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Writing Tips, Editing Tips and Writing Prompts

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Writing Prompts #702 & #703

Flash fiction is a great way to help keep your inspiration juices flowing, especially if you're blocked on a long writing piece. Or you can use it to explore different writing techniques. Either way, just make sure you give it a try and pressure your author friends to try it too. In this case, peer pressure is a good thing, lol! Seriously, expand your repertoire and try your hand at something new if you haven't done it before. Or have some fun if you have but aren't really using it to push your skills in new directions. These prompts might be about ordinary things, but let's see what you can do with....   Prompt 702 – Creative Tag – List of words Use the following words in a story – text books, new sneakers, a bus, a cup of coffee, and a ripped bag.   Prompt 703 – Creative Tag – First Line “Is that a baby crying?” Did you write a flash fiction story last week? Make sure you share a link below. 

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #700 & #701

TGIF! Yes, yes, it's Friday! Prompt Day! Thanks to Comicfan, we have many more for you to enjoy. What sort of selections do we have for you this week? Well, it's nothing so interesting as what's for dinner. Oh man, do I hate getting that question at the end of a long day when I have NO idea so sometimes my answers can be a tad... interesting, lol. Did you write a flash piece with some interesting answers as well?  Prompt 700 – Creative Tag – School You’ve just taken a class at the local university as a way to better yourself and get ahead in  your career. However, when the professor walks in you realize you might have taken the wrong class. Who is the professor and what are they teaching?   Prompt 701 – Creative Tag – Curse Before you born, your mother pissed off the local witch. The witch went beyond a normal spell and a curse was laid upon her unborn child, which is you. The curse keeps you silent, ugly, obedient, and can only be broken if the meanest person in the town kisses you, and begs you to speak. If it happens you will regain your speech, the looks you should have had, and be free to make up your own mind and follow others demands.   Did you flash for us? *gasp* Post it below! 

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #698 & #699

Well, I don't want to promise any heat this week (those weirdos in Canada already getting hail and snow, what's up with that?) but maybe down in the southern hemisphere, they're enjoying the weather shift as we begin September. Perfect weather to sit on a bench and ask a ton of questions, like in last week's prompt. Did you try it? Or did your ex crash your big engagement... from beyond the grave? *shivers* That's an October-worthy prompt right there! Make sure you share your prompts below if you wrote last week, or maybe this week's selections will inspire you!    Prompt 698 – Creative Tag – Witch Today you woke up in house you didn’t know. When you went outside you met a bunch of little people, a talking scarecrow, and a walking robot who keeps saying he is the army of this nation. The big issue is your house seems to have killed someone and they want you to put on some large silver sneakers that look like they weigh a hundred pounds each. Not only that, but they keep calling for some woman, and telling you that you’re a with like the little girl who came last time. Are you mad or caught up in something?   Prompt 699 – Creative Tag – First Line Mom, what’s for dinner?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Make sure you post it as part of a collection if it's under 1,000 words in length! 

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #696 & #697

That's it. August is done. Finito. Wait... the season change doesn't come for 3 more weeks? There's still more warmth or the heat from H-E-double hockey sticks (depending on your locale) or smoke (I'm out west, it's awful!) to go? Well how about we stay indoors and read and write flash fiction? Yes, that's just the ticket!  Don't forget that stories under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.   Prompt 696 – Creative Tag  - The bench A bench appeared in the middle of town out of nowhere. Ever since the first person sat down on it, there has been a line of people waiting their turn. Whoever sits spends an hour with one person, alive or dead and answers their questions honestly except, if they are dead, what happened after they died. Your turn is next. Who do you sit with?   Prompt 697 – Creative Tag – The Ex The table was set, the place was ready, and you were excited. Tonight you were going to announce your engagement to family and friends. You were just starting to pass your sister some more snacks for the kid’s table when the doorbell rang. Your mother ran to open it for you and screamed. You found her passed out in the entryway with someone kneeling over her. As you looked into the doorway you understood why. Your ex was the one holding your mother’s hand, and he was dressed in a tux. Only the big problem is he died in a car crash ten years ago. What is happening?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Cia

Cia

 

Another Opportunity for Learning: Plotting!

As with a few weeks ago, this Wednesday we're lacking any submissions for the author self-promotions and self-improvement blogs (shown below) so I thought we'd focus on some information and questions shared on GA by members and authors and maybe some other help I could provide when it comes to another vital aspect to writing to build on last week's post. The earlier exploring characterization explored past blogs that had different angles for writing characters as well as two file downloads I've used over the years to create characters. This week, let's take a look at what most people is the other essential aspect crafting a story (for some authors, it's primary aspect, but I'll let you decide that for yourself!)   First, the author improvement features, so you can sign up if you're interested. Don't miss out on these, guys! Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here. Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author) Story Recommendations:  Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin.       Of course, you can find information on writing books as far as length (a vital part of plotting) and so much more in a lot of other places, such as:   Writer's Circle Club Book Lengths - Writer's Circle Club To Structure or Not to Structure Your Stories - Writer's Circle Club Ideal Chapter Length - Writer's Circle Club  The 8 Point Story Arc or What My Story Was Missing - Writer's Circle Club   Writer's Resources Forum Ten Ways to Hook Your Reader   Places to Plot - Websites/Programs Do you mind map or use notecards? You can sign up for free accounts with Onedrive and GSuite to access Powerpoint or Slides. Or you can use Trello after you check out this YouTube tutorial.    X-Mind a visual mind-mapping resource for free   Scrivener: very popular and well-known, but this is something that authors have to pay for   Resources for Authors - Direct Downloads Elements of Literature - This is actually a PDF guide for analyzing literature for readers, but I find it's a primer for what authors should show readers as well. Source: TeachersPayTeachers Download: ElementsofLiteraturePowerPoint.pdf   Story Idea Map - Basic Idea with character addition PDF Download: 30Days-Story-Idea-Map.pdf   Three-Part Plotting Worksheet - Word file with 3 Act plotting outline with conflict prompts Download:  Plotting-Worksheet-by-Annie-Neugebauer.doc  More in-depth guide: Plotting-Worksheet-with-Prompts-by-Annie-Neugebauer.doc  

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #694 & #695

August is winding down! How about some end of summer fun with these prompts?  If you're stuck, or you're considering writing for the first time, these might be perfect for you. Don't forget that stories under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.   Prompt 694 – Creative Tag – First Line I’m tired of this, so I’m going home!   Prompt 695 – Creative Tag – The role You’ve been asked to guest star on your favorite show. What is your role like and on what show ?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #692 & #693

Happy Friday, prompt authors! How do a few creative prompts sound for this week's challenge? There's something very, very wrong with both of these scenarios, and you have to figure out what that is... have fun!    Prompt 692 – Creative Tag – The trunk Aggravated, you march out to the garage looking for boxes to pack your belongings in. You spot the trunk in the corner, grab the handle and go to drag it out, only to nearly dislocate your shoulder. Stopping, you open the trunk only to stand there screaming into the night. What was in the trunk?   Prompt 693 – Creative Tag – Twin This morning you got up and knew something is was wrong. A minute later, your mother calls demanding to know if your twin is okay. You have no idea, because as far as you know, because you’re an only child. What’s going on?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #690 & #691

Friday is here! Busy week for me yet again, with the CSR on Monday and the post about crafting characters on Wednesday. But maybe you can use some of that info to help you when writing for one of these great prompts supplied by our guru, Comicfan!    Prompt 690 – Creative Tag – The horoscope Imagine reading a horoscope and having it come true, but only in accidental ways. What happens?   Prompt 691 – Creative Tag – Fairy Tale Gone Wrong You’ve been trying to make your father happy, but your first three quests have gone wrong. The frog you kissed turned into a three hundred pound woman who ran immediately back to her husband. The cat you saved and gave boots to, well she turned out to literally have been a witch’s lover. You won’t even tell your father about fighting to a ruined castle to save some sort of sleeping beauty only to arrive moments after some other guy got there. Now he is sending you on a quest he found. What happens?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Cia

Cia

 

August Author Opportunities & Character Articles

This week we have something a little different for today's blog post though we're keeping it all about improving and encouraging authors. Remember we have various opportunities for authors to be featured such as:    Story Critique: Open to all GA authors. Sign up here. Ask An Author: Send your questions for your favorite authors to Carlos Hazday (no questions = no Ask An Author) Story Recommendations:  Open to all GA authors & readers. PM your recommendation and why you recommend it to a Site Admin.   But since last Wednesday was the Ask An Author post, and we don't have a story review to post, and no one has signed up to do an Improve & Encourage Story Critique, then... what could we do? I wanted to continue to feature content for authors, and I'm all about improving writing skills. My focus is often on grammar and the stickier rules relating to line editing, but today we're going to focus on an older blog post that Lugh added way back when we first started sharing site blogs to help encourage authors to improve their craft, and I also have a few Word files for authors to to use while crafting characters to download if they want so make sure you scroll to the end of the blog post!    There are two minds as to if a story should be plot or character driven. But, no matter which way you pick, you need to ensure that your story is crafted to its fullest potential on both elements. This week we're going to focus on characters. First up, we're going to take a look at a blog post Lugh shared in 2012 about physical descriptions for characters:     CassieQ shared some thoughts about character motivation and stereotypes:    How about creating a villain? Renee shared her thoughts on the bad guys here.    There are a ton of great articles like these, all about writing and editing, in the writing tips blog especially toward the back of the blog and last pages. These are just a few to whet your appetite! And, now that I hopefully have you hooked, I'm going to share a few Word files below. The first is a Blank Character Bio Sheet. You can use this to fill in your character's physical characteristics, age, birthplace, background, religion, family, habits, likes/dislikes, skills, home-life, job, fighting ability, backstory, etc... it's as comprehensive as I could make it and open enough to cover just about any genre. And, to help you fill it out, there's a character interview question file to make you think about what your character might answer if asked more abstract thoughts to help flesh out their personality and beliefs.    Blank Character Bio Sheet.docx   Character Interview Questions.doc

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #688 & #689

Happy Friday, blog followers! Time for some flash fiction and for some weekend fun. Hopefully fun, at least. If you have to work the weekend, maybe you can write a short story for a character to have the fun you can't inspired by one of the following prompts provided by our prompt guru, Comicfan. Who doesn't enjoy a good death threat?    Prompt 688 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following in a story – a nest, a spider, a snake, a bottle of wine, and a motorbike.   Prompt 689 – Creative Tag – First Line If you die on me, I’ll never forgive you. Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #686 & #687

Hi prompt blog followers! I was a little late this week, just by a few hours, but I actually dozed off last night looking for a picture and didn't get the blog quite up in time. Sorry! But you still have plenty of time today and the rest of this week to post your flash fiction inspired by the following prompts, and I did find a picture that was perfect this morning.    Prompt 686 – Creative Tag – Wish The sign read, Wishes Fulfilled – All magic comes at a price. Your friend came wishing to find her perfect wedding dress. You though spending money on a wish dress was stupid. When the strange owner of the shop asked what it was you wished for, you laughed. “Anything can be had for a price!” You still don’t know why, but you took three hundred bucks out of your wallet, handed it to him, and told him the one thing you always wished for. The little man smiled and clapped his hands. Today, you have your wish. What was it?   Prompt 687 – Challenge Tag – No more I Love You Write a love story, but you are forbidden from using the words “I love you.” Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #684 & #685

Well, hello again, lovelies! Did you all have a good week with all my blog features? It's me again, yes again! How about some writing prompts this time, once again thought up by the amazing guru, Comicfan? Though, I did add a photo in the comments last week that went well with one of the prompts. Was that helpful to wiggle a few ideas loose? Should we add in the occasional picture inspiration to the mix or just throw some in the comments as the fancy strikes? Share your thoughts!   Prompt 684 – Creative Tag – Soldier You’ve run into him three different times this week, and his stiff outfit and manors mark him as newly minted from the service. Considering the Army base is at the edge of town, seeing a soldier isn’t so surprising. However, when you nearly walk into him on the sidewalk in front of your home you decide to talk to him. Who is the soldier?   Prompt 685 – Creative Tag – First line What do you mean, you’re dating Death?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below!

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #682 & #683

And just like that, almost half of July is gone! How does this keep happening? I swear, there's a time warp that makes time ahead of us seem to stretch out forever, but as soon as it's passed, I have no idea what I did with it. How about you guys? Maybe that should be a prompt? LOL    Prompt 682 – Creative Tag – The Tree Create a story that begins and ends under a tree in the park.   Prompt 683 – Creative Tag – The List Use the following words in a story – a grave, a test tube, a bowl of rice, a cell phone, and a pink fingernail.    Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below!

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #680 & #681

I'm back again! Happy Friday! Did everyone make it through the week? Did you get some writing done? There's always time for a little flash, right? Well, maybe you wrote for the game featured last week or maybe you wrote for the weekly prompts, or maybe you wrote something of your own. Either way, great job! Or perhaps one of this week's prompts will catch your fancy. Give it a go!   Prompt 680 – Creative Tag – First Line Don’t bother trying, kid. I’ve been trapped here a week, I think.   Prompt 681 – Creative Tag - The class When you were hired, you were told you’d be teaching English as a second language to aliens, and you’d have five students. When you heard aliens, you thought you meant children from somewhere south of the border or perhaps Asian. Instead there are five literal aliens from another world. What do you do?     Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below. And here's a link to the site newsletter with links to all of the Gay Pride Headline Prompt Game responses! 

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #678 & #679

Surprise! I'm popping in this week! Cia's offering an extension, so if you want it, you still have a little time for just today to write something (even a short paragraph or two fictional promo blurb for the headline you choose is okay if you make it creative enough!) for the Gay Pride Headline Prompt Game for the newsletter. You can get your work linked in the site's newsletter and featured in the forum game topic if you can send her a submission by midnight Pacific (US) time. Play along with fellow site authors in the game, or you can choose one of these prompts if that doesn't strike your fancy. Remember, though, any prompt response under 1,000 words must be placed as part of a collection.    Prompt 678 – Creative Tag – The character Your doorbell rings and you rush to open it. When you do you see someone who could be the main character from your favorite story. Before you can say a word they shake your hand. “God, I love you and your story. However, I really hate the ending. Do you think we can change it?” What happens?           Prompt 679 – Creative Tag – Buried The two of them were covered in mud and blood. The shovels were cracked, and the rain washed the tombstone cleaned. They had just buried their friend for the fourth time this week. What was going on?   Have you written something for the Prompt Game? Last week's prompts? Share a link to your headline, if you shared it in the conversation topic, or your prompt response! 

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #676 & #677

I hope everyone is having a great week! I'll be filling in for Renee for a while.
It's time for this weeks prompts, supplied by our prompt guru, Comicfan. Just a reminder, and for those who haven't worked with the prompts before: prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection. Prompt 676 – Creative Tag – The Myth There are myths all are all around the world to explain nature. Your task is to write a ta/’le explaining why volcanos explode.   Prompt 677 – Creative Tag – List of words Use the following words in a story – An old photo, a book, a bird, a topaz ring, and a newspaper.   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.

Myr

Myr

 

Special Newsletter Prompt Game: Gay Pride Headline!

Today, we're doing something a little different! This is the newest newsletter prompt writing game. So, play along with some other authors, have fun with any headline that catches your eye, and get a link to your story featured in the site newsletter!    HEADLINE PROMPT GAME Happy Gay Pride Month, everyone! How are you celebrating? Does your city do a parade? Special event weekends? Ban celebrations? *boo hiss* Or are you not quite ready for the crowds? Well, how about GA celebrates together with a new game?

Very loose rules with this game, just have some fun with it. You're going to google "Gay Pride" and then click on the (News) option. Then DON'T click on the results! All you're going to do is use one of the headlines that catches your eye to create a scenario and write from there. Any length, any genre is fine, but the theme is sort of obvious, lol. You can share your headline in the game topic, talk about your story/writing as you go along, but don't do a full reveal to anyone but your editing team so we can all enjoy them later!

Fine print: Deadline is June 28th. Post story/chapter unpublished with no date. Send link to Cia via PM. Story release will happen with July 1st newsletter. 

Cia

Cia

 

Writing Prompts #674 & #675

Hope everyone has had a great week so far. It's time for this weeks writing prompts. If you're stuck, or you're considering writing for the first time, these might be perfect for you. Don't forget that stories under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.     Prompt 674 – Creative Tag – First Line “What do you mean, I’m the father?”   Prompt 675 – Creative Tag – First Date You set up a romantic first date, but your date recently was in an accident and their leg is still in a cast. What is the date like?     Don't forget to share your prompt responses from last week!     I'm fired. I completely spaced posting the responses to "Renee's Writing Challenge" on the 1st. It looks like the only one to take up the challenge, was Puppilull.     Thanks for taking the challenge, @Puppilull. What was your experience like when writing the two short stories? Was it easier than you thought? More difficult?
 

Writing Prompts #672 & #673

I hope everyone is having a great week! It's time for this weeks prompts, supplied by our prompt guru, Comicfan. Just a reminder, and for those who haven't worked with the prompts before: prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.   Prompt 672 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following words in a story – a computer, an engagement ring, a dragonfly, an orange rug, and a forest painting.   Prompt 673 – Creative Tag – Vacation Terror Your first vacation in years and mother nature turns it into a terror filled outing. What happened?   Did you write a prompt response last week? Don't forget to share it below.
 

Writing Prompts #670 & #671

Hope everyone has had a great week so far. It's time for this weeks writing prompts. If you're stuck, or you're considering writing for the first time, these might be perfect for you. Don't forget that stories under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.     Prompt 670 – Creative Tag – First Line “After this, I never want to see you again.”   Prompt 671 - Challenge Tag – Historical Fiction Authors like to write in a genre that they are comfortable with. Some genres require more work than others. Your challenge is to write a scene or story that is set in a particular time period. Think Victorian, Elizabethan, World War I, Colonial America, or another time period. You’ll need to research the clothes, tools, items, attitudes, and language so everything is appropriate. Good Luck.     Don't forget to share your prompt responses from last week!
 

Writing Prompts #668 & #669

Who's been waiting for their weekly prompts?! Just a reminder, and for those who haven't worked with the prompts before: prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.     Prompt 668 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following in a story – a campfire, a ripped tent, a skunk, a rain storm, and a book.   Prompt 669 – Creative Tag – A Wish It’s your birthday, but you’ve had the worst day and go out to celebrate alone. When you get home you make a wish and pass out on your bed, totally exhausted. The following morning you wake to find your whole life is different. What was your wish?     Did you write a prompt last week? Don't forget to share it below.
 

Writing Prompts #666 & #667

The prompts are back this week! Yay!!!! Just a reminder, and for those who haven't worked with the prompts before: prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.     Prompt 666 – First Line Tag – First Line “Shut up and kiss me already!”   Prompt 667 – Challenge Tag – The Customer We’ve all seen that one person who causes a scene at a store or restaurant. Create a scene with “that customer” who flips out and demands everyone’s attention so they can try to get their way. How outrageous can you go and still make it believable?     I know there were no prompts last week, but did you write one anyway? Don't forget to share it below.
 

Writing Prompts #664 & #665

Hope everyone has had a great week so far. It's time for this weeks writing prompts. If you're stuck, or you're considering writing for the first time, these might be perfect for you. Don't forget that stories under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.         Prompt 664 – Creative Tag – List of Words Use the following in a story – red basket, old coat, a boat, a diary, and a pear.   Prompt 665 – Creative Tag – Chance Meeting Last night you went out with friends and met a man who checked every box you ever had. He invited you back to his place, but you were out with friends, felt you couldn’t be in his league, and slipped away, eventually going home alone. Today, you met the new partner at your firm. The partner just happens to be the man from last night. What do you do?         Don't forget to share your prompt responses from last week!
 

Writing Prompts #662 & #663

Thanks to @comicfan, the prompts are back this week! Yay!!!! Just a reminder, and for those who haven't worked with the prompts before: prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.         Prompt 662 – Creative Tag – First Line “Why do you always do this?”   Prompt 663 – Creative Tag – The Crew It seems like forever ago this began. You remember your mother kissing you goodnight and falling asleep in your bed. You awoke on the airplane with the others on the way to the spaceship. The crew were fellow kids except for the captain and  your four teachers. After ten years you finally will find out why you were all taken from your families. What happened?         Did you write a prompt response for one of the second chance prompts last week? Or a response the week before? Don't forget to share it below.
 

Renee's Writing Challenge #1

I was sitting here the other day, trying to come up with some new blog ideas when the idea for this blog popped into my head. There may be future challenges, but we'll start with this one.   Renee's Writing Challenge #1: Different Choices Have you ever wondered what would happen if your character made a different choice? Wondered how it would affect the overall story and whether or not your story would end the same?  Now is your chance to find out. The challenge is to write two short stories (they can be flash fiction). Same characters. Same beginning. The catch is, that there must be a "turning point" in the first story near the beginning. For the second story, when you reach that turning point, the character must make a different choice. Some examples could be:   Example 1 Story 1: Character starts out having a horrible day at work and things have been going downhill for a while. He's ready to quit when he's offered a promotion. The promotion will mean even more work, longer hours, is more stressful, and it comes with minimal pay raise. Your character chooses to take the promotion. Story 2: Same beginning, but when the character is offered the promotion he asks for time to decide. In the end, he decides that the promotion is not worth continuing to put up with everything going on at work. He declines the promotion, and instead turns in his resignation.   Example 2 Story 1: Dave is single, and hasn't been having much luck with dating. He's ready to give up. Then Dave gets a phone call or a visit from his friend, Mark. Mark wants Dave to go on a double date with him. Mark's girlfriend's brother, John, is in town and the girlfriend asked the friend to find someone to go with them to dinner as John's date. Marc assures Dave that everything he knows about John makes him believe that John could be a great match for Dave. Dave hate's blind dates, but Mark tells him that the date will be completely on him, and Dave agrees to go despite his reservations.  Story 2: Same beginning, but Dave can't get over his hatred for blind dates. He doesn't care who's paying, he doesn't feel like sitting through what he figures will be an uncomfortable dinner. He tells Mark that he'll have to find someone else.   How does making a different choice affect the rest of the story? Can the 2nd story reach the same conclusion as the first one with such wildly different choices? If your goal is to reach the same conclusion, what other changes did you have to make to get there?  Keep these thoughts in mind. Post your challenges as a single story, with separate chapters, and then share the link in the thread, no later than May 13th. On May 16th, I'll post all the stories in a blog post for discussion on your experience with the challenge.      
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