Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: A Load of Little Irritations

This exercise is based on this week’s “Bad day” exercise—I may be a tad too fond of irritating my characters.

A bad day for Kestrel is one in which her judgment on other matters has been called into question, she’s having to deal with some hitherto unconfronted aspect of the fact that her familiar is a demon, and something’s on her case that she can neither beat to a pulp nor get away from. I may explore this more later—one of my inspirations for the original exercise involved Kes in an unsuccessful attempt to explain to Mandible that prophecy isn’t a poison. Either way, she usually responds with a marked decrease in patience, or occasionally by getting a strong drink or several.

Lizard!Jalil does not generally have bad days. Yes, the ferret rolling his automaton body down the stairs is a bit of an irritation, but it will pass; yes, he’s stuck in the body of an automaton lizard, but that’s a daily routine and therefore doesn’t count. For him, a bad day is one in which he doesn’t get into a verbal sparring match with Kiara or one of her housemates, particularly in which the course of the day takes him past someone whom he would very much like to have a verbal sparring match but cannot without blowing his cover. He tends to be philosophical about them, though whoever talks to him next will probably be in for more than the usual complement of backhanded compliments and stinging one-liners.

A bad day for Lamora (from the D&D game) involves risk to life and limb, because nowadays every day for Lamora involves risk to life and limb. This is what she gets for deciding that the perfect con is “pretend to be a hero for a while”. Only this time the source of the risk to life and limb is yet another construct or undead thing (or one of those oddball glue elementals or whatever they are), the blasted ranger is being a know-it-all again, and she’s dealing with internal temperature issues that don’t appear to magicsight and are anything but comfortable.* It tends to increase her overall snark levels, and often results in an attitude of “defeat isn’t enough, I’m going to humiliate them” when the opponent is in some way capable of thinking.

Taraneh’s idea of a bad day tends to involve one of three things: running afoul of music with very strong earworm tendencies, particularly when she needs to learn a new power and thus needs to pay attention to its tone instead; rampant condescension (particularly with regards to her political acumen) of a kind which was not brought on by an attempt to lull someone into a sense of false security; and extra paperwork. Often, these come in twos, if not threes. She usually responds a while after the fact, by finding someone sympathetic and ranting in their general direction.

* Sadly, Lamora’s idea of a bad day seems to be a normal game session.

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