Writing Excuses 10.8: The Market - Planning

Writing Excuses 10.8 writing prompt: Sketch out the events before and after your dead-drop scene from last week and three weeks ago.


What is in the packages?

Black powder mixed with something that will create lots of smoke. It’s an attack on the temple. When the packages are put into the flames (unopened, as is tradition), they will burn through and explode. As small as they are, it won’t actually cause much damage, but that’s not the point. Rather the point is to create confusion (especially with the smoke) so another agent can sneak into the temple and steal something.


Writing Excuses 10.7: The Market - Johanas

Writing Excuses 10.7 writing prompt: Pick one of the dead-drop characters from the exercise two weeks ago, and turn them into a secondary character. Now take one of the characters with whom they interacted, and write the same scene again, but from this new character’s POV.


My master is not always the brightest of men.

Not in all regards, not in all things.

But he paid for my mother’s transition, when there was no pressing need that he do such a thing. So far as I can tell, he didn’t even know what he was paying for.

And for that, I shall be eternally grateful.


Writing Excuses 10.6: Second Place

Writing Excuses 10.6 writing prompt: Think about the last time you lost at a game. What was the process of thought that led to your loss? Now, replicate that moment in the dramatic structure of the story, except the story isn’t about games.


The almost. The not quite. The second place.

All words to describe a feeling. A state of mind. That of not quite making it, when you knew in your heart of hearts that you should.

And what makes it even worse: it should have been me.

I should have been the one to make the run.


Writing Excuses 10.5: The Market - Noble

Writing Excuses 10.5 writing prompt: Take three different characters and walk them through a scene. Convey their emotional states, their jobs, and their hobbies without directly stating any of those. The scene in question: walking through a marketplace, and they need to do a dead-drop.


The market is not a place in which I usually find myself.

It is noisy and rife with chaos, the throngs pressing into one another all along the way.

Yet today I find myself in unusual circumstances, descending into those very same masses.


Writing Excuses 10.5: The Market - Orphan

Writing Excuses 10.5 writing prompt: Take three different characters and walk them through a scene. Convey their emotional states, their jobs, and their hobbies without directly stating any of those. The scene in question: walking through a marketplace, and they need to do a dead-drop.


The man that gave me the box wasn’t a very good man. He was tall and skinny and he smelled. But he gave me a shiny silver penny and said that if I took this box to the other end of the market and came back, he could would give me another.

Two shiny silver pennies?

All for taking a stupid little box across the street.

The market is busy. Busy means pockets and pockets mean pennies and pennies mean dinner.


Writing Excuses 10.5: The Market - Golem

I didn’t last nearly as long as I’d hoped with the Writing Excuses prompts. Let’s see if I can’t catch up…

Writing Excuses 10.5 writing prompt: Take three different characters and walk them through a scene. Convey their emotional states, their jobs, and their hobbies without directly stating any of those. The scene in question: walking through a marketplace, and they need to do a dead-drop.


There are certain advantages that come with being dead. When walking down the street, people tend to give you a wide berth.

People don’t want to be reminded of their own mortality.

People don’t want to be reminded that death is no longer the end.

My target was on the other end of the marketplace, on the front steps of the temple to Acbris, God of the Sun. Ironic, all things considered.


Writing Excuses 10.4: Interviews

Writing Excuses 10.4: Q&A on Ideas writing prompt: Take one of the ideas you’re excited about, and then audition five different characters for the lead role in that story. Make sure they’re all different from each other.


“So what brings you all of the way out here?”

The man on the other side of the table blinked. That was all the more reaction he showed, but it was more than I had seen since he’d entered the building.


Writing Excuses 10.3: Watching the end of the world

Writing Excuses 10.3 writing prompt: Take a character, and from that character’s point of view, describe their reaction to something horrific and awful, but do so without describing the thing itself.


The old man watched the world end. He knew that he should have been bothered by this, he knew that he should have cared. But he was two wars and uncountable battles beyond caring. When he had been a younger man, something such as this would have mattered, would have gotten a rise out of him. Heck, that was the reason he had gone to battle in the first place wasn’t it? The first Great Incursion?


Writing Excuses 10.1: Five story ideas

Inspired by the Writing Excuses podcast 10.1: Seriously, Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Writing Prompt: Write down five different story ideas in 150 words or less. Generate these ideas from these five sources.

  • From an interview or conversation you’ve had
  • From research you’ve done (reading science news, military history, etc)
  • From observation (go for a walk!)
  • From a piece of media (watch a movie)
  • From a piece of music (with or without lyrics)