Tag Archives: Prompt

Neologisms- Creating, evolving language

neogolism2Neologism (noun) means to create new words or expressions, or give new meaning to existing words and expressions.

As word crafters, we are allowed to create all kinds of words or phrases. Such verbs, nouns, and even phrases can give birth to new meanings. Perhaps someday, those words can become part of our modern day language.

JK Rowling created Muggle and Quidditch.

Lewis Carrol create chortle.

Sir Thomas More created Utopia.

Stephan Colbert create truthiness.

Donald Trump created bigly.

And a host of words were created by the Internet: Troll, meme, and friending are all invented words we’ve adapted to our language.

Prompt: Pick a random word. For example, pick the first noun or verb on page 10 of a book near you. Now create a new meaning of that word, and use it in a sentence, paragraph, or even a story.

What words have you created? Do you have words or phrases within your family and friends that has new or different meaning? Add in comments.

Crossword Puzzle Maker (free)

 

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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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Facebook Prompt

Sometimes I post things on Facebook that leads to my writing friends to suggest it makes the start of a story. I decided to play with that, and will add the excerpts of the posts.

facebooktale01

Feel free to try the prompt yourself; What are the pigeons plotting?

Put in comments or post a blog entry and link in the comments.

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Elements of description writing

My last meetup gathering covered the topic of description writing. Here is what we’ve found;

· Don’t add too much description at any one time. These are known as ‘information dumps’ and slows down the story. Readers tend to skip boring parts, so make the description fascinating and provoking.

· People are so much more than hair and eye color. They are size, temperament, ears, mouth, and so much more. Most people you notice something besides eyes and hair. You might find another trait such as the nose, mouth, or even things like brows or fingernails.

· Give only the essential information. Rather than give vivid details, bear in mind most readers are able to fill in the blanks.

· Descriptions should be parts of the story, not an interruption. You can add descriptions through dialogue, or action. This technique can be tricky but basically you add small descriptions amid the dialog of characters.

· Describe what a character would notice, that would stand out.  Some people can be quite oblivious to their surroundings, while others may notice things that interests them. Artists may notice paintings or sculpture, while a fireman may take note of a buildings layout, while a Sherlock Holmes type might notice the smallest scratch or stain.

· Description from a POV character can also show more about the character’s state of mind, or reveal more about them as people. In times of stress, some people describe time slows, while fear or anger provokes behavior that you don’t even think about it.

· Avoid labels such as beautiful or ugly. That’s telling. Use ‘show’ methods to describe why its beautiful or ugly.

· Describing places and settings as characters. Use metaphor, simile, and descriptions similar to how you describe people.  A town can be just as quaint, or a city a bloated jerk than any character.

Write from the point of view– This should change the entire tone and method of describing something by using points of view of various people (or creatures) such as age or even gender. Also take note that not everyone notices every single detail. Readers will fill in the blanks. Give enough to outlines the scene, character, etc. which is essential.

Write with the senses– An element to writing I found is by adding the subtle descriptions of taste, sound, smell, touch, etc, you engage the reader into your world. (pass a picture where members need to add elements of descriptions based on the five senses)

Write with a mood– Our opinion on things shifts based on our mood. Consider your character’s mood and write from that angle. Someone who is angry, disgusted, or frightened will notice different things from someone who is calm, happy, and pleased. (discuss and/or write ideas of describing people and places from mood)

Use comparisons. Instead of making statements of appearance, let characters form an opinion through comparison. Instead of saying he was tall, have another character feel short compared to him.

Description through action and dialogue– We reveal as much as ourselves through our deeds and way of talking as much as anything else. (List several habits and describe the type of person who might have them)

Writing Prompt:

Take yourself as an example, and write qualities you have that other people don’t have. How do you compare? What mannerisms do you use? Do you have an accent? Write about yourself as a character and see what you can come up with.

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