Characters are Everywhere (Writing Prompt)

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IMG_0995You might remember this stingray from yesterday’s post of photos from the Shedd Aquarium. At least I think that’s the same lovable dork.

S/he got me thinking about inspiration, and, more specifically, inspiration as it applies to characters. I can’t tell you whether the personality I see in this photo is simply a product of my human experience anthropomorphizing a stingray, or if it’s just an animal who loves his/her gig.

I’ve got to say, I think s/he loves her/his gig.

That aside, it really doesn’t matter, because the inspiration exists no matter what the objective reality. This stingray is a character.

I’ve got an edge in converting him/her to character status, as I write science-fiction, and alien species can abound. But even if I wanted to take the essence of the spirit I see, I could work that energy into a cozy, for example, or a fantasy, or even a romance (though probably not a main character. Then again, why create limits?).

Inspiration for your characters is absolutely everywhere. You don’t even need a human to spark you into bringing someone fictional to life.

Which gets me to the point of this post (yes, yes, hypothetical reader, I love to meander).

Writing Prompt: Use this photo to create a character, and write about the character in any form you choose. 

If it’s short enough, feel free to post your results in the comments (and I know I have some microfiction visitors 🙂 ). If you think it’s too long, go ahead and post a link. We’ll visit.

Have fun!

Oh, and if this stingray doesn’t do it for you, feel free to use any of the photos from yesterday to grab a character. We’re not picky, are we hypothetical reader?

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Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Shooting at the Shedd

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I swear this stingray was smiling for the camera. I think this may be my favorite picture ever.

I spent half of the Fourth of July being exquisitely lazy, and then the other half with an impromptu trip to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. And I have pictures!

Not of the lazy part, that would be pretty boring, I think.

My absolute favorite part of the day? When looking at a tank with sea horses and clown fish, a woman said “look, there’s Nemo!”

Her friend replied, “Where? I’ve been looking for Nemo all day!”

I couldn’t resist. I turned around and said, “So, technically, you’ve been spending the day Finding Nemo?”

Yep, I know, hypothetical reader. I’m a riot.

I wanted to see how the little point-and-shoot did with the fish underwater, and the answer to that was eh. But it definitely has some pluses, and hopefully it will do well when actually submerged in water, which is why I got it in the first place.

So most of the pictures will be from my real camera…there’s just no beating a DSLR and a good lens.

The Shedd opened in 1930, and like the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium on the same campus, the aquarium was, in essence, a gift to Chicago from one of its most successful citizens, John G. Shedd. Interestingly, Shedd started as a stock boy at Marshall Field’s and ended up running the company, and in 1924, donated $2 million to start the project.

You can still see some of the old-style exhibition halls, but now the Shedd has expanded to include an Oceanarium, a wild reef exhibit with sharks, and a 4D experience theater.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? Stop playing tour guide and show us some pictures already?

Oh yeah. Right.

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This bird in the Amazon Rainforest exhibit had the most enormous feet.

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I played with exposure with this one. At a larger size, the purple pops.

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And now for the ones with the little camera:

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The tank that inspired the Finding Nemo joke.

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This entire floor of the parking garage was closed. It wasn’t remotely creepy.

 

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Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!