Tag Archives: creative writing

Writespiration #98 52 Weeks in 52 Words Week 2

writespiration-20172017 brings 52 challenges over 52 weeks.

Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

Submit your entries in the comments or on a blog post and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You have until Sunday to enter. Continue reading

Authors – Find Your Book’s Inner Truth & Hook Readers For Life

Once in awhile, you read a book that changes everything.

For me, it’s usually the ones that make me grip the kitchen counter because I need a minute to get a grip of the quivering and bug-eyed daze I’m in. In those seconds, I have a literary, emotional or philosophical ‘O’. A synchronizing of minds with my Muse, its heart beat, pumping in time with mine, pouring inspiration, epiphanies, and unadulterated universal clarity into my consciousness.

Sometimes I just smile, because the epiphany I had, is a small emotional win. Like the fact that when you can’t heal from something in your past, it’s because you haven’t let it go. If you want a scab to heal, you have to stop picking it.

Other times, the revelation is much more significant. I physically pause for thought because the story has just reiterated how inconsequentially small my life is in relation to the infinite enormity of the universe.

I like to think of these moments of pause as reaffirming moments of philosophy and truth. When it happens, that book stays with me forever. That author has single-handedly changed a part of me. Forget meditative yoga retreats and six-week long vows of silence. All you need is a bloody good book, with a bloody good book truth buried inside it and that’s enough to open someone’s mind, shove a whisk in it and jingle jangle their brain cells into a new alignment.

I want my books to have a book truth because I want to give somebody else that moment of clarity and change the way they view the world. If everybody could change just one person, maybe the world would be a better place. What I do know is, whenever an author has done that to me, I’ve read everything they’ve ever written. Isn’t that every author’s dream? So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned about book truths.

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Writespiration #97 52 Weeks in 52 Words – Week 1

writespiration-2017Welcome back folks. I stopped Writespirations back in November, a few short of 100, and I knew then I couldn’t just leave it 3 short. But the break did me good, and now I am ready to rock and roll with a whole new challenge this year.

This year there will be 52 challenges over 52 weeks and your challenge is to write your story using the theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device. But I wanted to add to that challenge which is why, you have to be exact too. Because there are 52 challenges over the year, THAT’s I want you to write your entries in EXACTLY 52 words.

Each week I will give you a prompt of some variety and then you submit your entries and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You’ll have until Sunday to enter each week. Continue reading

7 Description Tactics – The Art of Writing – Deconstructing Lauren Oliver

descriptionsI’ve been Indulging in a binge festival of guilty pleasure reading. Tactical reading. That’s what I’ve been doing.

When I finished my novel and handed it over to beta readers. I knew there was still a lot a fucking legion of stuff I needed to work on. Including the need to develop some skills that much to my annoyance STILL weren’t honed properly. Like my powers of description. Give me non-fiction or blog posts and I can whip out my bad word baps, and filth-filled metaphors with the best of them. But put a fuckitbucket in a YA book and you’re going to regret it. So I started bingeing on popular YA books hoping I’d absorb some of their skills.

Right now, I’m reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Her description is borderline excessive (in my humblest crumbliest opinion), but I quickly dropped into the rhythm of her sentences and now I kinda think it’s beautiful. So I thought I’d spend this post deconstructing her sentences to see what I could learn about description.

Here’s 7 tactics for creating the perfect story descriptions. Continue reading

Writespiration Round Up 2016

writespiration-round-upWritespiration Wednesdays have been around since October 2014. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of entries, and I’ve read each and every one. It’s been an honour and a privilege to read them, but with the end of the world  year nigh, I’ve decided to take a wittle pause to both, reassess my plans for next year, and catch up with some post scheduling, so I’m not living in a state of perpetually chasing my ass.

See, I have this delusion about myself, that I’m super woman, and that I can do everything and all the projects… ALL AT FUCKING ONCE… because who the fuck needs sleep anyway? Just pass me fuck bucket of caffeine, and I’ll beeeee fineeeee! *twitch* *twitch* *heart tremor*

Wrong.

Apparently I didn’t pack my lycra because I couldn’t find my glitter covered super girl cape and the quantity of caffeine I drank landed me an appointment with the cardiac specialist.

Sigh. Let’s move on.

Next year, I have some plans for Writespiration Wednesdays. It will be back, slicker, quicker and even better. I mean, I can’t get to 96 and stop for god sake. Who stops at 96? Everyone likes a round number. It will be back on 4th January next year.

For now, to round off the year, here are your entries from writespiration 96 – Write a Fairytale set here.

If you want to see any of the previous writespirations, have a look here. Continue reading

10 Things Every Writers Needs To Know About Conflict

conflictConflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page.

Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. And yet, you need to, because conflict is the god of novels.

If you’ve been a good little girl then conflict will dip its mighty hand into Santa’s sack and bestow heavenly book treasures on you, like: pace, tension, plot line and well-rounded characters with enough depth to drown a reindeer. But without it we’re talking dead Kipper slaps to the face.

And no body wants a stinky dead fish face mask.

But when you love your precious little bundle of baby hero joy more than life itself, torturing them with a bout of – villain/antagonist/insert other form of conflict shaped nappy rash can be rather more difficult than one expects.

Here are 10 tips for shaping your books conflict. Continue reading

Write a Fairytale Set Here – Writespiration #96

fairytale-writespirationFairytale retellings are going through a big come back. They’re the latest trend, with books like Cinders, or the plethora of other books on this Goodreads list. I’ve read Cinders, it’s quite good, I liked the twist on it, although for me, the joy of writing is in creating something entirely new. And sure, no story is completely unique, but lets not bicker about trivialities.

This week your task is to write a fairytale, or a part of one, or a fairytale poem set in the photo. Maybe it’s a nightmare tale, or perhaps a happily ever after ending, or maybe a prince’s love monologue. Write a fairytale in less than 200 words. Leave it in the comments or use a pingback so I find it. Due by 23rd October.


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30 Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

30 FlashThis post is a cheat, partly because I’m exhausted after having thrown a surprise party for the wife’s 30th. But also because I happen to be in the midst of a significant bout of procrastination all because I am wallowing in a deep, deep pit of writerly self loathing.

So this week instead of my wordy bullshit, I bring you more writing competitions than you can shake a shakespearian cat at.

With any competition, it’s advisable to ensure you rake the rules of each one with your finest, slickest rule finding comb. I have not displayed the rules of any of these competitions, so if you don’t check, don’t expect to win. Continue reading

Writespiration #92 First and Last lines

writespiration first and last lineThis week, I am giving you a chance to share something from your WIP. I want to know what the first and last line of your current story is.

To join in, post a link in the comments or drop your lines (identified by which is first and which is last) into the comments.

If there’s a significant number of you joining in, I may not be able to comment on every entry this week as I am snowed under trying to meet a deadline. However, I will publish every one in the next Writespiration.

Here’s Mine: Continue reading

The Visual Writer's Guide to Pacing & Tension

Pace Tension2I always thought being visual and a writer was a massive contradiction. I don’t mean having an imagination. Obviously a writer needs an imagination. I mean, in the way we process information.

See, when I think, or try to work out a problem, like how to prevent the terror tot shoving his finger up his nose in public, I think in pictures and voices. Yes, I hear a voice in my head, but not the kind of voice that whispers violent temptations, although sometimes it might be nice to blame my rage on it… Where was I? Some people think in words or numbers or actions. If you have synesthesia you might even think in colours, senses or feelings.

This has never been a problem for me. It just meant I created mood boards for my story worlds and characters on my pinterest or instagram, rather than filling out character templates and scene plans.

That was until I wanted to check the pacing and tension of my novel.

Once you’re knee-deep wading through the slush of your story, you know as well as I do, you can’t see the commas for the sentences. Let alone step back enough to see the shape of your newly trimmed bush manuscript.

So I set about some research and have figured out my own method, using a Sacha sandwich of pilfered ideas, to help visual writers figure out their uppers from their downers. Continue reading