Writing Prompts

I decided it would be fun to start adding not only prompts I discover online, but to share my own experiences with them.

The prompt we had the other day was as follows;

“You discover you are a character of a book, and you meet the author who wrote your story. Write that scene.”

I found this very cathartic:

——————-

“So it’s your fault.” I stated, glaring in low simmering temper. The woman raised brows, motioned for me to take the empty seat across from her desk, strewn with my life. “You are the one who wrote my story?”

The author nodded, steepling fingers as if preparing for a therapy session. “I felt it time we talked, to better understand one another.”­­­

I remained standing, taking note of the disjointed items before her. There was no order to my life, as if events laid about like forgotten playthings. A stuffed dog lay against a pile of childhood memories, some faded and tattered, barely recognizable. My childhood home, my father’s old Officer uniform hat, jumbled into the pile or what could only be described as fragmented things.

“Why?” I asked with authority. I was no longer a child.

Brows lifted again. “Why?” She echoed, lines etched her pursed mouth and eyes that squinted back at me. She appeared more like a writer of mystery than the Dark Comedy. “Why did I write your story?”

“Yes, why is it like the way it is?” I noted my parent’s divorce, our moving to Maryland, away from friends and family. I saw childhood friends too faded to even remember how we played as children. I fought the urge to fling the items from her desk.

The author shrugged. “Why does an author write any story?”

“My story sucks-“

“Does it?”

Temper rankled. “You could’ve written me to have more money.”

“Yes, I suppose I could.”

“And to let things work out when I try to do things.”

“So you are not happy with your life?” The tone was more statement than query but enough to merit a response.

“I…” My voice faded as I noted a photo of my husband and son together, full of smiles. “Well, not… exactly.” I also saw the pile of friends and colleagues met through the years, some of which weathered with use. Faces smiled. “I just want something more of a career.”

“That is why I asked you to come here.” She touched an unfinished manuscript, marked red with editing and overthinking. It sat atop short stories, poems, sketches, post it notes. All unfinished. “It is about this.”

“My writing.” Whatever anger smothered under her reprimanding tone.

“I’ve given you people to encourage you to finish this, as well as time-“

“But not focus. I don’t have much focus-“ I countered.

Her chin dipped in reproach. “That wasn’t me, and you know it.” She turned to the boxes overflowing with ideas and projects. “We need to do something about this. It is getting out of hand. Every time I write, you’re off on another idea, or wasting time.”

I shifted uneasily. I had no answer.

“I realize you are creative, but until you focus and finish…well, I can’t move your plot forward.”

I sat staring at the pile, watching three more items poof in existence on top of it. The author sighed, pushing them off. “Really, this is getting ridiculous. I’m sure you can find time to clean this all up, and to finish what is important.”

“Even if I do, it doesn’t mean I’ll succeed.” Temper bubbled again.

“And you think that is what this is all about? Money?”

“I have to live on something!”

“And until you get this out, until you can focus on just one or two things, you won’t find any success.” She peered into my soul, unrelenting and firm. “And no, it’s not about money. Success is so much more than that. This is what you’ve set as a goal, for yourself. So do it. No more excuses.”

“Then write me some focus!”

She shook her head, pushing the pile of unfinished stories. “What do you think your main conflict in your story is about, anyway? We call that Deus Ex Machina in the business. You don’t want some cheap plot device, do you?”

“Winning the lottery would be nice.” I retorted. But she was right. Having the author just write a solution would be cheating.

“You can do this.” She stated firmly. “You have readers waiting for you to finish.”

I nodded. “Fine, I will try.”

The author smiled, grabbing up a small Yoda figure from the pile of memories. “Do, or do not, there is no try.”

——————-

What was a prompt, ended up being a revelation for me. Try it yourself. Write the scene of the author of your story.

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Weird Al Yankovic- Word Crimes

My sister suggested this video when I mentioned the frustrations of grammar and punctuation, and thought it worthy of sharing to my fellow writers:

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Book Cover Design- For Free!

Book CoverDesigningBook cover design for self-published authors offers a challenge in either cost or copyright. The process can be daunting to find something original without depleting your funds.  I have a solution that some would-be authors might appreciate:

Canva.com

This online service provides so much for the author. The main feature I want to point out is being able to design a Kindle book cover that fits the required dimensions. There’s also some pre-made designs available, but also a library of free and low cost designs you can pick from. You can also upload your own graphics.

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And it is easy to use. You can see in the graphic below that to the far left, you navigate between Search, Layouts, Text, Backgrounds, and Uploads. Once selected, it shows up in the work area where you can then edit size, color, and position.

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Each feature you add, a menu pops open that lets you edit the changes. Change the text, change colors, change where the elements are positioned.

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With your free Canva account, you can also create graphics for blogs, web sites, Facebook, Twitter, Ads and more. This means you can have a consistent marketing brand for your site, book, and social media sites.

Some graphics are free, while others cost $1 each.  This way you don’t have to worry about copyright.

Graphics also save to PNG format, so you can use when you self-publish.

I really like how the dimensions are set for you, the choice of designs and graphics there, and you can use your own graphics as well.

If you like this post- please share and/or comment. Winking smile

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In my own world

635668079090870143I think many writers tend to live on the edge of the imaginations all the time, only delving into the deep when actually writing their stories. I know I do.

I find myself lost in my own thought doing mundane things like walking my dog or washing dishes. Scenes play out like movies in my head, where sometimes I’m the character, while other times, I have a cast of characters to direct for a story.

Over the years I enjoyed alternative lives;

– An everyday housewife who plays secret agent at night. There was a twist of humor, since my made up nemesis was Kang Fang of the Nepal Mafia. Each story ended up with his defeat, often due to his poor planning, being outsmarted, or being too stupid.

– A house cat that ran the streets at night, fighting crime, only to return home to be a loveable house cat.

– A leader of a rag tag group of misfits, trying to survive an apocalypse.

– A ghost that haunts the house, struggling with her own demise, while trying to ‘help’ the family that lives in her house.

And how much have I written on this? Um…not much. Okay, not at all. The plots sit in a folder on my hard drive. <sighs> Yeah, I know. I need to get writing, not dreaming.

What sort of writer’s journey am I on if I’m not actually writing?  I need to get my inner world put to paper.

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