Day five is all about characters. The exercise today focuses on items that the character might possess. The things that one possess tell you a lot about the person. For instance, walk into my bedroom and my posters will immediately show you a love of fantasy and dragons, my desk with it’s completely collections of stationary will tell you that I like sets and stationary, even if I do most of my work on the computer these days, and my wardrobe with all it’s jeans a few skirts shows you I favour a casual look most of the time. Whereas someone else with band posters and a large CD collections will portray their love of music immediately.

So today’s exercise comes in three parts. Part 1 – Write a list of 25 things that one of your characters might own. For this exercise I will focus on Willow, the very first character that I created.

  1. Motorbike
  2. Keys to her own mansion
  3. Occult Texts
  4. MP3 Player
  5. Ji
  6. Coronet
  7. Top of the line phone
  8. Catsuit
  9. Maps of the World, varying ages
  10. Blueprints of buildings
  11. Lock picks
  12. Ceremonial Robe
  13. Woven bark and leaf jewellery
  14. Military grade secret files
  15. Framed Sketches
  16. Pair of short swords
  17. Laptop
  18. Sapling tree
  19. Satchel bag
  20. Ornate hairbrush
  21. Floor length mirror
  22. Handwoven blankets
  23. Large coffee mugs
  24. Candles
  25. Mounds of cushions

This is turning out harder than I thought. The interesting thing about Willow is not what she had, but what she lacks. She resorts to using magic for a bunch of stuff, so quite a lot of everyday items that you would expect to see round her house, just aren’t there because she uses magic instead. For instances there are no matches of lighters in the house. She has a mansion not because she needed the space, but because she could buy one. She has a room packed out with the latest games and consoles, which she never uses. She only has two pairs of shoes because she likes to be bare feet so that she can feel the pulse of the earth better. There is no clock in the house because why would you need one when you intrinsically know the time. She’s an interesting person.

Part 2 – Choose five of those items and write down how your character came by them.

  1. Coronet: A half elf, half human, she’s also the heir apparent to the elven kingdom. Her grandfather is the current King, but her mother, the former heir apparent, was banished. Unfortunately for the elven empire, they got the wording of the banishment a bit wrong, so only Willow’s mother was taken out of the line of succession, not any children she might have. The coronet appeared on her head when she made her claim to be the heir apparent. Now she leaves it manifested most of the time, otherwise it’s slung over a corner of her full length mirror.
  2. Mounds of cushion: They don’t match, and they come in a variety of colours. Willow buys one whenever she finds one that she likes the look of and is soft and they comes from all corners of the world (she’s a frequent flyer). She has mounds of them all over her house, in windows alcoves, chairs, and sometimes just stacked in a handy corner. She has the habit of picking up something to read and then stopping on the nearest pile of cushion to read it. Being comfortable is of the utmost importance.
  3. Woven bark and leaf jewellery: The palace of the elves is inside of massive tree, referred to the elves as the mother and father of all trees. When Willow visited for the first time to make her mark as the heir apparent, the tree itself accepted her by gifting her some of it’s own bark and leaves, woven together through magic into wearable form.
  4. Military grade secret files: Willow likes to know what is happening around the world, in all areas. She has many friends in many places, including the military and politic circles. Several of these have high levels of security clearance and access to these files. Willow pops in and makes copies of the files. Without them knowing, obviously. She takes great pleasure in going through mission briefings with a red pen and highlighting which bits of information are wrong and then returning them. The mortals can only do so much with their limited powers, bless them.
  5. Motorbike: A fast, loud racing machines, when asked Willow will say that she won it as part of a gamble, although the person that she won it from will change from day to day. Sometimes it’s simply a bunch of mobsters who thought they could outsmart the little lady, other times it was vampires, werewolves or even demons. But it definitely appeared out of the blue one day.

Willow’s come a long way since I first thought of her. She’s basically got ultimate power and knows everything (or thinks she does anyway) but by gods is she egotisical, egocentric, and full of herself. But when the universe whispers in your ear constantly, wouldn’t you be as well?

Part 3 – Choose one object your character might prize and write a short scene describing what might happen when that object goes missing.

Willow pursed her lips and looked the mess that she had made of her room. Her bedding was in disarray, the drawers had been pulled out of her dresser, and there was stuff on the floor everywhere. All in the name of a lost item.

She sent her senses pulsing out, searching for any electrical current that might be around, but all she got a response from was her phone. That either meant her MP3 was out of battery, or it wasn’t in the room.

With a huff, she waved her hand across the room and everything rose at her command and settled back down into it’s proper place, the wardrobe filing itself into colour order, the drawers slid back into the dresser and the bed made itself as she stalked out of the bedroom and into her study.

She repeated the process in there, and huffed when she found the same result, nothing but her laptop in there, even when she threw everything out of the drawers and searched round her bookshelves.

She remembered having it the other day, blasting out some new songs from her speakers, but as she checked the speakers in the lounge, communal area, second lounge, kitchen, they were all empty.

What had she done that day? Her hands were on her hips and she blew a strand of hair out of her face and narrowed her eyes at the cooker. Gotten up, visited France for a lunchtime meeting with a client, come back home, danced around, sent some letters, then in the evening…of course! she’d gone down to Hell for their night club.

Two fingers in the mouth and she blew a piercing whistle that would have been strangely silent in any mortal ears. Within a minute, she could smell sulphur in her nose as something materialised in front of her.

“Tremble, O Mortal-”

“Skip the crap, it’s me.”

“Uh-” The imp look startled as he realised quite who’s kitchen he was hovering in. “How may I aid you, oh marvellous-”

“My MP3, did I leave it down in hell?”

“I shall undertake this task for you in the speediest and most efficient manner, oh great-”

“You’d be quicker if you stopped talking, mush!”

The imp disappeared in another cloud of sulphuric gas and with a flippant hand Willow sent a hearty breeze through the kitchen, causes the pots and pans hanging on their hooks to rattle.

Her tapping foot echoed throughout the hall as she counted the seconds that the imp took. Fifty two of them later and it popped back into her kitchen.

“My lady, I have found your desired device.” he extended his small clawed hands, and in them sat her MP3, thankfully not covered in Hell dust.

“Awesome. Just for that, I’m going to let you make your own way back to Hell. Go on, scoot.”

The imp bowed towards her, muttered something that made her flick a finger at it, setting it’s forked tail on fire and sending it spinning back into it’s own realm. Still in high humour, she snapped the headphones over her ears and hummed along to the tune that had managed to stick itself in her head.