Currently viewing the tag: "character"

Four Times of the Day is a series of four paintings by English artist William Hogarth. Completed in 1736, they were reproduced as a series of four engravings published in 1738. They are humorous depictions of life in the streets of London, the vagaries of fashion, and the interactions between the rich and poor. Unlike many of Hogarth’s other series, such as A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress, Industry and Idleness, and The Four Stages of Cruelty, it does not depict the story of an individual, but instead focuses on the society of the city. Hogarth intended the series to be humorous rather than instructional; the pictures do not offer a judgment on whether the rich or poor are more deserving of the viewer’s sympathies: while the upper and middle classes tend to provide the focus for each scene, there are fewer of the moral comparisons seen in some of his other works.

The four pictures depict scenes of daily life in various locations in London as the day progresses. Morning shows a prudish spinster making her way to church in Covent Garden past the revellers of the previous night; Noon shows two cultures on opposite sides of the street in St Giles; Evening depicts a dyer’s family returning hot and bothered from a trip to Sadler’s Wells; and Night shows disreputable goings-on around a drunken freemason staggering home near Charing Cross. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the setting is the primary character and follow it through the day.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the four times of your day.

Art Prompt: Four times of the day

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about your favorite painting.

Photo Credit: Four Times of the Day on Wikimedia

He was not a handsome man, precisely; for simple beauty he could not compete with Reeve Joss or the many handsome young Hundred men with their ready smiles and easy way of displaying muscled physiques. He had a different quality; he was the wind that bends trees, the river that cuts the earth with its fluid strength, the inexorable sand that buries stone. –Kate Elliott, Traitors’ Gate

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the description of someone through your protagonist’s eyes. Make us see him or her without a physical description.

Journaling Prompt: How would you describe your character with similes?

Art Prompt: He was the wind that bends trees.

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about someone with exceptional strength of character and what makes him or her stand out.

Photo Credit: Stuart Williams on Flickr

Desultory (lock)

desultory: jumping from subject to subject; erratic; inconsistent.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone you know who is erratic. How do you deal with that person? What can you learn from them.

Art Prompt: Desultory

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: brett jordan on Flickr

The Patty Hearst Story [David Boulton] 1

The people with whom we identify are, positively or negatively, always important to us. Our feelings toward them are, in some way, always intense. And although we may recall a conscious decision to emulate some teacher or movie star, most identifications take place outside of our awareness, take place unconsciously.
…Our early identifications are, for the most part, the most influential ones, limiting and shaping all that come later. And while we will identify, permanently or fleetingly, with those we love or envy or admire, we also may identify with those whom we are angry at or scared of.
This so-called “identification with the aggressor” may occur in situations of helplessness and frustration, when someone bigger, stronger or more powerful than we are has us under his or her control. In a spirit reminiscent of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” we try to resemble the people we fear and hate, hoping in that way to gain their power and thus defend ourselves against the danger that they represent. –Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which identification with the aggressor molds your protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: Who do you identify with and what characteristics have you integrated into your own personality?

Art Prompt: Identification with the aggressor

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of identification with the aggressor and include an example of how this has played out in current events.

Photo Credit: Jim Barker on Flickr

Composure Under Pressure

equanimity noun
mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: How do you keep your composure when you’re under stress?

Art Prompt: Equanimity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army on Flickr

kindness crew

…that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. –William Wordsworth, Lines

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story about the impact of a small, random act of kindness and the ripple effect it has.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a random act of kindness you did recently.

Art Prompt: The best portion of life

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inspire your audience to undertake random acts of kindness every day.

Photo Credit: termie on Flickr

Titanic blueprints

If there was any lesson to be learned from the Titanic, it was that attempts failed, rescue arrived too late, messages didn’t get through, and he knew, even as he thought it, that it wasn’t true. The lesson of the Titanic was that people kept on trying even when they knew it was hopeless—tapping out SOSs, cutting the collapsibles free, going belowdecks and bringing the mail up, letting the dogs loose—all of them determined to save something, someone, even though they knew they couldn’t save themselves. You can’t give up, Richard thought. -Connie Willis, Passage

Fiction Writing Prompt: Put a character in a situation where he or she can’t do anything to get to safety. What happens.

Journaling Prompt: How do you act when everything around you is going south?

Art Prompt: Never give up

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the benefits of persistence in the face of certain failure.

Photo Credit: JaviC on Flickr

PictureHappy Chef

Character strengths can be defined as traits that are evaluated as morally positive, such as self-control, teamwork or kindness. Character strengths that are particularly distinctive for a person and which he or she likes to use frequently are referred to as signature strengths. Everybody typically has between three and seven of these signature strengths… people who are able to apply four or more signature strengths at work have the highest values in terms of positive experience. They enjoy work more, are more wrapped up in it, perceive their work as more meaningful and are more satisfied with their job. These people also perceive their work more as a calling than people who are able to apply three signature strengths or fewer in the workplace. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: What are your character’s signature strengths? How do they fit with his or her job?

Journaling Prompt: What are your signature strengths? Are you able to use them in your job?

Art Prompt: Signature strengths

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about character strengths and signature strengths and how they function in the work place.

Photo Credit: f4niko on Flickr

~ James K. ~

Marty Silvio, a balding, overweight, cocky, cigar-chewing egoist who never really got a good look at himself in a mirror, enjoyed manipulating everything, including the truth. He called it “creative responsiveness.” – Laura Rizio, Blood Money

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene involving Marty Silvio.

Journaling Prompt: Write about an egoist that you have known.

Art Prompt: Marty the Egoist

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about an egoist you’ve known or a serious story about an egoist who made the news.

Photo Credit: DaMongMan on Flickr

The mountain sat impassively behind her, but its pull was nonetheless magnetic. A task once undertaken was to be completed. It was her dogma. Her self-definition. -Jennifer Jordan, Savage Summit

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem based on today’s reading.

Journaling Prompt: What is exerting a magnetic pull on your life?

Art Prompt: The Pull of the Mountain

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about something that has a magnetic pull on your life.

Photo Credit: on Flickr