Tag Archives: Writing Talent

Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

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Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dare go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours. You are a storyteller so this should be a breeze.

Maybe you could use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing. Maybe you could start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog. A picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered.

The Rules

There aren’t really many rules, just enough to get your blog some attention and get new people interested in your writing or the current book you have to offer.

  • Write in any genre you like – poetry too
  • Tag this post in your post (share this post to your WordPress blog as a new post) so I can find you (it will ping back to this post), then I can check out your work, and promote you on my social sites. Or share your response to the writing challenge in the comments section below.
  • You have until the following Tuesday to complete this writer’s prompt, then I will be posting a new one on the following day, next Wednesday.

If you have any suggestions for future Wednesday Visual Writing Prompts, please let me know in the comments:-)

I look forward to reading your writing.

(if you post past the deadline I will do my best to read your work and share it on my social networks as time permits).

Have Fun!

Short Form Tale In Response To: Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

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The neighbor boy called and she left the house in a hurry to ride bikes around the neighborhood. She felt a nagging in the back of her mind the instant she saw his face that this would be the last time she spent time with him. She shook her head when the idea came to her, thinking she was weird. She peddled hard and raced him to the end of the lane and passing an elegant but rundown place that almost looked like a plantation house. She immediately sensed something dark lurking there and turned away. It was all she could seem to conjure in her mind since she saw the hand the night before. This place was taking a toll on her imagination and she hated the creeps it gave her.

She was certain after only a short part of the day had passed that she really didn’t like the boy much. At her age she was equipped enough to know a little about character and make a fairly clear judgement on his. He was demanding and rude, wanting everything his way. Penelope was clever and could turn most of their disagreements in her favor. It made him slightly short-tempered and he would decide he wanted to do something else almost immediately. But she remained friendly toward him despite his behavior because of the dull nagging.

They stopped into his house for lunch made by his mother. It was a nice gesture on her part and Penelope could tell that she spoiled him. They ate in his room where her suspicion of spoiling was confirmed. He must have had all the latest toys, she surmised, as she scanned the room. He even had an old Weeble Wobble, something you punched in the face and it would pop back up from the floor to punch again because of the way it was balanced on a round bottom. He had already gotten upset about something and stomped out of the room before they had finished their lunch. She could hear him complaining to his mother.

Like a child he ran to his mother , she didn’t really even know what had made him upset until she heard his whiny voice complaining about his sandwich. She was about thoroughly disgusted with him at this point. But the nagging was there, reminding her to play nice, like she owed it to him. She was starting to wonder if she was going crazy, the world was just turning upside down with all of the recent events and the ideas that were running through her mind just weren’t normal. She had to actually try to come off as a regular girl, not that it mattered to this spoiled boy she was somehow compelled to be around today.

When he stomped back into the room he was short of breath. It was then that she decided she would just let him win because she strangely believed that today was his last and final day. This made her feel bad for him, whether it was true or not, it had set her mood. She sensed that he somehow saw his coming demise and decided that his attitude stemmed from the knowing, it made it easier for her to put up with him. They played video games for the rest of the afternoon and it surprised her that she had managed to stay around him that long. She noticed his anxiety creeping in toward the end of the day and wondered if he was tuned in to what she was feeling and thinking. Whatever the case she felt it was her responsibility to be with him today, up until he no longer allowed it she had decided.

His name was Adam, and it was bouncing from side to side in her mind now that she thought of it, leaving a trailing echo as it went. She noticed how his mouth twisted a little when he dropped to the beanbag chair and grabbed for his game controller. She wondered what he thought about right now in this moment, if he knew that it was precious time he was wasting. If today truly was to be his last day, what were to be the last of his thoughts. Considering him this way, just as a boy, a regular boy, pulled her into a sad and sympathetic place. She didn’t really know him, know what he liked, what caused him pain, what brought him joy. She felt like a heel for her earlier thoughts and held on to this communion she now found herself in.

She felt so awkward. Why was she here and thinking these things? Why did she have to start getting weird all of a sudden? Why was she seeing ghosts and what was this new-found fascination with death? None of it made any sense to her and none of the experiences she was having were pleasant. She wished hard for these things to go away, but the universe had a gift to give and she doubted she could stop it. It felt mostly bad, except for right now, hanging out with Adam.

Even though he was not someone she could easily get along with, she felt closer to him than any other friend she had ever made, whether she liked him or not. It was because she felt like she had crawled inside him, she was occupying that space and was becoming privy to his thoughts and feelings. She was getting to know him better than she had known anyone before and it was sincerity that she felt for him through this connection, tinged with hope for what he would find after death took hold of him. It was strange to say the least, but that was all just crazy thinking, she surely had to be making it all up. She had spent her day and couldn’t escape the grip of where her thoughts had led her, and were leading her still.

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Published by: M.R. Goodhew

Michelle Rene has been involved in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an author, designer, and illustrator. She is an Indie Author Advocate who volunteers her time to give back to the Indie Author Community by offering her design services four times a year, free of charge.

As an author of nonfiction, Michelle Rene writes books that serve to assist the independent author in developing their platform, discovering their brand, and creating the right look that will draw readers to them. She discusses how to navigate social media and addresses marketing tactics. For the author who sets up their web presence independently and does not wish to hire a designer, her books offer a wealth of start-up information, graphic design templates, and give crucial insight to the designers thought process which assists in the creation and design of the author’s platform.

Michelle Rene also writes fiction which falls under several genres, including: Fantasy, Drama, Young-Adult Fiction, Mystery, and Thriller. She is currently working on a series of novels whose main theme involves the mysteries of death and the afterlife.

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Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

images (3)Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dare go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours. You are a story-teller so this should be a breeze.

Maybe you could use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing. Maybe you could start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog. A picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered.

The Rules

There aren’t really many rules, just enough to get your blog some attention and get new people interested in your writing or the current book you have to offer.

  • Write in any genre you like – poetry too
  • Tag this post in your post (share this post to your WordPress blog as a new post) so I can find you (it will ping back to this post), then I can check out your work, and promote you on my social sites.
  • If you want, when you’re done, Check which famous writer you write like with a statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers. Just paste your completed work at  I Write Like – You will be given a badge that says which famous author you write like and you can paste the html into the end of your Wednesday Visual Writers Prompt, if you like, to show us all your badge! AWESOME!
  • You have until the following Tuesday to complete this writers prompt, then I will be posting a new one on the following day, next Wednesday.

If you have any suggestions for future Wednesday Visual Writing Prompts, please let me know in the comments 🙂

I look forward to reading your writing.

(if you post past the deadline I will do my best to read your work and share it on my social networks as time permits).

Have Fun!

How To Get Back To Writing Fast

 

By M.R. Goodhew

If you are a writer then you probably feel compelled to write, as if somehow, something in your life has gone missing when you avoid the task of writing.

Calling yourself a writer gives your personality a certain distinguished and eccentric flair. It’s a rewarding thing to wear the title of Writer!

  • You have a creative mind that has the ability to play like movie in the heads of your readers.
  • You have toiled endlessly for what might seem like forever to bring your ideas together.
  • You work at your writing until it drives you to what can surely seem like the lands-end of your mind.
  • You bleed your thoughts and rework them until you are almost certain you have got it right, that it has come alive, that it’s heart is beating.

It is work, it is hard, it is humbling, sometimes humiliating, but the payoff is priceless when those eyes that are not yours begin to witness your creation.

It’s not about the money or the fame, or lack thereof, it’s about the beautiful thing you brought to life within a separate mind. It is a life experience you have delivered, you are a creator.

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How to Get Yourself Back To Writing!

I think the most important thing for a writer to do is carve out a section of time every day that they will commit to writing. If your not writing then your skipping work. Have you not shown up for your business of writing when you should have? There are plenty of things that can get in the way of writing, but the one thing you must do every day as a writer is write, PERIOD.

If you are feeling uninspired or timid at thought of getting started, you can use the following techniques to get some words, any words, down on paper….or into your computer. These ideas work for me when I’m really not wanting or feeling capable of getting the words out. They are my tried and true methods of getting to the business of writing.

Where to Write

Before you even get started writing you need to pick a place that suits you. Be it your most comfortable chair or the front porch, choose a place that you will return to at least once a day to work on your writing. Picking the right spot will aid your writing, but failing to do so will only keep you procrastinating. If your office isn’t built yet, then pick somewhere else to write until it is. The inability to make a decision and take action will only keep you in the same situation your in.

This place should comfortably accommodate all of the tools you use for writing, such as:

  1. You
  2. Laptop
  3. Computer
  4. Pencils
  5. Pens
  6. Paper
  7. Note-cards
  8. Notebook
  9. Journal

Create a Schedule

Make the time to write! Put aside, at the very least, thirty minutes of your time that you will use to focus on honing your writing skills or producing your next book.

You can’t keep making excuses why you cannot write, if your that sort of person, which you don’t have to be. In order to be successful at your craft you must practice it religiously. It is your job to set aside this time each day that you will devote to writing something, anything.

Get out your pencil and your calendar and sit down and think about what would be the best time of day for you to commit to the task of writing, and then reserve it. Usually the best time would be in the morning before you get ready for work, on your lunch break, or before you go to bed. The reasons why these times are typically the best are because they are when you can most likely find some alone time. If you have to start getting up an hour earlier, or going to bed an hour later, then so be it, that is your lot-in-life if you hope to be productive and successful as a writer.

Make it clear to those you live with that this is your private time and you are not to be interrupted. This is an acceptable boundary that should be respected without any problems. They can live without the stereo or TV for thirty minutes to an hour and find something to do that won’t interfere with your writing.

Show Up

Here you are, it’s 4:30 in the morning and you’ve managed to get your weary ass out of bed, cobwebs in your eyes, and your writing utensils are at the ready! Good job! Great in fact! Here you are, you’ve accomplished the hardest part, showing up!

Showing up every day is what it takes to improve your style and flow. It only takes 21 days to create a habit, so if you can show up for your writing every day for three weeks, you will have created a successful writing habit.

What to Write

Here can be the tricky part. The first day you begin your writing journey, you can start out by writing down your ideas for what to write about tomorrow. This is an initial key to success that creates a domino effect with your writing schedule. By planning a day ahead, you always ensure that you have something to write about when you show up at your scheduled time to write. When you’re done writing, write down your plan for your next session.

So now you have a plan to plan for the following session but still aren’t sure what to write about. Check out the next section which covers writing inspiration and contains valuable tips on what to write about.

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Finding Inspiration

It can be difficult when you sit down to write to come up with ideas of what to write about or to get inspired to write at all. By pre-planning, like mentioned in the last section, you will always be prepared to write when you show up. No more finding yourself staring at a blank screen and daydreaming.

The following is a list of writing ideas that should be used together, rotating between each idea. Use a combination of all of these tips to keep your writing moving forward in a diversified manner. This will give you the right exercise in areas that will strengthen your writing all the way around.

Writing for Money – Short Stories

There are several magazines that pay $500 plus for your short stories. Here is a good opportunity to take one of your ideas and expand it to 5000 to 30,000 words and sell it to a magazine for some fast cash. Here is a link to 15 magazines that pay great money for your creativity:

So how do you go about writing a short story.

1. First, Write the Basic Story in One Sitting

The first step to writing a short story is to write the  version of the story that you would tell a friend. And when you write it, be sure to write it in one sitting. Just tell the story. Don’t think about it too much, don’t go off to do more research, don’t take a break. Just get the story written down.

2. Next, Find Your Protagonist

The protagonist is the character whose fate matters most to the story. Your protagonist isn’t necessarily the narrator, nor is she necessarily the “good guy” in the story. Instead, the protagonist is the person who makes the decisions that drive the story forward.

Your protagonist centers the story, drives the plot, and his or her fate gives the story its meaning. As you move forward in the writing process, it’s important to choose the right protagonist.

3. Write the Perfect First Line

Great first lines have the power to entice your reader enough that it would be unthinkable to set your story down. If you want to hook your reader, it starts with writing the perfect first line.

4. Break the Story Into a Scene List

Every story is composed of a set of scenes which take place in a specific place and time. A scene list keeps track of your scenes, helping you organize your story and add detail and life at each step.

Scene lists do two main things:

  • Provide structure to your story
  • Show you which parts need more work

You don’t have to follow your scene list exactly, but they definitely help you work through your story, especially if your writing over multiple sittings.

5. Research

Waiting until your story is well on its way, you can keep it from getting derailed by the research process, and by this point you’ll also be able to ask very specific questions about your story rather than following tangents wherever they take you.

6. Write/Edit/Write/Edit/Write/Edit

It’s time to get some serious writing done. Now that you know who your protagonist is, have the perfect first line, have created your scene list, and have done your research, it’s time to finally get this story written.

7. Publish!

Your story is not finished until it’s published. You can submit it to magazines, or publish it as an eBook, it’s your choice. But it’s important to grow your library in order to attract readers as well as publishers. Be sure to have your short story beta read by a few people so you can spot any flaws and make last minute changes. Here is where you can go to find beta-readers https://mundusmediaink.com/beta-readers/

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a terrific way to get some writing done. When you brainstorm, write down your ideas and create a layout with them.

Generating Ideas

Rather than wait for the big idea to hit – the theme of your novel, let’s say, or the plot of your story – you start by scratching for a small idea first. The idea could come from anywhere, really.  A painting. A random item. Or something that has happened to you.

A short story needs three steps.

1. Introduce the main character and the problem or challenge that they face. The problem or challenge must give your main character some conflict and a goal or it won’t be powerful or interesting enough for a story.

2. Escalate the problem by making you main character struggle.

3. End the story with the main character solving the problem, or coming to a new understanding because of it.

For a novel your steps will be more in depth.

Act 1. – What will be the beginning of your story.

This is the opening of the story condensed into a description that you can expand upon in the first quarter of the book. Each portion listed here should follow a story arch like a short story and many writer’s end their scenes and chapters with a cliffhanger, leaving you wanting to know more.

The first quarter of the book is split up into about three chapters, and then by at least three scenes in each chapter. Think of each of these sections as there own short story that leads to the next section and follow the main story arch with your ideas.

Chapter 1. – Your introduction

Scene 1. – Introduce the main character

Scene 2. – What are they on the brink of doing

Scene 3. – What external situation will require their attention

Chapter 2. – Introduce a problem or conflict.

Scene 1. – What is the goal of your protagonist?

Scene 2. – Introduce some conflict.

Scene 3. – What is preventing your protagonist from resolving the conflict?

Chapter 3. – Escalate the Problem.

Scene 1. – What is your protagonists internal conflict?

Scene 2. – Introduce your antagonist.

Scene 3. – Escalate the problem.

Act 2. – What will be the middle of your story.

This is where everything seems to go wrong for your protagonist. This is there time of learning, a time where they reach their lowest low. By the end of the act, the protagonist will have a clear vision of what they must do and the lessons learned to make them successful.

Chapter 4. – Your protagonist has discovered the conflict and begins to go on the defense.

Scene 1. – How will the protagonist approach the conflict defensively?

Scene 2. – What incident is occurring concerning the conflict?

Scene 3. – Your protagonist makes their first discovery about the conflict and it rocks their boat.

Chapter 5. – Introduce a problem or conflict.

Scene 1. – What is the goal of your protagonist?

Scene 2. – Introduce some conflict.

Scene 3. – What is preventing your protagonist from resolving the conflict?

Chapter 6. – Escalate the Problem.

Scene 1. – Enter the antagonist. What mischief are they up to?

Scene 2. – How does the protagonist react and defend against the antagonist

Scene 3. – Your protagonist suffers a devastating loss, failure, or lesson.

Act 3. – What will be the end of your story?

This is where your protagonist gains some courage and goes on the offense. They may have a plan but they begin to take action to resolve the conflict. This is where your final conflict will occur and then the climax of your story. And then finally the outcome and ending.

Chapter 7. – Your protagonist has discovered the conflict and begins to go on the offense.

Scene 1. – How will the protagonist approach the conflict offensively?

Scene 2. – What incident is occurring concerning the conflict?

Scene 3. – Your protagonist makes their next discovery about the conflict and will use it to their advantage. A small victory,.

Chapter 8. – The final battle

Scene 1. – What is the goal of your protagonist?

Scene 2. – Introduce some conflict.

Scene 3. – Escalate the conflict.

Chapter 9. – The climax.

Scene 1. – Here is the battle

Scene 2. – Here is the climax of the story

Scene 3. – Here is the end of the story

Writer’s Prompts

Writer’s prompts are a great way to get some creative writing down on paper. Writer’s prompts can be words, phrases, or visual aids. You should find a weekly prompt or two on your network and follow them to improve your writing skills and to come up with story ideas.

I offer a visual writing prompt every Wednesday that you can link to in the comments with the html address of your published prompt writing. So this is also a great way to network. There is also a tool where you can submit your writing to find out what famous writer you write like just for fun.

Writer’s prompts are inspiring when you participate with them and can make you feel like you are accomplishing a real achievement, which you are. When you respond to a writer’s prompt you are stretching your creativity as well as perfecting your skill as a writer.

Visual Aids

You can use visual aids around your house or find an image online that inspires you to write. Then sit down and map a short story to your idea inspired by your visual aid.

You Tube

By watching YouTube videos on subjects that interest you you may become inspired with a short story idea or an idea for a novel. Remember that your short stories only have to be as long as an article or blog post. You can always expand upon them later.

Blog Posts

Get inspired by your network. Read blog posts and comment on them. This is not just an opportunity to express your voice as a writer, but an opportunity to create a better rapport with the members of your network. Yes, accomplishing two goals in one!

Write your own blog post. You should be posting to your blog at least once a week, regularly in order to grow and keep your network. Do not use your writing session to do research. Unless it’s for the layout of an article that you will be writing down ideas for. Below are examples of how to layout your blog posts.

free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:

  • The How-To Post
  • The List-Based Post
  • The Curated Collection Post
  • The SlideShare Presentation Post
  • The News-jacking Post

How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula to Follow

1. Understand your audience.

Before you start to write, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them?

2. Start with a topic and working title.

Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with.

3. Write an intro (and make it captivating).

First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.

Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives.

4. Organize your content.

Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms, sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!

To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it.

5. Write!

The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points.

6. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.

You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging, don’t overlook it.

7. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.

At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next, subscribe to your blog, download an eBook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content, use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.

8. Optimize for on-page SEO.

After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.

Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density, Google’s smarter than that!

9. Pick a catchy title.

Use good keyword phrases as titles that convince your audience they need to check out your blog post.

10. Publish

Character Sketches

You can use your writing session to do a character sketch of one of your characters.

CHARACTER SKETCH

Scenes

You can use your session to work out a scene from one of the layouts you’ve created above.

 

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Editing

Make time for editing, you can include this in your writing time you have allotted. Editing is by far the most crucial step for the writer. Taking your work and tearing it to shreds and rebuilding it into something more masterful is a skill that practice will reward.

Take the time to do at least three rounds of edits on any piece of writing you will want to share. Be sure not to edit until you have completed the first draft, because getting that first draft down and done is essential to moving forward, and stopping to edit will ruin your flow and can sometimes stop you from ever finishing the piece.

Finally…

If you incorporate the ideas above, you will never run out of things to write.

What do you do to find inspiration?