Tag Archives: short stories

The Pause

24 Apr

You tear up as you write the final sentence and then you jump out of your chair to do a happy dance. All those anti-social days, the times you forgot to drink water and to go to bed are worth it. You’ve finally finished your first draft. Your story is ready to simmer before the re-reading starts, followed by the editing. Such a feeling of relief because all your hard work has produced something that you’re happy with. (Or maybe not, it depends on how good you are at first drafts.)

This means, though, that you’ve entered the stage called The Pause. This is the part where you leave your novel alone for about 2-4 weeks before looking at it with fresh eyes (depending on your patience). The day that you finish the draft is indeed a celebration, but for me, the days after that are tricky. I mean, what’s a writer supposed to do without characters to play with? My mind and heart are still in the world of my last WIP and my mind is still working on it in the background. I therefore find it hard to open the door to a new novel. Still, how could I possibly go without writing for even more than a few days? I feel empty and bored without the possibility of spending time with fictional characters. And so, besides from sleep (or a coma), my only resolution is working on short stories and writing prompts. Also, it can help to work on a new idea for a novel even if your head isn’t ready, because by the time that you are you will at least have something. Even if it is crap.

So, if you’re in the same paper boat as I am…Jump aboard for some short story fun so we can keep on sailing over our creative juices and enjoy purple dolphins and birds made out of Skittles.

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Writing Prompts: StRaNgE

4 Oct

Who doesn’t like a bit of weird? I know my pet dragons do so I’m dedicating this post to them. The following writing prompts will hopefully spark an incredible journey in your mind, because I find that the best journeys are usually weird.

1.  You are invited to a party but you don’t know who invited you. You still go because you just got dumped and need the distraction. When you arrive, to your surprise, it turns out to have a twenties theme. Since you are not properly dressed you decide to leave but when you step outside you realise you are actually in 1920. What is your next move?

2. Not only do you find out you have an aunt that your family has kept secret, you also find out that she died and left her estate to YOU. When you arrive in her home town you fully intend to sell the place, but things take a different turn when you discover what she has in her basement.

3. You follow a strange creature in the woods behind your house and discover something extremely unusual.

4. It’s been a while since your last relationship and you finally decide to take the plunge and go online dating. You hit it off with the first guy you encounter and decide to go on a blind date. Though he seems to have told you the truth about who he is, there is one big thing he hasn’t yet told you.

5. You find a strange coin and make a wish as you pass the fountain in the town square. When you wake up the next day you find that your wish came true, but at a price. Everybody you know, including yourself, is an animation figure.

strange

Good luck and keep it strange, because somewhere among the strange lies the wonderful.

Summer Holiday, Here You Come!

18 Jun

Finally, after a whole year of continuously being in survival mode, I get to frolic in the garden of the Summer Holiday. It may be a weird metaphor, but I don’t care. My brain needs recharging. It’s been drained of most creativity all this time. I’ve already ordered two cosy mysteries to sprinkle my imagination with new words and I’ve started writing little by little to get into the Writing Zone. Boy, have I missed that zone!

When you’re tired (and I mean REALLY tired) your brain doesn’t really feel that much like working with words, even if your hands are itching to write. So though I still wrote semi-regularly it didn’t really get me anywhere fast except that it did generate a few short stories. That is also what I promised myself I would work on since I knew I’d be too busy to write my daily 2K. Still, my writer brain demanded full-blown novels and now that I’m eager for the holiday I notice that I’m sneaking in writing time where I should be working on my to-do list. Now I’ve got nearly 17K on a story that I wasn’t really planning on writing until later. So that’s basically me hugging the Writing Zone like it’s a puppy coated in chocolate. And I’ve also read two cosy mysteries in two evenings, meaning that my brain is definitely on strike and making up for lost time. Looking forward to the summer holiday where I’ll be a lean, mean writing machine. 🙂  And there will be a lot of cookie casualties.

What about you? Do you have any projects you are not getting enough of? Or maybe you don’t find the time but the characters are tumbling through the door regardless. Let me know in the comments!

 

KEEP WRITING AND STAY AWESOME!

 

Notebook Shenanigans

15 Jan

As per my resolutions, I am scribbling fiercely in my notebooks. I know, even my pet dragons are surprised. Since I am thoroughly enjoying those moments and proudly told someone about my notebooks and handed out advice about what to write in them, I figured, why not share with you, loyal reader writers.

So here we go, based on my notebook shenanigans: WHAT TO WRITE IN YOUR NOTEBOOKS…

 

  1. You need at least one notebook that must be called Book of Wordiness. This is the notebook that you’ll fill with….well, words. Not just any words, though. See, what makes writing an art is when you use the ‘write’ words. Fill this notebook with words you find beautiful and fill it with the synonyms of everyday and/or simple words. Like walking, smiling or looking. There are many words for the same thing. Use them. Diversity is good. Fancy words are also good, as long as you use them sparingly. Also fill this notebooks with metaphors or similes that you come up with. Or perhaps any interesting descriptions or other sentences that pop into your head. Beautiful crap, basically. 😉
  2. One notebook needs to be filled with writing tips. Just writing tips.
  3. One for outlining stuff and structure. So, drawings of the three-act structure and the character arc. Things like that. You can adapt those to any story you write and add brief outlines or frameworks for your stories.
  4. One for short stories and writing prompts. Fill it with post its and put a mini sticky note after each writing prompt or short story to separate them, but write the name of whatever is on that page on top of the sticky note so that when you need to find a writing prompt or short story, you can immediately find it.
  5. One for your novels. Plot outline, characters, scene descriptions, excerpts. Anything to do with the Big Works.

 

And that’s about it. Depending on what you write, you can also get a notebook for each genre, but hey, I like any excuse to buy MORE notebooks. Basically I could manage with five different notebooks, but I have like ten. Why, you ask? Because notebooks are AWE…wait for it….EPIC!

If you don’t have a notebook, get five. And if you do, tell me what you write in them. I’d like to know about your writerly shenanigans.

 

Happy scribbling.

 

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On The Short Story Train

3 Oct

The wonderful gift that is short stories. Right now they are my life ring in the sea of WORK that is trying to drown me. Okay, it’s not that bad, especially since I’m staying afloat and every little victory is a big one for me.
In any case, you can imagine that the act of writing can sometimes slip past me like a rat with a little hat on. So, I’ve decided to do something which doesn’t come that naturally to me (anymore). It’s writing short stories.

Ever since I’ve started writing full-blown novels, I find that I can only think ‘big’ now. So this is a nice challenge and I find that I can easily write 2k in a day, because I’ve been craving to type those words that are about to explode in my mind and because I know where I’m going (it’s a short story, so easier to plan).
In any case, I can highly recommend this to people who are busy and still want to exercise their Writing Muscles. I’ve also made a blog with my short stories on it, so it’s also a good way for people to check out my writing and see if they like my style. *tries cool moves* *falls over*

Even though I’m still looking for a literary agent, I’m not in a hurry, especially with my new responsibilities and this way I still get to do what I love. Write for the sake of writing.

So if you’re in the same boat, or cruise ship as I like to say, then consider jumping on the Short Story Train. We have cupcakes.

 

writing-a-novel

Writing Challenges

27 Jul

a)      Write a short story that contains the following elements:

–          A plant

–          Rainy weather

–          A woman with only one shoe

–          The desire to get home

–          A man with a bike

–          A pregnant dog

 

b)      Write a short story that starts with the sentence:

–          She wasn’t supposed to find out.

Or the sentence:

–          If only I could make sure that she saw me in that way.

 

c)       Write a short story that contains a message. It’s up to you what the message is, but you have to be subtle, metaphorical even, though you can also use symbolism.

For instance:

Birds – freedom

Light – good

Dark – evil

Shadows – secrets

Flower – life (cycle)

A chain – coming together of things

Etc.

The message could be: The only person you can rely on, is yourself. Or: Secrets will always be revealed.

Play around, make it rain with words and dance! Have fun.

 

 writing pen paper

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