And He answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dragon Writing Prompt 081309

For each word or phrase write a sentence about one of your characters, old or new.

1. Introduction - She stared at him with round eyes, like a deer caught by lantern at night.
2. Love - Tirzah trembled as his fingers touched the delicate necklace at her throat.

3. Light - The morning sun glistened on her brown hair but glared on her pale skin.
4. Dark - The ground was hard and dry, but it was the sounds of twenty different things that kept her awake.
5. Seeking Solace - When she thought he wasn't looking, she knelt on her knees, clasped her hands and prayed in a silent scream.
6. Break Away - Tirah looked at the man in horror and as she ran into the field, she called for Owain and looked for clues in the tall grasses.
7. Heaven - Owain stood before her, not in fine garments, but in his field clothes, cleaned and surprising.
8. Innocence - Tirzah blushed and took a deep breath; she could contain herself no longer and had to relieve herself, no matter how humiliating.
9. Drive - She stopped calling out and measured her steps; her brows furrowed as she looked for something not quite right.
10. Breathe Again - Tirzah collapsed in a heap on top of Owain, her legs splayed on the ground; she would have fallen to her death.
11. Memory - Her memories played out in fitful sleep and sweats; he was no better.
12. Insanity - Grief came from the earth under her feet and rose to her throat to choke her.
13. Misfortune - Tirzah wept for her child, for the milk that would not come, and for her pathethic dream for a family.
14. Smile - Owain walked into the fairy ring and she could almost hear him scream; she smiled.
15. Silence - Tirzah stood on the parapet and watched the moon rise over the tributary; she stood alone and felt it in her soul.
16. Questioning - She wanted a family and a quiet life, but Tirzah had never outrun her choice of freedom or service.
17. Blood - Blood coursed out of his arm; he nodded and with a deep breath, she plunged her finger into the wound.
18. Rainbow - The rains passed beyond the shallow caves; Tirzah looked for a rainbow but the sun was just beyond them.
19. Gray - The second day she was tired beyond experience and in spite of the sun, all looked gray.
20. Fortitude - "He's fine and safe," she said and stood just outside the ring; she was so clumsy to step in accidentally. "Let him have a couple of go arounds and we'll see clumsy."
21. Vacation - Rest had freshened them both and Tirzah felt as good as she had ever felt in her life.
22. Mother Nature - Mosquitos bit them without respite and it rained till her skirts never dried.
23. Cat - A cat rubbed her legs under the table and when she reached down to pet it, the cat butted her hand with its head.
24. No Time - She ran until the air scorched her aching lungs and still the giant came.
25. Trouble Lurking - She stopped arguing and watched the moonflower tremble in rhythm to the noise.
26. Tears - Tears poured out so naturally and finally that she could not remember a time when she was not torn in two.
27. Foreign - "Don't thank me," said Fiar Dearg and licked his lips. "Than-" "No, Owain. No. We will take our leave, Fiar Dearg. Come, your Highness." Tirzah fairly pushed Owain away.
28. Sorrow - She handed the baby to the elf and stood with her legs rooted like willows by a stream.
29. Happiness - The dance came to a crescendo, partners changed and she felt a warm hand around her waist.
30. Under the Rain - "Just close your mouth until the morning. I'm tired and I've had my full of your voice for a hundred lifetimes." Tirzah looked at him like an animal ready to pounce.
31. Flowers -Forget-me-nots, Celandine and red campion snuggled up against the castle wall; she smiled and walked to them without a thought.
32. Night - The comforting sounds of muffled voices and music brought her joy of the night.
33. Expectations - She had walked with him through Arawn's Woods and expected a measure of comfort in Owain's presence.
34. Stars - The stars were full and a hazy semi-circle forced a path in the sky.
35. Hold My Hand - He took her hand and it felt warm and familiar and frightening.
36. Precious Treasure - All faded but his face; she placed her hand on his cheek, leaned over and kissed him.
37. Eyes - She hated her eyes, so round and plain.
38. Abandoned - She could feel him in her arms and the warmth of his kiss, after he and the guard were out of plain sight.
39. Dreams - She would marry who she wanted and she would live where the only responsibility would be to raise her children in peace.
40. Rated - Her dress was the most beautiful as fitting, but she could feel the stares of the court watching every move of her head and hand.
41. Teamwork - Ulrich held her waist as she planted on foot inside the fairy ring and caught site of Owain, who looked like a fish trying to swim upstream.
42. Standing Still - She threw the branch and time stopped. A rumble came through the rocks. Her legs once again failed her and she stood as a spectator who watched the goring of a bull.
43. Dying - The contractions had subsided but the bleeding didn't stop. She leaned her head back and said, "At least that you will know how to bury me, Owain."
44. Two Roads - Inescapable. To remain a queen with a large, rested and well appointed army against the forces of Balor or to obscurity and peace.
45. Illusion - She stayed on the end of the bench and did not move. She thought it strange that the cold wind whipped around her, while they sat in the stone cabin, out of the elements.
46. Family - Her mother tried make her well spoken but the red would start from her chest and work its way up to her face.
47. Creation - "And I am sick. No. No. I will not tolerate any more remarks about my faith. I don't lay you bare about your lack of it, Owain."
48. Childhood - She curtseyed when she was supposed to but she was never comfortable with the shallow conversation of the courtiers.
49. Stripes - "Because I'm from the court, I've never born stripes? And being told who to marry isn't a stripe? Never loving someone isn't a stripe? Never receiving the love of a husband isn't ten stripes? Being a doormat of a pawn in some royal political game isn't a stripe? I've been whipped so many times I don't know what a stripe isn't."
50. Breaking the Rules - "I want my own life of my own choosing. I've already married through my parents. If I marry again, I will marry for love or for my own reasons. Or I won't marry at all. Me. I get to choose this time."
51. Sport - Tirzah tried her luck at targets but like everything else, she took some of the skin off part of her arm and that ended that.
52. Deep in Thought - The tributary sparkled with tiny lights, like fireflies in the distance. She leaned against the sandy stones of the tower and took in the night.
53. Keeping a Secret - Her balance was never proper but it was even worse. She tried to find a long stick to keep herself from tripping. Owain finally stopped and made one for her, his eyes mumbled what his voice wouldn't.
54. Tower - Tirzah picked up his gauntlet. He had dropped it on the way out. She stood in the empty room and looked it over, smoothing it with her hand.
55. Waiting - The fairies had brought her round several times and she knew where she needed to go. Once, she had almost grabbed a root that was close to the opening but whirl of the dance was too strong. She would have to wait for the next go around.
56. Danger Ahead - The Seven were hooting and howling ahead of them, while Jack in Irons wept and swung is club behind them. Death she accepted for herself but what about her child?
57. Sacrifice - She said a soft farewell and handed the tiny baby to the Elvish couple. He would live and he would grow and be safe. And her heart would mend but changed and misshapen, like a shattered clay pot.
58. Kick in the Head - "Has anyone not kissed this man?" Tirzah gaped and stumbled back. The entire Dwarf Village and the steady stream of Elves and fairies had stood in line day after day, but she had not tried.
59. No Way Out - Tirzah scrambled under the bridge and picked up large river rocks. She threw them at the seven but the rocks did not go far.
60. Rejection - He let go of her hand and approached two willowy elf maids. She stood still for a moment, then straightened her chin, adjusted her dress and walked into the crowd.
61. Fairy Tale - "I saw a little man. He was standing by that log, with another little man. He smoked a pipe. I saw him."
62. Magic - The old woman tied a red thread in her hair and slowly the village appeared on the shores of the creek.
63. Do Not Disturb - They walked in silence for the rest of the day. She relieved herself and lost him for about an hour before dusk, but saw him lumbering ahead. She said nothing.
64. Multitasking - She was not sure what kind of wood to pick off the muddy forest floor. If it looked a drab gray brown she took it and prayed so hard that she did not hear him call.
65. Horror - The heads around Jack's belt rotted and the stench was overwhelming. The giant ran a greasy hand through his hair and looked through them, not directly at them. Her eyes were large, like a doe ready for flight, but she stood her ground and tried to keep him calm.
66. Traps - Druegar laughed. "Get up and hand me that fire iron." But Tirzah sat and gripped her stone seat. And so they sat until daybreak.
67. Playing the Melody - Tirzah cleared her throat and sang one verse of "The Bonnie month of June, my love" before Owain asked her to stop.
68. Hero - "I can't wield a sword like my lord, but I find that I can fly," called Tirzah from the air. Aurelia laughed and landed, swinging her long, scaly tail.
69. Annoyance - At last he stopped chastising her carelessness. Tears had filled her eyes at first but now her silence was her strength.
70. 67% - "I have kept silent all this time. You belittled me when I went in the fairy ring. You belittled me when I almost plunged to my death our first night in this forest. I will be silent no more, Owain."
71. Obsession - "I am going to anonymity. If I live a life of a spinster, so be it. I will live alone. I chose a life out of the royal court. I chose a life of simplicity and quiet."
72. Mischief Managed - The Seelie Court whirled in circle. It seemed so small when her foot stepped in but now it was large and chaotic. An elf with backwards feet, large ears and a wizened smile gently twirled her to cadence. She nodded, smiled and looked for that large root.
73. I Can't - "I'm not a warrior like you. I can barely walk across the ground without tripping or maybe you didn't notice."
74. Are You Challenging Me? - Aech Urisk stood straight, his dappled chest rippled and glistened in the candle light. His hoof kicked the door shut. She knew that the inn was empty, but she was not in her room. She ran to Owain's belt and unsheathed his dagger.
75. Mirror - It was the first mirror she had seen since she had left the manor. Her face looked flushed and healthy. She touched her own face, the face of a pretty stranger.
76. Broken Pieces - The village was charming and warm but all was gray. All was lost. Her baby was well cared for and would live here. But how could she go back? She would have to go back.
77. Test - "I will restore all, as you ask. But you must find your companion." "Where? Have you turned him to stone? Have you put him in bonds?" "You have until sundown."
78. Drink - She bent to drink from the clear water when a long branch came towards her. But it was not a branch at all.
79. Starvation - "I would eat duck. I would. But how can I? Look at them. Look at him and his mate." Tirzah wept. "There must be something. I'll look." She waded into the marsh but he held her back.
80. Words - "I've never been good. With words. I--" Tirzah handed him the gauntlet. "I was going to bring it to you presently. You dropped this."
81. Pen and Paper - Her Steward brough her pen, ink and paper and she sat what she perceived as the better part of the morning. Wiping her eyes, she wrote, "How much time we have wasted." She folded it, sealed it with her signet and asked it be rushed to the prince.
82. Can You Hear Me? - "I am tired of the sound of your voice. I am tired of your demands. I am tired of your bullying and your unending lectures." Tirzah walked closer and lowered her voice: a voice she had never heard. "Shut. Up."
83. Heal - The bath was as good as she would ever have again. She put on a clean garment and braided her hair. She viewed the world outside her body as she walked to the bed.
84. Out Cold - Tirzah laid down and sniffed the pillow; it smelled of fresh air and sunshine and lavender in the spring. She closed her eyes and sniffed again. She fell asleep with a smile on her face.
85. Spiral - She was on her second pass around the ring when she noticed something by the root. It was brown and familiar. As she danced closer, she could see it was a long boot and there were arms by it. Tirzah looked up with an open mouth and saw Owain reaching for her.
86. Seeing Red - "No more, Owain. Right there you have said too much. I will perish in this God forsaken wood before I hear you speak again."
87. Food - Tirzah sat at the head table with Owain beside her. The Stewart brought her the main dish in a covered platter. Rabbit. Tirzah nodded politely and sent it away while Owain roared with laughter.
88. Pain - The contractions grew stronger and she began to cry. "Stay with me, Owain. I know at least you will know how to bury me properly."
89. Through the Fire - The baby was small but alive. His little fingers curled around her finger like gossamer thread. She was bleeding. So she would live to see him but both of them would die in the night apart from her parents.
90. Triangle - Tirzah saw him glimpse at her as she danced with Aech. Aech was a fine figure of a man, except for his unusual hair. Shaved on both side with a narrow strip of long hair that flowed down his back.
91. Drowning - She stripped and didn't care who saw her naked, dying body. The bogey with long slimy green hair and skin stretched tight over a skull swam noiselessly to her and pulled her beneath the clear waters of the pond.
92. All That I Have - "My mother gave me this necklace. It remains the only thing that is completely mine."
93. Give Up - The bogey pulled her to the rocky bottom and Tirzah looked at her without emotion. She closed her eyes and let her breath rush out of her.
94. Last Hope - "If you do not stay. If you choose not to remain queen, they will find another to rule. It will be Balor, for this kingdom belongs to his family. If you stay, you will have a rested, trained army who knows Balor's tactics. You choose."
95. Advertisement - Tirzah stepped off Auralia. "I am Queen of the Dyffed Cliffs. Now, Auralia." The Dragon threw her head back and laughed, fire shooting high in the air.
96. In the Storm - She panted, each step painful and slow as the cold rain soaked her skirts to her skin.
97. Safety First - Aech whinnied and galloped out of the room and down the hall. She held the dagger, blood dripping and stared and trembled. Her mouth moved but no sound came out. She walked to Owain's belt and sheathed the blade.
98. Puzzle - "You're thick around the middle, yet you don't eat. You're not a large girl but you're thick. There. It's too bad. You're not a bad looking woman."
99. Solitude - She rose early and walked the quiet streets of the village. The sky was a faint gray and the dwarf mothers swept their steps and nodded. Her strides were long as sure as she walked up the path that followed the creek.
100. Relaxation - The path went up until the little last house bordered the woods. She was free from being chased by the Seven. She was free from the relentless prodding of Owain. She was free from the royal courts. She hiked up her skirts and plunged her feet into the cold, rushing water.

This has been floating around Deviantart for a while, now residing as Variation 1 at 100 Themes Challenge and credited to AngieChild who says she got it elsewhere.

Most people use the themes as art challenges and they're very cool to see!

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

2 comments:

aspiemom said...

This was a great exercise. I'd love to do with with my other characters.

Joyce Fetteroll said...

I'm not sure what kind of feedback you wanted since the output from an exercise like this would intentionally be rough.

1. Introduction - She stared at him with round eyes, like a deer caught by lantern at night.

I think night might be redundant. Lanterns aren't used in the day so a more immediate image would be: "like a deer caught by lantern light.

3. Light - The morning sun glistened on her brown hair but glared on her pale skin.

I think and would work better since the second doesn't seem to be an exception to the first.

4. Dark - The ground was hard and dry, but it was the sounds of twenty different things that kept her awake.

What about the sounds kept her awake? Was she threatened by their strangeness? Was she curious?

6. Break Away - Tirah looked at the man in horror and as she ran into the field, she called for Owain and looked for clues in the tall grasses.

Too many actions in the sentence. The only ones that could actually be done together are "as she ran into the field, she called for Owain".

7. Heaven - Owain stood before her, not in fine garments, but in his field clothes, cleaned and surprising.

Surprised rather than surprising? Or maybe it would be obvious in context.

8. Innocence - Tirzah blushed and took a deep breath; she could contain herself no longer and had to relieve herself, no matter how humiliating.

I can feel this moment. :-) Though, to refine this for a final draft, you might want to really pay attention next time you need to really go. I'm thinking a deep breath at the moment might not feel comfortable! ;-) Clenched breath maybe?

91. Drowning - She stripped and didn't care who saw her naked, dying body. The bogey with long slimy green hair and skin stretched tight over a skull swam noiselessly to her and pulled her beneath the clear waters of the pond.

I know I'm guilty of this too, but you might want to pick just one image from "long slimy green". The urge is to paint a full picture for someone, but unless the purpose of the sentence is to describe someone, it's too much information to take in when you're trying to follow the action and motivation. Better might be a separate sentence or paragraph that describes the bogey with active words like "Her slimy hair clung like pond weed down to her waist.

96. In the Storm - She panted, each step painful and slow as the cold rain soaked her skirts to her skin.

Strong image.

97. Safety First - Aech whinnied and galloped out of the room and down the hall. She held the dagger, blood dripping and stared and trembled. Her mouth moved but no sound came out. She walked to Owain's belt and sheathed the blade.

There might be too many images strung together that work against each other ... whinny, gallop, stare, tremble, walk.

99. Solitude - She rose early and walked the quiet streets of the village. The sky was a faint gray and the dwarf mothers swept their steps and nodded. Her strides were long as sure as she walked up the path that followed the creek.

Nice clear images building on each other.

100. Relaxation - The path went up until the little last house bordered the woods. She was free from being chased by the Seven. She was free from the relentless prodding of Owain. She was free from the royal courts. She hiked up her skirts and plunged her feet into the cold, rushing water.

Nice rhythm to the description.

As expected, and part of the purpose of long exercises, the sentences flowed better at the end. Sorry I couldn't do more but analysis is pretty time intensive!

Joyce
Dragon Writing Prompts

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