September 2020 Writing Challenge Week 1

This series of September 2020 Writing Challenge prompts is inspired by the challenge hosted last month by @ryan.ewing.writing on Instagram.  I liked using it to get to know my characters and develop my understanding of how they would react in surprising circumstances.

If you would like to see the full list of prompts, Click Here for September 2020 Writing Challenge Prompts.

Or if you are interested, Click Here for the Self-Care September Journal Prompts.

Photo by Christina Morillo on

September 1st

Who do your MCs view as teachers or mentor figures? Why?

The main character (Merrick) of my YA Fantasy novel considers a man named Alberic to be his mentor.  Alberic discovered Merrick when the teenager is first using magic.  It’s a magic that Merrick isn’t supposed to be able to use, and the elemental affinity of his magic is associated with the God of Death and criminals.  Alberic doesn’t believe that Merrick is evil just because of his magic’s affinity, so he not only teaches the teenager the basics of utilizing his magic, Alberic also teaches him how to hide his magical affinity.  Merrick finds a parental figure in Alberic, the person who is the first to recognize Merrick’s worth as a human being.

Cinderella considers her late father to be her mentor figure because he was teaching her the ropes of his trading company empire before he passed away.  There is also another mentor character, Old Man Tomas, who is a retired merchant who gives Cinderella advice and helps her set her new company up.  His advice helps her navigate some of the more tricky situations that she can no longer ask her father about. Plus, since she was still young when her father was teaching her, he didn’t want to expose her to all of the shadiness that could occur.  Old Man Tomas helps her out by giving her advice or introducing her to people that will give her the information she wants, for a price, of course.

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September 2nd

Your MC’s house is burning down and they only have time to grab two things.  What do they grab?

Merrick doesn’t have a home of his own, but if the mages’ academy started burning down, all he would grab was his small bag of belongings, which has a spare set of clothes and all the things he needs to survive out on his own.  He keeps his bag packed and ready to go in case he needs to run away from the academy due to his magical affinity being discovered.  He would also make sure that his familiar, Nisha, is properly hidden within his shadow.  After that, if he felt there was enough time, he would head down to the healer’s quarters, next to the infirmary.  One of his few friends is a healer’s apprentice, and Merrick knows that they would be trying to rescue herbs and potions if the fire was likely to reach the infirmary.

Cinderella would grab two books.  The first is the journal with her mother’s recipes for cosmetics and herbal soaps.  She is launching her new business for cosmetics, and her mother’s recipes are priceless for this venture. The second book is the journal which holds evidence of her stepmother’s crimes. It details how many times her stepmother hired a hitman to take care of the men in her life, including Cinderella’s father.  She needs that journal for evidence. 

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September 3rd

 What pet would your MCs adopt? Why?

Merrick gains a spiritual animal as a familiar, so he doesn’t feel the need to adopt a pet.  Especially when his familiar can speak telepathically with him, so he never has to wonder what she wants.  Since Nisha is able to use all of the magical elements, she can help the two of them escape from sticky situations if his magic isn’t appropriate for the situation.

Cinderella is likely to adopt a useful or pragmatic pet.  A horse would let her get to meetings across the city more quickly, and a dog would serve as an extra guard.  However, the prince is just as likely to give her an exotic pet, like a young tiger, to serve both as a guard and as a rather loud statement of her status in his eyes.

Photo by Burst on

September 4th

Your MCs have the chance to learn one skill. What do they choose to learn? Why?

Merrick, at the beginning of the book, wants to learn how to awaken and wield his magic.  He desperately wants magic to fit in with the rest of the population, and he wants enough magic to prove that he isn’t useless and worthless.  He wants enough power to stop others from bullying him.

Besides magic, Merrick wants to learn a bit more about carpentry and crafting, just in case he has to run away after his magic affinity is discovered.  If he has to run, he would love to have the skills to build his own small house out in the middle of nowhere (if he has to).

Cinderella would love to learn more about chemistry.  This way she could create artificial fragrances instead of needing to use tons of flowers and herbs in her cosmetics.  Plus, if there is a natural ingredient that many people react to, she might be able to alter the formula for her cosmetics and soap using chemistry to either lessen or eliminate the irritants.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on

September 5th

 Your MCs carry a small trinket with them. What is it and how did they get it?

Merrick carries a small amulet made from an obsidian shard.  It is encased in a metal framework which also has enchantment runes on it, but he has no idea what the runes mean.  He had it with him when he was abandoned at the orphanage door when he was a child.  He believes it is a gift from his parents, and it is why he still has hope of being loved and finding his family, despite spending his entire childhood at the orphanage.  This shard will come into play later in the book. (Spoilers!)

Cinderella has a small book that is from her mother. It contains recipes her mother created for home-made cosmetics.  These cosmetics were given as gifts to a few people when her mother was alive, and they were highly sought after prizes.  Old Man Tomas tried to convince Cinderella’s mother to produce them in bulk and sell them, but she refused.  That booklet of recipes is now the foundation of the business Cinderella will build in preparation for her revenge on her stepmother and others who were involved in her father’s demise.

Let me know if you are doing these prompts, either on your blog or your Instagram. I’d love to see them!

If you would like to see the full list of prompts, Click Here for September 2020 Writing Challenge Prompts.

Or if you are interested, Click Here for the Self-Care September Journal Prompts.

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