Top Six Prompts from the Second Year

Top Six Prompts from the Second Year

On the 31st of July, 2015, I posted my first ever writing prompt. It kicked off a weekly tradition of taking time to write for myself, for fun, for practice and for personal development. Since I don’t write them every week, it has taken me two and a half years to get through two years worth of prompts, but it’s still a pretty big accomplishment. Prompt number 104 went up on March 2nd.

For the first year, my writing partner chose most of the prompts. It was fun and challenging but, for the second year, I focused mostly on things that I wanted to write, including side plots for projects that might never get off the ground, scenes that cropped up during monthly RP sessions with my Skype game group, and re-writes of some old stories I found floating around on my hard drive. These were all fun, but I feel like I let Domerin dominate my writing a little too much (oops). For the third year, I’m changing the ‘rules’ (they’re more like guidelines, really), but I’m still proud of what I produced over the last (little over a) year.

When I hit the first benchmark, I put together a list of the six best prompts – mostly because I couldn’t narrow it down to five. In keeping with that tradition, here are the best six prompts from year two!

1. Their Childhood

Featuring: Robin (and also Domerin)
Why I like it: It’s always fun to write about one of your characters from another character’s perspective. It gives you insight into the character you might not get from them directly. In this case, Domerin believes he’s a horrible parent, but Robin sees him through completely different eyes. So much so that many of the most important events in her life center around her father and the role he played in her life. Domerin is absolutely convinced Robin will eventually ‘outgrow’ her relationship with him and move on to more important focuses. But in this sweet little scene, Robin proves otherwise.

1.5. What If It Happened Differently?

Featuring: Domerin (and Robin)
Why I like it: Okay, I’m cheating a little with this one, but how could I choose between these two? I wrote this prompt after our GM introduced a time jump into our monthly Skype RPG game. It meant the alternate version of Domerin who inhabits the game wouldn’t have been present for the previous scene. So of course, I had to write something that reflected the difference. This time, the scene is presented from Domerin’s perspective, mostly so we can see how overwhelming this announcement really is. But the purpose of the scene is still the same; Robin proving to her father how important a part he plays in her life.

2. Like a Ghost

Featuring: Silkfoot
Why I like it: I actually put this together from old RP logs. My writing partner and I wrote this story several years ago for a now defunct RPG and have talked on numerous occasions about adapting it to fit our modern fantasy setting. We’ve wanted to do more with Silkfoot and Kestrel for awhile but, because of their nature, it’s difficult to plan plots for them. Yet both of us keep coming back to this story as one of the best things we ever wrote between them. It involves their initial introduction and Kestrel’s eventual decision to follow Silkfoot on his adventures. This piece combines two scenes and presents them from Kestrel’s point of view (since he’s the one ultimately faced with making a decision). As with so many of Silkfoot’s stories, it centers on the concept of freedom and how we chase it.

3. I Miss the Girl You Were

Featuring: Cazella
Why I like it: I actually found this prompt in Tumblr’s writeblr community early last year, but didn’t get a chance to write it until much later. The full prompt was “I miss the girl you were.” “Many will. She was easier to kill.” My mind instantly jumped to Cazella. This scene actually doesn’t fit canonically into any of the worlds she inhabits (I could probably make it work if I really wanted to), but it’s not really important because I love how it turned out. Cazella often molds herself to fit the people she’s with; her personality and mannerisms morph into what she thinks those around her want her to be. But that doesn’t mean she’s devoid of emotions or motivations of her own. This scene deals with what happens when she finally decides to act on her feelings.

4. Then And Now

Featuring: Domerin
Why I like it: You have no idea how hard it is narrowing down the amount of Domerin scenes that appear on these lists! I included this one because the first two mostly centered around Robin. This scene is also written from another character’s perspective; this time Daniel, Domerin’s son-in-law. It follows the ten year time jump I mentioned before. This actually grew out of a suggested writing exercise: describe your character once to fall in love with them and once to be repelled. Rather than writing a straight description, I turned it into a character revelation.

5. The One Who’s Damned; A Tale of Gluttony

Featuring: Endryn
Why I like it: I wrote this early in my Seven Deadly Sins series and it was the only time I didn’t struggle to find someone who might fit the characteristic gluttony. This comes from an early period in Endryn’s life, much earlier than I’ve ever written about him before, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Every time I write about Endryn it’s a learning experience, since I still haven’t figured him out yet. I think this prompt wins best opening line: The voices whispered in his head every day from dawn till dusk. Then they screamed.

6. The Ultimate Key; A Tale of Greed

Featuring: Silkfoot and Rose (with a brief cameo from Domerin)
Why I like it: I’m really pleased to see Silkfoot dominating the list this year. I actually struggled to choose between this scene and Eighth Time Lucky, but I feel like this one ended up capturing the character that much better. This came late in my Seven Deadly Sins series but ended up being one of my favorites. The point of all these stories was to capture a defining characteristic of the character it featured, and nothing characterizes Silkfoot more than attempting to steal a necklace from the neck of a sleeping queen.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give honorable mention to Blood for the Dead. I didn’t include it on the list because it isn’t technically a prompt and wasn’t actually written this year. It was a short story I wrote for a class back in college. But I still love it and Azmih doesn’t get nearly enough love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing these stories with me!

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