Writing Prompt #I-Don’t-Even-Know: Most vivid amongst the memories of his home town …

Written By: Jess - Sep• 17•14

I really liked this one a lot more than I thought I would.

townToday’s Writing Prompt:

Most vivid amongst the memories of his home town . . .

My 100 Words:

Most vivid amongst the memories of Don’s home town was the creek’s bank on the west side. He used to go after school and pick pebbles to splunk into the lazy stream as it ran around the aspen trees.

Sometimes people would see him when they passed by as they peered at the tree line. Sometimes he’d stare back.

He never understood why they did this, it usually just frightened him.

Why can’t they just leave me alone?

It was like that today when another couple came by. He raised his hand to block the flash as they whispered “ghost.”

Photo Credit: Gualberto107

Photo Credit: Gualberto107

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Second Draft is DONE! Thank you writing retreat!

Written By: Jess - Sep• 15•14

So iWriteNetWork had their second writing retreat this past weekend and I got to reconnect with some of my talented writer friends while there.

I did get a lot done while there, but it wasn’t as productive as last time for me. The problem? I didn’t mentally prepare like last time. I’ve learned that you really need to prep before you go to those type of things. Mostly I didn’t have time to, but I’ll make sure to do so for the one in the spring.

While at the retreat I did finish the second draft of the short story I wrote at bootcamp in July. (It is done, it is done, it is done, done, done! aHA!)

Mostly it was adding more details, expanding on things, and writing new scenes. It went from 8k to 16k. It’s a monster of a short story, people. I’m a little worried that I’ll have trouble selling it because of it’s length.  I do plan on sending it to Writers of the Future (their current limit is 17k), but I need to get it to my critique groups, some savvy reader friends, and find an editor. Right now I have some pages with one editor, so hopefully I’ll like the feedback and we’ll click. Fingers crossed.

Oh, one other thing. I’m starting the first draft of my new book baby tonight. Yep! What I’ve nicknamed TAP is finally getting started! I’m pretty excited.

I’m also starting the edits on my Pandora novel. So that’ll be fun. Not. I found out at the retreat that I really, really hate edits. I’d much rather write a whole new first draft. It takes me a while to get into the groove with editing. But at least I know I’m going to need lots of chocolate to get me through the misery of fixing it.

Writers, what are you working on? What stage of working on a book do you love/hate the most?

Non writers: What’s going on with you?

Writing Prompt #?? : The fire was getting closer + Mini Update

Written By: Jess - Sep• 02•14

Mini Update: This summer was an experiment when it came to what I could do with my writing. I pushed myself with critique groups, edits, plotting, learning more about grammar (that I’m quickly forgetting. I’ll need to skim read them as a refresher) and in general pushing what I thought I could do.

It was a frustrating summer, but a good one. Often times I felt like I had stretched myself too thin, but had promised myself that I’d keep doing my experiment until September. The good news is I did learn something from it. The bad news is I’m going to have to make some adjustments I don’t want to make if I want to be productive and be happy with my writing again.

What this means is there will be more updates on the blog (yay! I’ve missed you, blog!). I’m also going to be slowing things down a bit and cutting back on the portions on my overcrowded plate. So. bare with me. Changes are coming but they’re all good ones. I’m not getting rid of anything, just altering how I do them.

Now time for the writing prompt.

The fire was getting closer . . .Today’s Writing Prompt:

The fire was getting closer . . .

My 100 Words (I deviated a little bit with the wording) :

Ruin quirked an eyebrow as she watched the struggling village down below. Some of the villagers surprised her with their unwillingness to accept their fate.

“Really, sister. Must you torment them?” her older brother’s husky voice said from the doorway of the Observatory.

She sighed and leaned back in the gold plated chair. “I’m bored again, Snare. What do you expect a girl to do?”

He walked over and looked down into vision portal at Ruin’s feet. His sister blew into the portal, whipping the flames closer to the panicked village.

Snare scoffed and rolled his eyes. “Fire? How original.”

Photo Credit: Evgeni Dinev

Photo Credit: Evgeni Dinev

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

They’re Back! Writing Prompt #??: Spare some change please?

Written By: Jess - Aug• 13•14

Yeaaaaah. It’s been a while. Sorry about that. I’ll make excuses later (I have a lot to choose from). In the mean time, here’s the writing prompt for today!

*sigh* I’ve missed doing these!

Today’s Writing Prompt:

Spare some change please?

My 100 Words:

Harriet tugged at her blouse, willing it with all her might to fit properly.

She glared at her reflection. “Whatever, I don’t have time for this.”

Squinting, Harriet locked in on her torso and expelled energy to shrink her bone structure. She half turned, smirked, and then hurried out the door.

As soon as it clicked behind her she saw the usual beggars.

“Spare some Change, please?” one of them said.

“Oh, fine,” she said. Harriet snatched his hand and squeezed it, passing on energy.

She didn’t bother to watch the man use the small amount to strengthen his spine.

Photo Credit: Mantas Ruzveltas

Photo Credit: Mantas Ruzveltas

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

The Waaaay Overdue Boot Camp Post

Written By: Jess - Jul• 29•14

I’ll try and keep this simple, mostly because it’s hard to convey everything I learned and walked away with from Boot Camp. I’m also in the middle of moving, editing, and trying to get to my new shiny, so I really don’t have much time to dive into this as much as I’d like. In all honesty I could easily split this into two posts, so I apologize in advance for how long and dry this thing is. (To the GIF haters: Sorry. Sort of. But there’re 4 in this post.)  Anyways. Reeeady … and … go!

The First 2 Days

The first two days was the writing class portion of Boot Camp. Anyone can attend the writing class if they pay the $175 (or whatever it cost). It’s great, though if you’ve read Orson Scott Card’s “Character & Viewpoint” book (I highly recommend it) you’ll notice a lot of the same information. He does cover stuff that isn’t in it though, so you can still get a lot out of it.

I attended the writing class last year as well and love how he presents the information.

On one of the days he had us write about an hour from the past week. We had to write it in third person past tense and we couldn’t use our own names. Here was mine:

Coraline gripped her armrest as the plane shuddered for the third time.

The girl next to her giggled like a demented Furby and Coraline debated if ‘accidentally’ hitting her would be worth it.

“Just a little turbulence folks, we’ll be on the ground in no time,” the captain’s disembodied voice said above them.

With a strained face, Coraline turned toward the man across the aisle from her, his words finally registering.

“Our friend is in the back — it’s his first time flying. Boy, are we going to have fun teasing him! He’s petrified!”

“I don’t blame him,” Coraline said. I am too.

The man continued to prattle on and she nodded politely, but when the plane bounced again she squeezed her eyes shut and prayed that the pilot would just land the thing sooner rather than later.

“I really, really don’t want to die,” Coraline whispered to the small TV screen in front of her.

Next to her the girl giggled again as the the stewardess walked along and asked everyone to put their trays up.

At the end of day 1 we were partnered up and expected to go and fill at least three index cards with new, complete stories. Really they were like detailed outlines. Each one had to be from one of the following:

  1. Research done at a library/bookstore
  2. Another from interviewing a stranger
  3. Observing those around us

On day 2 we went over our cards and discussed them and how to make these story ideas better. I won’t explain this too much. Long story short for me was I hated all of my ideas. I really had zero desire to explore them. Which is a pity because last year when I did the writing class I actually liked some of what I came up with. Not so much this year. I don’t know what happened.

The Boot Camp Portion

The best parts about Boot Camp for me were:

  1. Learning I could write a short story in a day
  2. Setting a new personal record for my daily word count
  3. Making new writing friends!
  4. The amazing feedback I got back from every person there

On Tuesday (day 2 of the Writing Class) OSC gathered all the boot campers together to let us know we needed to write a brand new story that we hadn’t started prior to boot camp. He said a lot of us would end up using one of the index card stories. I asked if it had to be a story from our index cards or if it could be something that we’d brainstormed while there. Luckily for me he said it did not have to be an index story. Just something new. Yea!

He also said the story had to be written by Thursday.

But he said those of us who were slow writers could skip the rest of the writing class after dinner. I opted for skipping.

I’d stayed with my sister prior to boot camp and while there I’d gone to the pool with her and her husband. I hate the water. Always have and always will. I wasn’t going in. But I did like watching all the hyper little kids jump in, splash all the adults, and in general run a complete muck.

While I sat there (trying to read my book) and watching all the mayhem, an idea sparked.  It wasn’t until the writing class started that anything really started to form around the idea, but that’s what I ended up using.

I spent eight hours on Tuesday world building, watching Dan Well’s 7 point story structure on YouTube (to be honest I had no clue on how to write a short story), and creating short character bios. The next day I woke up at noon, ordered Dominoes pizza, and spent the next thirteen hours (give or take) writing the blasted thing.

New record reached! It ended up being around 8,100 words long. (Heck, yeah!)

I thought I’d be able to go to bed after that, but I thought wrong.

I then had to stay up and read three of the short stories other boot campers had submitted already. I ended up getting about two hours of sleep before waking up and meeting with everyone to then go over them.

For those wondering, it turned out I wrote the longest one (the average was around 4-5 k. I have no idea how I ended up writing the most. I’m use to being on the low end. Huh).

And Here’s What Went Down

Really, this is what’s hard to explain to people about what I learned. For the rest of boot camp we spent about three hours each on each person’s story critiquing it (there were twelve boot campers all together).

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A lot of what I learned was from critiquing so many stories, having my own ripped apart, and listening to what OSC had to say. The real value came from those three things combined.

What amazed me was listening to someone who’s been writing for so long brainstorm, picking apart story flaws, and noticing things that the rest of us didn’t see. I’ve listened to other great writers do this one on one before, not just OSC, but the difference with this was doing it for about 3 days straight from 8 -10 hours a day.

I really learned a lot by going. The new writing friends I made are invaluable.

finaldinner

 

I honestly would recommend it to anyone considering it. The majority of the advice given was spot-on and amazing. Boot Camp was a great experience and I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have gone — it really was the right timing for me. But that’s a different post all together.

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P.S. – You should check out one of my fellow boot camper’s posts on it too. She wrote a  great summary about what went on as well. :) She’s also the one who I stole these pics from. (THANK YOU ELISE!)

Keith, another great writer from Boot Camp, has his own post up about the time spent there.

Writing Prompt #17: It was time. She’d fought against it for so long . . .

Written By: Jess - Jul• 16•14

Ugh. I so I totally forgot to post over the weekend AND Monday. But it’s coming. Yell at me if you don’t see something by Saturday night, k? ;)

It was time. She'd fought against it for so long . . .Today’s Writing Prompt:

It was time. She’d fought against it for so long . . .

My 100 Words:

It was time. She’d fought against it for so long.

I wrapped my knuckles against the glass, making the poor girl jerk away. She’d been left alone for so long she’d fallen asleep. Heh.

“Come on, undo what you did. We don’t have all day,” I said, knowing my voice sounded muffled from inside the transport.

How had she locked herself in there anyways?

“I don’t want to! You can’t make me!” she screamed, her breath fogging up the window.

I sighed. Why were they all scaredy-cats? “Girlie, everyone finds out who their mortal enemy is at the Prophecy Reaping.”

Photo Credit: Audfriday13

Photo Credit: Audfriday13

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Writing Prompt #16: It was just for one night . . .

Written By: Jess - Jul• 09•14

I’m back! I got back from the ‘Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp’ on Sunday and have slowly been getting back into the swing of things. I should have a blog post up about how it went either this weekend or on Monday (hint: it was awesome!).

As for commenting on other people’s prompts (for the last three weeks) — I’m going to be going to everyone’s blogs today at some point and leaving feedback! I have the time planned out and everything. I’m excited to see what everyone’s done!   :)

It was just for one night . . .Today’s Writing Prompt:

It was just for one night . . .

My 100 Words:

It was just for one night, or at least that’s what Rick told himself as he started the car and headed toward the seedy part of town.

No one will know. No one can know. If Sally finds out, I’ll lose the kids for good.

Rick winced at the memory of his now ex-wife. He tried to counsel himself with rumors that the police were often the prostitutes’ biggest clients as he waited at the red light.

Three blocks to go.

He stopped when he was one block away. Up ahead were flashing lights and women being escorted in handcuffs.

Photo Credit: Franky242

Photo Credit: Franky242

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Writing Prompt #15: “She had to find the necklace, before . . .”

Written By: Jess - Jul• 02•14

I apologize in advance. It looks like my comments on everyone’s will have to be put off another week until I get home. I’m at a writing boot camp this week and I’m going to be swamped until it’s over. But I promise, as soon as I’m able, I will be doing some serious catching up on commenting on everyone’s! I can’t wait to see what all the other wonderful authors have come up with! 

She had to find the necklace, before...Today’s Writing Prompt:

“She had to find the necklace, before . . .”

My 100 Words:

Sharanna had to find the necklace before the mages started the ceremony.

“Three hundred years in the making and the idiots misplace something as important as that shrike of a necklace,” she muttered as plunged her hand between cushions.

Incense burned in all four corners of the room, making Sharanna’s headache worse as she huffed over to the pile of clothes and discarded food.

“Holy men, right,” she said as she pinched a pair of lady’s garments and moved them to the side.

“Mama?”

“Not now honey, Mama’s working,” Sharanna said, glancing up to see her daughter wearing the necklace.

Photo Credit: Noomhh

Photo Credit: Noomhh

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Boot Camp Eve

Written By: Jess - Jun• 29•14

*Deep breath*

Well, tonight’s the night before ‘Uncle Orson’s Writing Class & Literary Boot Camp’! I’m both excited and nervous. I did the writing class last year, so I at least know what to expect out of that, but it’s the boot camp that I’m anxious for. I know during that time that I’ll be expected to write a short story.

And there in lies what has me all worked up. I’ve written my book, but I’ve never written a short story (that’s not entirely true. I’ve written 1.5 and the one I finished sucked pretty awful. It probably shouldn’t count).

So, because I’m worried about that I’ve been studying. I’ve done research into the 7 point story structure and plan on watching Dan Well’s YouTube videos on it tonight (I’ve also listened to the Writing Excuses episode on it). Heck, at the airport bookstore I ended up buying Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman in hopes of better understanding how to structure a short story. I totally recommend that book by the way.

And even though I’m feeling more confident, I’m still a little worried. Jack says I’m being silly and that I’ll do fine, but I can’t help it. After all, the blog posts from past boot campers  mention that I’m sure to experience at least one break down while here. They say everyone does (I don’t know if that makes me feel better or not. Hmmm).

Despite all the nerves, I am feeling really grateful for the opportunity to hopefully learn and grow during the week. I’m sure I’ll walk away with stories of my own to tell about boot camp and make new writing friends, which really makes the whole thing worth it.

Even still, I feel as if I’m preparing for something major.

  

Writing Prompt #14: Reluctantly he handed over the key.

Written By: Jess - Jun• 27•14

Better late than never, right? Things have been a little crazy this week, but I finally was able to write this week’s writing prompt! Looks like I’ll be doing double duty with feedback come Wednesday or this weekend. Oh, well. :) Hope you enjoy this one.

Reluctantly he handed over the key.Today’s Writing Prompt:

Reluctantly he handed over the key.

My 100 Words:

The words echoed in the Great Hall like a death sentence.

Brayson’s hand shook as he approached the throne and reached into his robe, his fingers searching for the rough edges he’d grown accustomed to.

“Who’s next?” he heard the new monarch ask the advisor.

Scrapping parchment filled the silence.

“My King,” Brayson whispered, drawing the attention back to him as he reluctantly handed over the key.

“Thank you,” the king said, surprised. None, so far, had put up so little a fight.

“May you find youth from the fountain.” Brayson said before fleeing the room, leaving a speechless king.

 

Photo Credit: Keattikorn

Photo Credit: Keattikorn

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/