Sydney Aaliyah Writes – Don’t Leave Your Characters in Limbo

I need some writing practice. So, what does anyone do in this day in age when they want more information about an idea. I Googled it and discovered this great site; The Write Practice.  I signed up for The Write Practice writing prompts and will share my practice once a week.  Feel free to join me on your own blog or in the comments below.

Write Practice #1 – Don’t Leave Your Characters in Limbo by Melissa Tydell

Consider a specific setting—a place and time. It could be an indoor or outdoor space; house or building; city or country town; mountains or beach; pleasant weather or stormy; winter or summer; day or night; past, present or future.
Write for fifteen minutes about a scene that features this setting. Be sure the setting plays a role by revealing character, contributing to the plot, or creating conflict.
Every morning at 7:00 am I enter the pagoda. A sturdy and solid red wood structure with four columns and a steel roof top reinforced with additional wooden beams.  I constructed it myself out of the finest materials.
“The best that money could buy,” my benefactor said.
The red brick steps match the color of the wood beams.  I had thought, to keep with tradition, an element of iron should be included in the structure. Plus, it made the place look even more authentic. If that was possible. My benefactor commissioned an iron worker from Mongolia who created a set of intricate iron slats of vines and ancient chinese flowers. The slats are fitted to cover each column, but instead, I decided to attached them flush to the columns.  This gave the pagoda a more spiritual feel.  The structure is not just covered, it is enclosed.
Hanging the bell was the tricky part. With the help of some not so tradition  pieces of equipment, I was able to hang it securely.
As the legend goes, my benefactor’s ancestors stole the bell from a neighboring village.  This theft although never proven, was what instigated several battles between two neighboring villages back in 1322. The bell itself weighted over 500 kgs.  Stealing an item of this weight back then would have not been a stealth mission. Which makes me doubt the truth of this tale, but it makes for a great story.  I do know that the bell is real.  It is made of bronze and the detail of the carvings and characters are in the tradition of the Ming Dynasty.
For building this pagoda I alone have the privilege of ringing the bell every morning and every night.  It is a responsibility I take very seriously.  But, if the people in my village could see me, they would laugh and mock me.
You see, my skills as a pagoda builder were passed down by my ancestors.  My family has been building bell tower pagoda since the Shang Dynasty.  Our bell towers are seen in many sections of the Great Wall, in villages all over China.  But, this pagoda despite the construction is not what you call tradition.
Despite the care I took to maintain the integrity of my ancestors skills and the traditional means of constructing this pagoda (except for hanging the bell), in the eyes of my family, I have sold our tradition to the highest bidder.


 The bell pagoda of my reign sits on top of the 60th floor of the China Taiping Building in downtown Pudong, Shanghai.

5 thoughts on “Sydney Aaliyah Writes – Don’t Leave Your Characters in Limbo

  1. I really like this story. Is it based on real life or is it a work of fiction? The picture is definitely a nice touch.

    I checked out the The Write Practice website and signed up for their prompts as well. Thanks for posting it; I plan on joining you in your writing quest.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Hi Mike. This skill is past down from generations to generations, but I made up the rest. I just keep wondering if the parents of the guy who built it were proud. It is just so strange to see this ancient looking pagoda sitting on the top of this modern building. Definitely old meets new. I’m happy you enjoyed it and signed up, the prompts are a lot of fun.

  2. I love this. Just started a writing course but will check out the write practice too. i keep getting asked what inspires me. I’ve started saying I just notice things. Glad you noticed and pondered this one.

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