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/

Writing Prompt #13: “My heart pounded wildly …”

Written By: Jess - Jun• 18•14

Ugh. So I’m really, really behind this week on *everything*, including reading everyone’s prompts from last week. I swear I’ll be commenting today though! 🙂  Anyways, here’s today’s and then I’ll go back to stressing.

My heart pounded wildlyToday’s Writing Prompt:

My heart pounded wildly …

My 100 Words:

“What’s going on?” I said, jabbing Hunter in the shoulder.

He didn’t turn around, but his intent was clear from the low growl he let vibrate in the air and the surge of power that cracked outward like a whip.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

My heart pounded wildly as I stomped back toward the bar. As I grabbed a wet rag I looked at my boss’ back and wondered what was so important about the angry brunette that had walked in.

I did know one thing about Hunter, though. I knew better than to tick off LA’s number one Incubus.

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/

Editing, Grammar, and Bribes

Written By: Jess - Jun• 16•14

Editing and Bribes

It’s been rough getting started, but the edits on my book-baby are officially underway!  Yay!

I’ve discovered (rather quickly, actually) how difficult getting into editing mode is. Turns out it’s a different monster than writing the dang thing was. When I wrote the first draft I worked towards a word count goal, and when I reached it I could stop. With edits I need to figure out a new way of getting it done. I’ve ordered a timer to help keep me on track (I know there are online ones, but I do better with physical gadgets).

So, about the actual edits. How are they going so far? About as expected.

 

I knew I’d be changing a lot , but the more I read the more I realize my book needs some serious condensing and overhauls. Some things I’m going to be cutting out entirely. I haven’t started to make notes on the middle yet, but I get the feeling it’s not going to be as bad.

The first third needs to be almost entirely rewritten, the second third will probably need to be partially rewritten, and the home stretch is probably going to be the least changed. Ugh. I hope people are right when they’ve told me it’s easier to edit a book than it is to write one.

I have decided to try and incorporate one tool that a lot of writers have recommended. Self bribes. I plan on buying a ticket to a movie for next week (either the new How to Train Your Dragon movie or Maleficent) and if I get my read through and edit notes done then I can go and see it. If not, then it’s a wasted ticket ($10 or whatever it costs).  If I get Alison’s done as well, then I’ll let myself buy some popcorn. (Loving it, btw. 😉  )

 Something Weird …

In case you didn’t read it, I wrote a post on how I was going to be reading a lot of grammar books in hopes of getting better at it. I hated grammar. It is not my strong suite by a long shot. But I wanted to mention something strange that started to happen around the second one I finished. I started to like grammar.

What’s stranger is I’m reading my 4th one right now and I now have a list of others I want to order.  Stranger things have happened in my life, though this is probably one of the most surprising (to me at least). Now, my enjoying it doesn’t mean I’m actually getting better at grammar, but I’m holding out a little hope. If anything I can now defend myself when I start sentences with ‘but’ or ‘and’.

 

So that’s what’s going on with me lately. Oh, and here’s ‘the binder.’

 

I wrote that! All 252 pages!

I wrote that! All 252 pages!

And with that said …

Writing Prompt #12: “He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching …”

Written By: Jess - Jun• 11•14

teachingToday’s Writing Prompt:

“He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching …”

My 100 Words:

He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching. It brought tears to his eyes.

The children stood in a row, each one with their hands behind their backs as they stood tall and obedient.

Of course, they were ogres. Tall and obedient was in their nature. Intelligence? Not so much. But the ability to follow directions? They were pros before they could bash in their first tree stump.

“Really,” Mr. Orsecks said as a snot bubble flared out of one nostril. “Really spectacular.”

Mr. Orsecks clawed finger poked the dangling human while it swayed in its tree.

ID-10078882

Photo Credit: Victor Habbick

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/