The Plot Whisperer: Prompt 4

Affirmation Prompt:

I respect my writing commitment by scheduling around my daily chores and responsibilities and alerting others about my uninterrupted writing time.

Today I write.

Plot Prompt:

Start your story at a moment of significant change and you immediately invite the reader into the main action of the story. Conceive of a scene in which your protagonist, antagonist, the supporting characters, or the setting itself undergoes an important change.

In most scenes with an antagonist, the antagonist is in control. If that is the case with your scene, plot your scene above the Plot Planner line or your own chart. If the protagonist is in control of what is happening, plot the scene below the line.

Writing Prompt:

Usually scenes where the protagonist is in control have little to no conflict, tension, or suspense unless threatened by an antagonist. The previous writing prompt directed you to show your protagonist confronted by someone or something standing in the way of her goal. Because of what happens in that scene, write the actions the protagonist takes now that her fear, flaw, hatred, or prejudice has been activated, set off, provoked, or sparked.

Show how the protagonist usually reacts to such a challenge and the actions she takes when she is stopped, blocked, or prevented from reaching her goal. Show her emotional reaction by her behavior, her body language, the words she speaks, and what she neglects or refuses to say.

Daryl looked over his rifle, turning it over in his hands, the solid, black metal, heavy in his grip. He looked in the magazine well. Empty. He was happy about this; never had he ever thought he would be handling a gun–a rifle, as Drill Sergeant put it.

He didn’t like guns. He viewed them as cheats–weapons that needed little to no skill to wield. ‘Anyone can be scary with a gun…’ he thought.

‘It’s really no different from your photon blasters,’ said Kinder, knowing the anxiety growing in Daryl.

Daryl shook his head. ‘My energy blasts don’t kill.’

‘You’re in a tough spot then,’ said Kinder. ‘These men want you to. They are training you to fight and kill monsters and people like us.’

‘I’m not going to, Kinder. “I will never use a gun.” He said the last part aloud, and he noticed that Gaines had looked up.

He was sitting on the floor, the white rag of his cleaning kit laid in front of him and on top that were metal pieces situated in a distinct order. Gaines’s rifle lay on his lap, in half, and Daryl wondered if Gaines had ripped it apart with his brute strength.

“You’re never going to use a gun?” he asked. “Kerns, you’re going to have to. There’s no getting around it.”

Daryl’s face flushed. He didn’t mean to say it out loud. He knew that Gaines had his own perspective on their situation, but he, Daryl, as a hero, could not agree.

“Guns are for bad guys,” Daryl said.

Gaines’s eye brows dropped into a ‘not-this-bs-again gaze.’ “Not every gun owner is a bad guy, Kerns. Cops have guns.”

“They’re trained to use guns…”

“You’re going to be trained.”

“But, you know, people like us, what do we need guns for? We have super powers!”

“We have curses. It makes us a liability to the human race…”

Daryl looked into his face. It was filled with the deepest self-loathing.

“You’re, like, super strong and fast. You’re powers are amazing!”

“I’d rather not rely on them… If I can rely on tools to keep peace I will, but my powers aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Come on,” he said, “Let me instruct you on taking care of your weapon. My grandpa taught me… Before he died.”

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