Monday, June 29, 2015

Strong Characters Part 1

So lately, I've read quite a few posts on Strong Female Protagonists. And they are all so awesome! Seriously, I'm so happy that despite the mainstream depiction of a strong female character, these people "get it." They know what 'strong' really is. They, as in:




(*hint, hint* If you haven't read these, then you really should.)

Anyways so, here's what I think makes a strong character, regardless of gender. Today, we're going to the movies (okay, and the TV. . .).


Sometimes the biggest obstacle between the character and his goal is himself. A character is strong when he finally resolves that internal struggle. 

Thor, you know the guy with the hammer? He didn't always have that hammer. All he wanted was to be king, to be worthy to rule Asgard. But he was too arrogant and full of himself to realize there are more important things than war and power. Peace is more precious than revenge. Thor didn't get this.

So his dad grounded him. And took his hammer away.


Thor
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It took a lot for Thor to finally realize that war is not about mayhem and honor. It's about protecting those you love. It took him a while to humble down and realize it's not all about him and how mighty he is. It took getting hit by a car- twice. 

Thor isn't strong because he's the god of thunder. Thor is strong because he overcame himself to become something more.



Thor
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I have to throw in a Once Upon a Time character, probably my favorite character. Ruby, or Rose Red. Ruby has a fear of responsibility. She's rash, rude, and insecure.

Ruby
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 She puts up a huge front so nobody knows that really, inside, she's afraid of growing up and doing important things. People relying on her is a scary idea.

Once Upon a Time. Red Riding Hood
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But you know something? The moment she admits this fear that she can't do it, that she's afraid of letting people down- She tries to actually take on some responsibility. And it scares her at first. But the change in Ruby is one of the biggest. She goes from thinking of no one but herself, to being the town confidant.

 If you're down about something, go to Granny's and talk to Ruby. She'll listen and help you through. She is one of the most important characters in the whole series. She holds the whole town together. Even Snow and Charming go to her sometimes (if you ask me, Ruby should be queen, she's actually helping the people out, Snow and Charming are too busy trying to find each other all the time. . .). So many people rely on her now.

(I've only seen the first and a half season. . .but I will finish Once Upon a Time!)


ruby
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Characters are strong when they overcome their own weakness.


So what do you think makes a character strong? Also do you know any characters who to step out of their own way?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

SWC #3: The Cold Rescue

I thought I'd write about Eelistle again. You know, the elf from the first prompt? I changed the prompt so the verb tense would fit.

If you want to join the Summer Writing Camp link up, you can do so here. It ends on July 3rd.





There has never been a worse time to sneeze.

The guard’s footsteps grow closer.

I breathe silent through my mouth as my nose itches with the incoming force.

Closer.

If Cordon were here to laugh- 

The guard’s boot tip comes into view.

No time for sneezing.

I leap from behind the wall and sink my sword into the man’s chest. Just don’t look him in the eye. As I withdraw my sword, I let the blade sling out behind me. The metal rings against the sword of the other guard. He’s much too loud to sneak up on anyone.

My nose wrinkles. I disarm him with ease. 

“Ah- Akchoo!” The offensive germs explode everywhere while the short guard scrambles for his sword. Bleck! That wasn’t disgusting. I sniffle.

The man swings at my head. It’s a high target for him and I step aside. In him, I see everything that Cordon warned me against in my training. Another sneeze tickles my nose. I deflect the guard’s angry thrust with a flick of my blade. I glance to the heavens. This cold will be the death of me.  

“Eelistle?” Brayden picks his head up from the squat post where he’s been tied.

I fake a lunge at the guard. The man scuttles back.

“Brayden.” I bow my head, sneeze, and raise my sword just so.

The guard jumps right into the blade. He slumps to the ground and I hate myself for how well I can always time that- Someone’s death. I swallow hard.

“You came back?” My friend sounds a little delirious. But then, Brayden was just freshly whipped two hours ago. I wish I could’ve come sooner. But it’s a star’s chance I’m here now. A bad taste fills my mouth to see my friend – a prince on his knees- sagging against that post with his hands bound around it. A lump forms in my throat. But that could just be the cold.

I yank my sword free and stumble back with a sneeze. “Yes-“ another sneeze- “I wasn’t going to leave you.”

“I’m sorry. Did you just sneeze at me?” 

I eye Brayden. With the lazy cadence of his voice and his hair matted with blood, I can’t tell if he’s just delirious. Or if Brayden’s humor survived the whipping.

“The atmosphere in your realm doesn’t agree with my immune system.”

“You have a cold.” He says it flatly.

I free his hands and rub my face. I breathe deep through my mouth because the passage of my nose is dammed up. When I drag my fingers from my eyes, Brayden undoubtedly smirks.

“My hero.”

“Oh, shut up!” What was I thinking? Brayden’s humor is invincible. “Or next time, you can rescue yourself.” I pull him up.

He stifles a yell with a grimace. “If you insist on saving me, you mind taking care with those wounds?” He winces again as I walk him out of the courtyard. 

I don’t mean to be rough. The lash of a whip is the most painful infliction, perhaps because it comes barbed with shame. But we have to get out of here. “Humans,” I say to keep him talking. “You’re incorrigible.

Brayden grins again. It once again appears delirious, but Brayden always grins like that. Still, his words drag in the exhausted, slurring way of a tortured person. “I know you don’t believe that. Or you wouldn’t have come.”

He’s right. I don’t believe it for a second. “Well- Akchoo!“ I snuffle. “Don’t spread it around, right?” I try to hold him up.

“Right.” Brayden’s head lolls to the side.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Beautiful People: The Parents


Frozen, gif, snowman
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me: Hey Oddball? Do you want to do blog post?

Oddball: Go away, Ash-  Seriously?

me: *laughs* I knew you'd say that. Come, it'll be fun.

Oddball: Are you kidding me? I'm not stupid. I know what this one's about. And no, it won't be "fun."

me: Don't be so moody.

Oddball: I really don't like you at the moment.

me: It's cool. I can wait for the next moment. For this moment, do the post.


(This link-up is hosted by the sensational Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In, and you should totally join. You'll never regret it. Also I apologize for the button's absence, recently I my blog won't show it for some reason. And if you're wondering, yes, authors torture their characters all the time.)


1. Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?

 For the record, I'm only here because Ashley made me.


2. Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?

 Um, I have light colored hair like my mom, and height like my dad?



3. What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!


A picture. What is this show and tell?


4. Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?

I can't really say. Dad was always the optimistic one. So I'm nothing like him. Mom. . . *shakes head* I don't even know.



5. Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?

 Dad was the best. He was the only person I could really talk to. I wish he were still around. He treated me like an equal in some regards, mostly about Mom. But there were times when it was just him and me, when I could actually be, you know, a kid.

As for Mom, I never "clashed" with her. There was a time when I was angry with her, because she couldn't really be my mom. But that didn't last long. It wasn't her fault that she had leftligger. Dad was my confidant, but Mom will always be the dearest person to me.

Does that even make sense?



6. If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?

 Dad was optimistic. And he cared about people. Even after how cruel the Border treated him and Mom. Dad was the greatest person alive. He wasn't bitter. He helped people out if they got lost on the wrong side of the Border. He was. . . humane.

Mom, I don't know. She was innocent. But I hear that before she got sick that- Everyone says she was strong. That she would stand by Dad through anything and for anything. And I guess in the end, *shrugs* she did.



Are you, Are you coming to the tree wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.Strange things did happen here, No stranger would it be, If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.
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 *clears throat* Ashley, where did that come from? If you put any more sappy pic-

me: Okay, whatever-

It's not whatever! That was- Just don't do it again.



7. How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?

 Dad was always there for me.

I guess you could say, Mom taught me how to be understanding toward people?


8. What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?

 Oh, that one. You really do want to get deep, don't you?

Well, since I'm here and already spilling my guts for you all, my Dad walked straight into a trap, okay? I warned him, and he kind of already knew. But he had to try of course. He had to be that hopeful, always on the bright-side person. I tried to get him to stay. . .but they're both gone now.


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What did I say about the pictures!?

me: No more. I promise.


9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?

 No way. I am not answering that one.

me: Not everyone knows you, Oddball.

Then you can deal with it.

me: *sighs* His father is from Bal and his mother from Od.



10. What’s their favourite memory with their parental figure(s)?

 I'm done talking.

me: It's the last question. Just give it a try.

Ten questions is a little excessive. Let's leave it at nine.

me: Fine. Then answer this question, since you didn't answer the ninth.

*blinks* Okay, you got me there.

There was this one time, Dad wasn't home and, well, they came and burned our house to the ground. So I took Mom up to the trees.

Later, we finally found Dad. Someone had shot him. It wasn't fatal. But we couldn't go to a doctor. I know it doesn't make sense as a good memory. We didn't have a place to sleep anymore. Dad was shot. Mom was crazy with an illness that left her with the mind of a child.  But walking together that day through the rain, we still had each other. And that was home enough for me.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer Writing Camp #3

Here's the next prompt for the Summer Writing Camp. If you want to join all you have to do is write something, anything using the prompt, sign the link, and leave a link back to here in your post. It's a ton of fun!

And you can use the prompt anyway you want. If you want to change the wording so it fits better into the story you're writing, go for it! If you're a pirate and want to take it as a sort of guideline, then by all means be a pirate.




pirates of the caribbean
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The link up shall be open for two weeks time, therefore it will close on the 3rd of July. And the prompt is:




Writing prompt
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Sunday, June 14, 2015

SWC #2: The Job

I confess. I wrote this the day I picked the prompt. Once I had made the prompt post I couldn't keep my mind from working on it. I might have messed with the wording a bit. Also if you want to join the Summer Writing Camp link up, it's HERE. It closes this Friday.


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Her proximity was almost overwhelming. They had worked together for a long time now. Every odd Thursday his boss would give her a call. But this train- the seats were so small he could smell her hair without trying. She smelled like ginger, as usual. 

He had always wanted to talk to her, to know her. How did she begin her trade? How had she become such an expert? He remembered his first day meeting her. His boss had went on and on about Trayton; he had never suspected that Trayton was a woman. 

What did she do outside of work? 

But the job called for silence. “No talking,” his boss had said. So they sat next each other on the train as if they were strangers. Well, technically, they were. Strangers. Actually.

In the true sense of knowing each other, they didn’t. But he knew plenty about her, not just that she smelled of ginger. She loved romance books, especially the ones by Carolyn Cane. She always brought one to read on the train. Her voice was soft and quiet when speaking to others. She was about 4’ 8’’. She liked to wear green. She always had a window seat, but never looked out it. Except once. They had travelled over a river. What about rivers, or that river, was so significant to her that she had gazed at it so intently? 

The train jumped. Their knees jostled and knocked together. Yet neither said a word. 

He wondered if she wondered about him. 

That would, of course, be ridiculous. But what if she did? 

The train slowed and finally pulled to a stop. There was the call to leave. He set his newspaper in his seat and sighed. He left his brief case, and took hers instead. It was identical to his own, except for one thing.

 Hers had the diamonds hidden in it.