Prompt for the week: 30th March – 4th April, 2015.
This is an exercise in creating a setting–keep that in mind. Your submission may be the beginning of a story or a scene, or it may introduce a character. But above all, this is your chance to practice developing a backdrop.
Imagine your character at a door. What does it look like? Where does it lead? The character opens it. Did she need a key? Did he knock, ring the bell, or just turn the knob and walk in? Or is there a knob? Does the door lead inside, or outside?
The door and what the character sees need not be anything fantastic, although they can be if you so choose. Make sure you take the time to fully visualize the setting before you start writing. What counts is not a budding plot, but the place in which the action gets underway.
Once the door is open, what does the character see, hear, smell? How about the sense of touch? What does he touch? Does anything touch her? The wind, perhaps? Describe it all so your readers can experience it along with you or your character.
In 500 words or less, let your readers see a character opening a door, and then show us what the character sees on the other side.
In your critiques, concentrate on the setting. Can you see the place the character is standing or sitting? Setting affects characters, so see if you can perceive any such effect. And, of course, comment on the writing in general.
Miss Heart Crux’s hands trembled as she turned the door knob to the massive library. She sighed deep and walked into the dimly lit room. Her eyes involuntarily tear-ed up and a large lump in her throat protested from going down. No…No, Heart, you have to stay strong, this is vengeance time. You cannot be swayed by your mushy emotions. You are the female version of 007. She hypnotized herself wiping her tears with the back of her hand.
She looked around and noticed nothing changed since 25 years, which seemed like a lifetime.
The 36 chair, oval teak wood table at the center of the room witnessed good, bad and ugly decisions made and delivered. It saw laws passed unilaterally on behalf of the people of the town of Dehaa (Body), in the name of ‘Progress’ – sometimes crippling people with no re-lapase at life or a second chance at recovery.
The L-shaped Italian black leather couch, at the back of the room was a grand spectator with its own definition of politics. Loyalties brought and sold – Some with money, some with marriage and some with muscle.
Even the silk curtains masking the stain glass windows moved in whispers as if they were mindful of the decorum expected in the room.
The only thing that changed was the fresh flowers in the vases in the three corners of the room. They may have been the only species whose innocence was preserved in the room. As their connection to it lasted only a day.
She walked gently to her happy place in the room. The day’s dailies were neatly folded and placed on the circular marble table with Ashoka Chakra engraved in the center. A pleasant memory flooded her thought. She recalled sitting at the table and coloring her book, when she was may be, about eight. She ran her hand over the table and the white tulips in the crystal-vase.
She then walked to the book shelf stretched the entire length and breadth of one wall of the room and ran her fingers over the hard-covers. Many men and women walked out of those books to render service to Mr. Minds’s family, for generations.
At the thought of the man, her head moved in the direction of the life size portrait. She walked to it and saw the man in the picture with venomous eyes. He smiled at her, from the rectangular gold frame. She let out a sly smile and said, “Now what are you going to do, monster? I wish you were alive to see what I plan to do to your grandson.”
She stood in silence for a few minutes, looking into Senior Mr. Minds’ eyes.
She heard the portrait slide with a screeching sound. Astonished, she quickly ran to the door and shut herself quietly out, wondering why she didn’t know of the sliding portrait. What more secrets does this place hold?
P.S. This is one of my WIPs.