Preptober Prompts Day 1 – 2020

Happy October! Brisk weather, changing leaves, pumpkin and apple everything, extra excuse to wear flannel (and boots!)… And, of course, Preptober Prompts! If you’re unfamiliar with how this works, check out this year’s announcement post.

Because of how this month is laid out, I decided to do “Reader’s Choice” prompts for these first three days of October instead of at the end, and I asked for prompts from members of one of my writing groups. I didn’t get a whole lot of submissions, so these first two happen to be from this year’s Flash Fiction co-host, Maple! She’s an awesome blogger and author, and she has something up her own sleeve for Preptober that I’m super curious about, so go give her a follow! (Plus, you don’t want to miss her flash fiction prompts later this month. ;) )

But without further ado… this year’s first prompt!

What change does your main character need to make to become a healthier them?

I’m working on The Half-Elves this year, and I think I’m going to answer this for both Elk and Leafman. (I could answer for Sarabrina, too, if I went off of which characters are primary enough to have POV chapters, but let’s keep it a little simpler.)

Elk: I have this one character type that I have a tendency to idealize (I should work on that), and Elk strays kind of close to that type… But even so, I do know he could be more gracious toward his siblings (and Leafman, in particular). He tries, and he usually does a good job of being a big brother, but he can be pretty impatient at times and still struggles to fully understand what’s going on in his siblings’ brains so he can love them better. (*cough*totallynotinspiredbymyself*cough*) As far as the actual “change he needs to make,” it would probably be taking a moment when he feels himself getting frustrated with a sibling to think through their perspective and try to understand where they’re coming from.

Leafman: *sighs* Leafman is… a dear. But he’s a very emotional, angsty dear and he reminds me a lot of myself when I was 13-14. Which means… very angsty and very oblivious to reality, lol. I simultaneously want to give the poor kid a hug and to shake some sense into him. XD So the main thing he needs is to get out of his own head and start focusing more on other people, because right now he’s sabotaging himself and doesn’t even know it. (Oof, the flashbacks.)

After discussing my characters, I’m curious: Do the main characters of your WIP have significant portions of you in them? And, of course, I’d love to hear your response to the prompt! ^-^

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11 thoughts on “Preptober Prompts Day 1 – 2020

  1. Vidya: she really needs to value herself. She has serious self worth issues. Mostly because of her sucky home situation.
    A change she could make? Stop trying so desperately to please others and focus on what she wanted. Easier said than done.

  2. Well, since you asked, my main character in my current WIP is like me when I’m depressed. XD I feel that says a lot about who he is, since I rarely get depressed but he is basically depressed all the time. He thinks he is living in the present, but he is really living in the past (even though he hates the past). He would charge into battle without hesitation, but flees from the parts of himself that he hates and that are too difficult to face. So in light of these facts, he needs to face what he doesn’t want to face. He needs to accept who he is, the good and the bad. And he needs to let go of what happened in the past and truly move on from it.

    1. That’s a relatable struggle, and one that can be hard to notice when you’re the one dealing with it. Definitely a compelling character struggle, and a lot of potential for conflict!
      Thanks for sharing! ^-^

  3. Very excited for this month!! :D<

    I put a lot of me into my characters. Not always intentionally, lol. I'll be like '…oh cool you have this problem too let's not know how to fix it together' xDD.
    My character Malia (the MC of my NaNo this year), for one example, has my tendency to block off emotions and/or skip over dealing with them, but taken to the extreme.

  4. Adira: she just needs to… grow up? To get out of her own super-smart brilliance and discover that yes, while she has a single driving passion, that isn’t the be-all and end-all of life. Yes, she’s quite mature for her age, but so? Just coz she’s doing a class two years above her age doesn’t mean she can look down on her best friend who happens to be quite… oblivious.
    Emily: she also needs to grow up. She needs to be able to not assume Adira is brilliant, to be her own person rather than the very sheltered individual she is; not to be an accessory of Adira’s. They don’t treat each other like that but… still. Also she needs to be able to see cues in people’s behaviours, etc….
    Tom: move past the frustration at being ill and having dropped down a class despite being pretty smart. Don’t push past his limits. Accept them. If he overworks his limits and gets exhausted and frustrated he’s going to lose those friends he’s just starting to make.
    [Yes, I have three MCs. Kinda. A main group of friends. And now I’ll do it for another one coz I really need to quantify his character.]
    Neil: needs to get out of his own head. He needs to look around him, not assume this grief he’s been holding onto is the worst thing ever and he’s the most deeply hurt person around. Also be a bit less selfish. Just learn to let go.

    1. And also: do they have signif. portions of me?
      More what I’d want to become.
      Adira is like an overdrawn sketch of myself, with everything more than me. Minus all the flaws and with more of a wish for independence, which I have somewhat… lacking. Also she’s just a nice person.
      Emily is a bit more like myself, like I think others see me rather than I see myself.
      Neil, the somewhat nasty, irrational, arrogant, selfish, but kind of wellmeaning fellow, is probably closest to me.
      So kind of, kind of not.

    2. Ooh, these are super cool! Tom’s struggle sounds similar to what one of my characters in Calligraphy Guild is going through. It’s an interesting issue to work with. :)

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