I was so stuck on an idea for a blog post today that I seriously considered quitting Nablopomo. Yes, with only 12 out of the 30 posts left to write (definitely over half way done) I was going to let a lack of ideas stop me. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have plenty of ideas written down in a notebook. The problem is, that all of those ideas take a bit of effort. And I seem to have a lack of motivation to actually work out any of the ideas. So, if I’m honest, not so much an ideas problem as a motivation problem.
Before giving up, however, I decided to scroll through my daily feed to see if any prompts or writing challenges jumped out at me. Go figure, one did. So I will not be walking away just yet (ask me how I feel tomorrow). Today I am going to take up The Daily Posts’ weekly writing challenge: “Characters that Haunt You.” The challenge is to bring to life a character that has been floating around in your imagination for the last little while. And then after including a description, you have to write that character into a scene. Now, I feel like this challenge requires a bit more than an hour or two of contemplation, but that is all I am going to give myself. It won’t be super polished but I think that’s how I want it to be.
So without further ado I would like to introduce you to: Historia [Tori] Anderson. <Note: I actually haven’t fully settled on her name yet, another possibility is Evvie Anderson. For the purposes of this exercise I will use Tori]. Tori is from a fantasy world (as yet unnamed) where stories are born, hunted and created. This world is populated with elves, dwarves, goblins, etc. but not humans. I haven’t yet figured out what type of character Tori is, though I’m leaning towards something along the lines of a cross between an Elf and a fairy (an Elrie?)
Historia ‘Tori’ Anderson (Character Profile)
Height: 5′ 1′ (just on the shorter size of average for a female Elrie)
Weight: 90 lbs (she’s tiny but not abnormally so for an Elrie – though they do feature a diverse array of body sizes, shapes and weights)
Age: 23 next month (which month is next month you ask? not sure yet)
Hair Colour: Deep Chocolate Brown (medium/long length)
Eye Colour: Emerald Green
Other identifying features: Tori, like many members of her (species? race? not sure the right word here) has slightly pointed ears. She is slightly built but is in good shape and is more muscular than she appears. She has a tiny birthmark or freckly on her cheek just under her left eye. She has long, delicate, tapered fingers.
Brief Bio: Tori Anderson is a young Elrie just out of Finder college. Tori has a life long dream of becoming a Story Finder. You could say that “finding” is in Tori’s blood as her family history is peppered with famous finders such as non other than H.C. Anderson himself (and you thought he was a human writer of fairy tales). Though she has a family history of finders, neither her parents or grandparents went into that profession. Her mother is a caretaker specializing in fantastical beasts (where some girls dreamed of riding ponies, Tori dreamed of riding unicorns and griffons). Her father is an academic whose life goal is to write a definitive history of the “break between the worlds.” (Just what exactly is that, you may ask? I’m not telling. “Ha, I bet you don’t actually know.” Wrong. In this instance I definitely do know. But that story has the potential to be a major plot point which I am not going to give a way here.) Tori excelled in her classes at the college but, unfortunately her good grades haven’t been quite enough and her family history doesn’t give her any advantages. She is currently working as a “cultural understanding facilitator” (a.k.a tour guide) with ‘The Agency’ – the organization that employs the most freelance Story Finders in the world. She knows she can be a top notch finder, she just needs to convince The Agency to hire her and give her a chance. At this point she’d even take the position of intern (which everyone knows means ‘the girl who gets the coffee.’
Now for the scene. I have elected to write up one of the selected scenes instead of coming up with one unique to Tori’s world.
The Scene: The public Library. On a Wednesday.
He was sitting in her spot. Second floor. Corner furthest from the stairs. Small desk. Right in front of the only window with (in Tori’s opinion) the best view of Grimm park. Far enough away from the washroom that you weren’t annoyed by the sound of the toilet flushing through the ancient walls. But close enough to allow for an iced tea habit that always got a bit more extreme during a long day at the library. And most importantly, right in the middle of the fantasy and fairy tale section. The best desk in the entirely library. The spot she sat in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. And he was sitting in it.
Not only was he sitting in her spot. He was sleeping. Sleeping! If he were using the desk to read, or work on research or writing, or… or anything else really. But sleeping?! It’s not as if she was irrationally attached to the spot. It was a public library after all. Which meant that members of the general public (who were not familiar with the occasionally peculiar habits of library regulars) were welcome at any time of day. She often came up the stairs to find people sitting in her spot. But, today of all days. And to have to relinquish her spot to him of all people.
Jared Bartholomew Hinkle. Theo to his friends. (J-Bart to me). Pretentious, spoiled, son of one of the most wealthy and prominent families in town (or the world if you choose to believe the multitude of family history plaques scattered around town). Voted most popular, best looking, and most likely to succeed in every single school yearbook ever (and he knows it).
And The Agency’s newest golden boy. Hired right out of college. I out-scored him on every single Finder test (but one). He gets a finder job right out of college. I get to work as a tour guide. Yes, I should be grateful. Not many other new graduates get such a good starter position at The Agency. But I don’t want to be a tour guide. I want to be, have always wanted to be, a Finder.
If I did better than him on the tests then why did he get the job? Was it because I’m a girl? Or because he comes from a rich and well established family? I wish. At least then I could be filled with righteous indignation. In truth, that one test I didn’t beat him on? It was the most important one. The one that proves you not only have the book smarts but can put them into practice. J-Bart aced it. And I choked. I didn’t fail or anything. I got the second highest grade in the class. But the one thing I missed was crucial. It’s the one thing I can do in practice but always miss under pressure. And the one thing J-Bart never misses. And, if I were to be honest with myself, it’s probably the biggest reason why I can’t stand him.
And now he is sitting no – sleeping – in my spot. The place I came to forget about my failure. Could this day possibly get any worse?
Okay – so that was incredibly fun. I’m feeling like I should spend more time actually writing the fiction that is brewing in my mind. Thoughts? Did you like it or should I stick to other topics? I would love to hear your opinion!
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You (dailypost.wordpress.com)