Every Wednesday, I post a writing prompt here. You write about it, if it tickles your creativity bone, and then come share what you wrote on Facebook to get some feedback and see what the other Ninjas have come up with. My goal with these prompts will to be to make them something that can move your current work-in-progress forward.
A Resting Place
Stories are all about pacing. The up and the down. And pacing is one of the hardest things to learn.
So, I thought that today we’d use the Hump Day Prompt to explore the concept of pacing a little.
Your protagonist needs to have ups and downs throughout the story. If you have all ups, the story is boring. If you have all downs, it’s too unrelenting for the reader.
Today I’d like you to think about a scene where your hero has been struggling, they’ve been fighting and maybe losing, definitely not getting what they want. And then think about a win you can give them, right in that moment when things seem so hard, so difficult, that they’re struggling to hold on.
My story The Undergrounders is a Robin Hood retelling. This scene happens at the end of the first sequence. Rob, my hero, is mourning the death of his father. He’s surrounded by mourners. All he wants is to see his best friend–who is his love interest as the story goes on. The first time Rob sees Mattie in this book is a breath for him (not just of fresh air. Of any air.) It’s rest from sadness for the reader, too.
How can his father be gone? It’s like trying to wrap his head around the idea of the sun deciding one day that it was done . Yesterday he was still angry that his father didn’t want him to come home for the summer. Again. Angry enough to ignore his emails. Yesterday feels like a thousand years ago now.
The world has changed since then.
The door behind him opens with a soft whoosh and a burst of refrigerated air. Rob keeps his back turned, trying to pull it together before he has to face another mourner. “I’m sorry, I—“
A hand slips into his and Mattie is there.
She presses against his right side, her forehead against his shoulder. She doesn’t say she’s sorry. She doesn’t have to say anything. He keeps her hand and wraps his arm around her waist, pulling her closer.
Her hair smells like apples. She’s cut it since the last time he’s seen her– short in the back, with long layers that fall forward and cover her face as she presses her cheek against his chest.
She holds onto his t-shirt at the small of his back, her fingers digging into his skin. She whispers something and it takes a minute for him to work out what she’s saying.
You’re home. You’re home now. It’s okay.
Tears finally fall, releasing the mask of pain.
Are you writing this week’s prompt? Leave a comment and let me know! Come on over to the Ninja Writers Facebook group and share your work. Get some feedback, leave some feedback–get involved in the community. I can’t wait to read what you come up with! Also, if you’d like to get a PDF of this post and every Hump Day Writing Prompt, head here and sign up for the Ninja Writers Binder Club. Every month I send out a newsletter that includes those links. Help spread the Ninja Writer word! Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Send a link to it to one writer friend.