Posted in Writing

Writing Growth

Your growth as a writer is important. After all, the better you get, the better your story/poem will be. When that happens, your reader response goes up. You also want to please others with your writing and getting better at it will accomplish that. Below are some ways to advance your writing skilks:

  • Write Everyday: You might not feel like writing everyday, but if you write something…anything for just 5 to 10 minutes, it’s still something. Oftentimes, that 5 to 10 minutes turns out to be longer without you realizing it. What writing everyday is doing is getting you into a habit. Great! That’s what you want.
  • Use Writing Prompts: These are particularly useful when you don’t know what to write about. Plus, if you don’t feel like writing, it’s a great way to get you writing something. Keep in mind, 1 prompt can be used for a number of different stories/poems. The internet is full of writing promt list. Just type that into Google Search
  • Get Feedback: I know, no one likes to be told they need improvement. We all enjoy hearing how good we are. BUT…hearing how you can improve will raise you to that next level.
  • Read from the Best: Read works from some of the best authors you enjoy reading. Do not copy them, but learn from their stylistic choices. Then use what you learn to improve YOUR style.
  • Take Classes/Courses: Talk about beneficial. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions and sharpen your skills as a writer in a more in depth manner.
  • Read Books about Writing: There are so many books out there on the subject of writing. Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, you can find books on the different aspects that go into each. From story structure to learning how to incorporate emotions into your characters. These books will help you. Some of them even have exercises so you can practice.

Have fun with your writing growth journey. I promise you it will be a great adventure in and of itself.

Posted in Writing

Writing Prompts

Hi Everybody. Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or Good Evening depending on the part of the world you are in. I hope your day is going well, and I wish you many blessings and peace. Please find listed below a list of writing prompts. Whether you are writing a short story or a book, or if you are looking for something to write in your journal, this list should help you.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  1. “Did you see this? Where did it come from?” asked Paul.
  2. I took my usual walk in the woods. The quiet and hush of the forest cleared my mind. But…..
  3. Jade grabbed her keys and stormed out the door.
  4. “For get it. I said you…..”
  5. We clinked our glasses together and stared into the other’s eyes while we sipped our Chardonnay. But little did Jack know…..
  6. Suzy hugged her teddy bear and huddled close to her mother.
  7. “Grab the hotdogs out of the refrigerator, would you? The grill is almost ready and…..”
  8. “Ok, hold that pose. Hold it. Hold it. Ok now. Walk over…..”
  9. The rowboat rocked and swayed, as the waves juggled it side to side.
  10. Walking through the mown grass, I plucked petals from the yellow rose.
  11. “Your arms are comfortable. I wish to never move,” cooed Katie.
  12. “It’s ok. You’re safe now,” whispered John.
  13. His chance of winning was slim, but he had to try.
  14. “What do you want from me?” asked Millie.
  15. “I think just found…”
  16. “It’s your choice,” she shrugged.
Posted in Social

Going Back

There have been movies about somehow waking up and one day you are a kid again. We know this can’t really happen. It’s only in the movies. But…..what if it did? What if you lived your adult life up until the age of 50 years old. You’re single but have had on and off again relationships over the years. You live in New York City. Then, one night you went to bed and woke up one morning at some point in your past. Let’s say 31 years old. The bed you woke up in was completely different, and the house you woke up in was the house you lived in in London, England, when you were that age.

What’s more disturbing is you don’t know which reality is real. Did you dream your life to 50 and you are still 31? Or are you 50 and having a dream that you went back in time? Both feel lucid, so you are unable to tell. What would you do? How would you react? How would you find out the truth? Would you even want to live your last 19 years all over again?

I know that if I woke tomorrow morning in my room at my dad’s house and it was 9 years earlier, I think I’d jump for joy. The last 9 years of my life have been great since I remarried my husband 9 years ago. I wouldn’t want to trade that for anything. So, yup, I’d want to relive it. And, yes, there are some things I’d do different. I think we all would.

Posted in Writing

Journaling

What helps you to keep your writing ideas fresh? Do you have a bulletin board you pin them on? A three ring binder with sections for different types of ideas? Perhaps you have a journal you write in daily. If you do any of these, continue reading. Below are some ideas to chew on for writing ideas.

  • What is the worst nightmare you’ve ever had?
  • How would someone else describe you?
  • Describe your ideal getaway.
  • If you could have three things, what would they be? Why?
  • How can some of the trials and tribulations you’ve been through turn into something good/blessings?
  • What are 3 or 4 things you are grateful for?
  • Describe your favorite season if you were to combine two of them together.
  • If you could go anywhere in the past, where/when would you go? Why?
  • Describe your ideal day.
  • Write down three of your favorite things, and create a cartoon scenario using them.
  • What does happiness mean to you?
  • How have you changed in the last 5 years?
  • Write about your hobby.
  • Complete this sentence. I was walking in the forest when…..
  • What distractions are keeping you from being productive?
  • How do you spend your Sundays?
Posted in Writing

The Music of Writing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you listen to anything while you are writing? More specifically, do you listen to music while you write? I have found that it helps inspire certain types of scenes. For example, if you are writing a romantic scene, you might listen to some easy listening type of music. Also, if you need inspiration for danger within a scene, you could listen to music that brings across that feeling of foreboding.

Years ago I was listening to some music while writing some poetry. As a happy surprise, when reading the poem later after it was finished, I was told by others that they could “hear” a song while reading it because there was a cadence to the words as they read them.

Add music to your “playdough” mix of words. The results may surprise you.

Posted in Fiction

Real Life with a Twist

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You are up in the mountains hiking with a friend. Along your path you come across a lone pint size milk carton. You’re a fiction writer, and you’re looking for ideas for another story but coming up with zilch. The hike in the mountains you feel will do you some good and perhaps get the wheels of creativity going. The milk carton accomplishes this goal as soon as you see it. It’s as if an electric spark shocked that story center of the right side of your brain. In an instant, your mind has a ‘What if scenario in place.

What if the milk carton had drops of blood on it, and the blood belonged to someone who vanished without a trace 50 years ago? The blood is fairly fresh too.

In reality, the milk carton is just a milk carton and it most likely belonged to another hiker. They finished the milk and didn’t want to take the carton with them, so they left it there. BOOM. That’s it. BUT, what you did with yourwhat ifscenario is put a twist on reality. That’s what fiction does. I love to put a creative spin on things. It makes life interesting.

Posted in Writing

Story Starters

What do you think about when you’re standing at the top of a mountain? What’s going through your mind? Is your imagination poking at your brain? Is fear setting in? There weren’t any side rails along the road on the way up, so you’re wondering how you’re going to get back down without going over the edge. Getting up there was easy. What if you get stuck on the way down (if you climbed up)? Questions questions.

Story ideas start with questions. Usually they’re ‘what if’ questions, but that doesn’t mean they have to be (see above questions for examples). I like the ‘what if’ questions only because that’s what my brain goes to automatically. Below are some ‘what if’ questions you can steal. Remember, one what if question can create more than one story.

  • What if you were eating in a Chinese restaurant and received a fortune cookie made gold?
  • What if someone knocked at your front door? You answer it and it’s your late grandfather. You give him a hug and immediately that takes you back in time to his era.
  • What if you’re walking to the elevator in the busy office building you work in, and you suddenly realize you’re alone. You’re the only one in the whole building.
  • What if you stumble upon your parents who aren’t your parents but they look like them?
  • What if the spiritual realm became visible only to you?
  • What if a one hundred dollar bill was found stuck in your second story bedroom window and you know it’s not yours?
  • What if you bit into a cookie and found a ring inside with an inscription?

Posted in Writing

The Writing WOW

The summer of 2009 stands out to me because I looked out from the Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois to see the above clipper ship. The crisp white of the sails and the clear blue sky brought forth that WOW feeling. Prior to that moment there was another WOW that stands out in my mind. It also involves a ship. It was the summer of 2002. We were vacationing in the east. We hit Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Norfolk, Virginia; Washington D.C.; just to name a few. It was in Norfolk when I saw this aircraft carrier coming into port. The size alone commanded a presence. Sailors stood at attention on the outline of the entire flight deck around the ship. I wanted to be there. I wanted to know that feeling of standing on that deck. I didn’t know at the time that I would get that chance three years later. It was everything I thought it would be.

There are many moments in our lives that give us that feeling of WOW. Do you “collect” them? If you’re a writer you do. Use these moments in your writing. Have fun with them by embellishing them. One thing you can do is center a story around them. You are at the helm. Your mind wants to go on tangents. Let it. Let it run freely among the memories of your imagination.

Posted in Fiction, Writing

The Story Is There Somewhere

I used so many different ways to come up with material to write about when I was stuck. I still use them. The truth of it is, the wheels of our brains get stuck (writer’s block) and needs oil to get them running again. Ideas, ideas, where do ideas come from. That’s right, the brain. But that makes no sense you say. No, it doesn’t given what I just wrote.

Let me clear things up a bit. The information is in our heads. It’s just that the file cabinet drawer is stuck and needs prying to get it open. What to do, what to do? Find stimuli, something or an experience that wakes the right side of your brain up. Keep in mind everyone will use something different because we’re all different. Below I list things I do.

  1. Take a walk through a cemetery. Look at the headstones. Read the information and try to determine that person’s story. How does it relate to the story you are writing? Did they have children? What was their job? Did they travel? You get the idea.
  2. Use meditation. Emptying your mind of all the clutter will give you a better chance to free it up for something new. At some point in your meditation insert your story and let it run its course.
  3. Take a walk. This is my favorite because it works well for me. I enjoy feeling the breeze on my face and through my hair. It’s freeing. During this time I think of the part in my story where I’m stuck and let it play out without putting any undo pressure on myself. Somehow doing that and being a part of nature helps.
  4. Hash out your ideas with another person. I use my son for this because he reads the kind of fiction I like to write, so he’s attuned to what I’m looking for.
  5. Use writing prompts. You can find these anywhere. Pinterest is ripe with these types of pins. I have a board full of them.

The above ideas are just a few of many. You may have some of your own. If so, please feel free to share them here on my blog, and I will write another post listing them as ideas from others.