the captain’s room to find him passed out belly down obviously due to the empty rum jug on the floor. He carefully roped the captain’s hands behind his back and quickly shoved a gag into his mouth. The wide-eyed captain couldn’t warn his crew. Mamoon rushed onto the deck to find his crew quietly scuffling with the other ships’ crew into submission and binding their hands and feet. As the men sat tied up Mamoon and his men took all the booty they could plunder. As Mamoon boarded his own boat he could feel his crew respect. (I ran out of time.)

Section 3: Lecture 7-Character Goals

This lecture was about characters and goals. The instructor gave great examples from different books and short stories. For the writing prompt, I’m thinking I should have chosen different numbers. We are to pick numbers 1-10 for a character stereotype and then again (1-10) for a goal. I chose 3 and 3 and ended up getting a 99-year-old woman as my character and her goal is to hike the Himalayas (extreme eye roll with an ‘of course’ voice in my head). I get 10 minutes and this is what I came up with:

Thomasine sat on her front porch rocking in the chair her late husband built for her when she was pregnant with their first son. She reminisced about days past and how times have changed. She and Gerald were married for 52 years before he passed soundly in his sleep. Thomasine scoffed at the fact no one is really in love these days and it’s just people bumping around in life. They built their own home and raised 6 kids on the farm. The kids got older and the farmland got smaller. Now it’s just her and her great-granddaughter Lily that lives in the house. Lily didn’t want Thomasine to live alone she refused to go to the assisted living facility.

One night after super Thomasine pulled out a photo album and asked Lily if she would like to look at pictures. Thomasine was getting tired of Lily always having her nose in her phone looking at Instabook or Facegram, whatever the kids do and wanted to connect with her more. Tell her stories of the family before there wasn’t anyone left to pass on the history behind how she came to be. Lily gladly obliged her and they sat looking at all the wonders of Thomasine’s time. Cars, presidents, picnics, everything had a story to go along with the picture. Lily learned a lot about her family and the meaning of love. Thomasine felt better knowing Lily knew a lot about her past and kissed her on the cheek while closing the book. Lily noticed a small yellowed folded piece of paper fell out from the depths of the album. Thomasine looked and giggled while opening the paper. ‘This was a list of goals I wanted to achieve before I died,’ handing Lily the paper. ‘Oh dear, I don’t think I’ll be able to hike the Himalayas this close to my expiration date but I achieved a lot of my list. I need my beauty sleep. Thank you, Lily, for paging through some memories with me.’

Lily found her great-grandmother the following morning. She has died peacefully in her sleep. Lily took it upon herself to set the arrangements and made sure she followed all of Thomasine’s wishes. She was cremated and each great-grandchild received a piece of cremation jewelry but Lily got the house. A year later, with her inheritance, she decided that she was going to finish her grandmother’s list with her. She locked the house and left for the airport. Hours later with her very special necklace, she and Thomasine started on their great adventure.

Section 2: Lecture 5 – Writing Class Exercise

Someone just tap danced on my last nerve and instead of losing my temper (or rage eating) I thought I would catch up on one of my lectures. For this exercise I was supposed to pick a character in a situation and write about what they could be thinking for 10 minutes:

I think my companion forgot about me. I can’t get through the front door no matter how much I try to grasp the handle.  I’ll check the windows. Damn, can’t even see in them I’m so short. I’ll run around to the front door. Still can’t get in. The sky is really dark and the rain is starting to pelt me on my back. I think the neighbors are home, I can smell home cooked food and can hear them talking. I hope they don’t mind if I come in from the rain. I’m starting to get soaked to the bone and would like to find my companion. I’m starting to get worried that they might be in stuck in the same storm or worse.  Oh, hey, I’m glad you opened the door. Can I get some help and shelter from the storm? This is great! It’s warm in your house and thanks for letting me use this towel to dry off. I forgot! My companion’s name is on my jewelry. Can you call and let him know that I can’t get in the house?

My character was a  dog finds shelter in a rainstorm. I’m going to try this exercise again because I think it will be valuable in the Fenton Friday project.

Writing Course: Write Badly

I’ve decided to take a fiction writing course to help me along with my skills and to also better equip me to keep Fenton Friday’s alive and growing, hoping to capture more bloggers and artist to help him grow in his adventure. I finally reached my first writing prompt in my lecture and the instructor wants me to write badly. Prompt: Write a terribly long boring description about a character from the prompt list. I’m going to apologize now because I had to do this for ten minutes but it gave me an idea to help bring Fenton to life. You won’t offend me if you skip over to my idea for Fenton.

My Chosen Character: A Drunk (seen quite a few of these characters when tending bar)

I just got done wiping down the bar when a man walked in the back door. It was dark in the corner but when he came into the light I recognized him to be one of the local frequent flyers. He must have just got off work and could tell by his obnoxious body odor surrounding him. His toothless smile requesting a Busch light from was seen through his thick mustached full of mechanical grease. The teeth that he had left were yellow and also smudge with grease. I opened his can for him careful not to touch his hands as the drink and money exchange happened. His greasy mechanic shirt had yellow pit stains the size of his boots underneath each arm and it even wrapped around to his worn out name tag. The red embroidery on the tag was frayed in places, had missing letters, and permanently stained with what looked like ketchup. He sipped his beer dripping some on the bar, ‘grab another Jo’ and he greedily gulped down the first cheap beer handed to him. I obliged and knew it was going to be a long night when he told me to turn the jukebox up then asked if I was so old that the music hurt my ears. With the music blaring ‘Big Green Tractor’, he headed towards the pool table. I knew I was going to have to clean the cues after he was done. His calloused, cracked, blackened hands rubbed up and down the cue getting ready to break leaving little balls of grease all over the shaft but also the felt of the pool table. Third beer, fourth beer, and the fifth beer went down without a problem. He was at beer eight when he started to slur. I cut him off causing him to call me everything under the sun but a child of God. His friend ordered another beer but slid it to the drunk. 2 hours and 15 minutes later he was ready to leave.

Was that badly written? I was asked to write badly and think that I could have added more bad detail. Where I’m getting at is a writing exercise, a prompt if you will.

Prompt: Write a terribly long description of Fenton. Give yourself 10 minutes. What do you see?

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