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Renee Stevens

And the prompts are BACK! With all the site upgrade stuff going on last week, we didn't do any prompts, but this week we're back on schedule and it's time for a couple new prompts from the prompt guru Comicfan. Just remember that to post in GA Stories, prompt responses under 1,000 words have to be posted as part of a collection. And don't forget to share a link to your prompt response in the appropriate forum thread so that it just might appear in next week's blog post.

 

 


 

Prompt 566 – Creative
Tag – List of words
Use the following words in a story – broken watch, boardwalk, heavy rain, knapsack, and a cup of coffee.

Prompt 567 – Creative
Tag – Fire
The night started out  calm and peaceful. You had just finished dinner and were curling up on the couch ready to watch some TV when a bright red glow caught your eye. Turning to look out the window you see your neighbors house engulfed in flames. Rushing outside you find nearly all the houses on the block burning, including the house next door. What do you?

 


 

I don't see any prompt responses posted in the thread for Prompts 564 or 565, so here's your chance to share your own past prompt responses.

Renee Stevens

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a great week and is ready for the weekend. To help start your weekend off on the right foot, we have a couple of new prompts for you. Don't forget that prompt responses under 1,000 words can be posted in GA Stories as long as they are part of a collection. And also, remember to share your prompt responses in the appropriate forum thread so that we can possibly share them next week!

 


 

Prompt 564 – Creative
Tag – List of Words
Use the following words in a story – a dress, a sewing machine, a basement, a radio, and a rose.

 

Prompt 565 – Creative
Tag – Meeting
For weeks you’ve been talking to someone online. Tonight you plan to meet for the first time. What is your date like?

 


 

We had one taker for Prompt #563:

 


 

Oh, God! What should I do? by Timothy M

 

“Oh, God! What should I do?"

 

“Calm down, Tobias. It’s no big deal,” Mitch said.

 

“But she’s real pretty and clever and…and there’s no way she’d want to go on a date with me!”

 

Rob face-palmed himself while Jasper chuckled and Mitch sniggered. The four teens were in the showers after baseball practice, with Mitch and Tobias facing him and the redhead.

Renee Stevens

Sorry for the lateness of the prompts today. I completely spaced that it was prompt day and then a lot of things happened that kept me from posting them earlier (including forgetting to hit publish earlier). So here they are, and just remember, prompt responses can be posted in GA Stories, but if they are under 1,000 words, they have to be posted as part of a collection. Happy Writing!!!

 


 

Prompt 562 – Creative
Tag – The Children
You thought you had your life all figured out. Then your best friend and his partner were killed in a plane crash. You get the call in the middle of the night, asking you to pick up the children. It seems they named you guardian of the kids. What do you do?

 

Prompt 563 – Creative
Tag – First Line
Oh, God! What should I do?

 


 

We had no responses to last week's prompts shared in the forum, so feel free to share any of your past prompt responses! Don't forget to share your responses to this week's prompts in the forum threads!

Cia

Renee is out and about slacking off in the snow. Okay, okay... she got snowed in and has a legit reason not to be able to do the prompts today. Hmm, that's almost like a prompt itself. LOL Anyway, that's why they're out a bit late and by me instead. I shall endeavor to get the post right today for your flash fiction inspiration! So, what do we have this week? Two creative prompts with some serious emotional implications! Who wants to write some drama and angst?

 


 

Prompt 560 – Creative
Tag – First Line
I’ll never, ever, forgive you!

 

Prompt 561 – Creative
Tag – New Year
The New Year has barely begun, but you wonder if it will get better. What happened?

 


 

This week we had one taker each for prompts #558 and #559. See what fun Sasha and Hudson created for your reading enjoyment:

 



Eggs by Sasha Distan

 

“What do you mean, you’re pregnant?”

 

“Could you keep your fucking voice down Shindae?” Atoki snapped at the fire demon, anger flashing across his features. Behind him, his mate snarled low, curling up tighter in the big hearth which took up an entire wall of their bedroom. “Shit it!”

 

“Guys, I’m seriously confused now. Help a guy out?”

 


 

Prompt #559 by Hudson Bartholomew
I am a creature of the night. I mean, I’m not a vampire or anything. I just really like the night. It’s quiet. Everyone’s gone to bed, and I’m all alone in the world. There’s no need to talk to anyone because there’s no one around to talk to. Perfect.

 

One of my favorite things to do at night is to drive out into the vast wilderness that lies beyond the boundaries of my small town. There are turnoffs from the main two-lane highway onto little gravel roads that end in makeshift parking lots. During the day, there are always some cars parked there as people hike in the woods. At night, the lots are empty and all mine.

Renee Stevens

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. Hopefully you'll find something in this weeks prompts to spark an idea and get you writing!

 


 

Prompt 558 – Creative
Tag – First Line
What do you mean, you’re pregnant?

 

Prompt 559 – Creative
Tag – List of Words
Use the following words in a story – Pine tree, toy soldier, a book, a full moon, and a blanket.

 


 

Last week we had three takers on Prompt #557. Let's take a look.

 


 

Portal Stones Don't Just 'Go Missing' by Sasha Distan

 

“And then I hid it somewhere he won’t find it,” the Demon Del Deorion finished with a smug grin.

 

Across the uneven and beer spattered surface of the wooden table, the Prince of hell smiled at him, arching one perfect eyebrow. Deorion had always thought Nassau to be unfairly pretty, even when he’d been stripped of his powers and his feathers and banished from the world below. Not that the smoke flavoured demon would ever do anything about it, after all being consort to the Wind gave him rather special privileges.

 


 

And then I hid it somewhere he won't find it by Ivor Slipper

 

“And then I hid it somewhere he won’t find it.”

 

“What? You must be joking Jayden! Man, where did you hide it?”

 

“I’m not gonna tell you, Corey – just in case he starts beating on you about it.”

 

“Jeeze Jayden, I know we’ve pulled some stunts in our time but this could be one of the greatest ever – if we live to tell anyone!”

 


 

Prompt #557 by Hudson Bartholomew

 

And then I hid it somewhere he won’t find it. Except I wanted him to find it. I wanted him to find it, and use it on me, and turn me inside out with it. It was the single most terrifying thing I have ever wanted.

 

My relationship with Daniel has always been simple, sweet vanilla and I’ve never had a problem with that. It’s all I’ve ever known and it’s always been satisfying. But I know there’s other stuff out there, stuff that is risqué, kinky even. And I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it, what it would feel like to dabble in the more exotic flavors.

Renee Stevens

Have you thought about writing your first story, but it seems a little daunting? Don't worry, every new author has been there at one point or another. Thankfully, you're part of a great community that has plenty of authors willing to share their knowledge, and/or what they wished they'd known when they first started. If you're thinking that you've heard that before, it's because you have, but that's the best intro to this feature. Back in December we first introduced the "New Author Advice" feature and it seemed to be well received. So let's take a look at what advice our site authors have this time.

 


 

Building Readership & Criticism


Mikiesboy

 

Ok... building readership... read others work, comment/review, be active in forums, say hello to people be friendly. That's what I did. Works from my experience. It can't be a one way street. And reply to people who comment. They took the time to read your work, you should do the same in return.

 

Criticism? Well that can be hard to take, depending on how it's written and the kind of person you are. If you're unsure, ask the person who commented what they mean. I've not experienced any sort of mean-spirited criticism on GA. Most people are pretty helpful and thoughtful. At least the ones I've met.

 

You can also use the Your Status thing to advertise .. but I don't personally.

 


 

Feedback


Carlos Hazday

 

Encourage readers to give you honest feedback. Reviews pointing out what they liked are great, but the ones where they tell you what they didn't like are even better in my opinion.

 

If you want to make your stories the best they can be, knowing what didn't work for readers is a priority. If you react badly to criticism, you may miss out on great advice, your writing may suffer, and in the end you could end up losing readers when your style stagnates.

 


 

Before You Start


Jamessavik

 

First, read a lot. Read a lot of different authors, different genres and different styles. Read with an eye towards not just the plot but, the craft in which the story is developed. You will see that some authors do a great job in this respect while others- not so much.

 

Second- Start with short stories. They can teach you a great deal. Unlike a novel, you can't wander around for a 40,000 words to make a point. Short stories require a certain discipline to do them well. You have to balance things very carefully with an economy of words while providing characterization and description while advancing a plot. Don't expect to master this over a few weekends. It's more art than science. In fact it's a lot like golf. When you are in the zone, you can do great things. If not, you bogey every hole.

 

Finally- before you embark on a novel, learn how to plan it out. We all make the mistake of sitting down at a blank page on the computer, write a great beginning and then hit a wall. There are numerous GREAT but INCOMPLETE novels on the web. Unfortunately several of them are my own. Know where you are going because, if you don't, your chances of getting there are slim.

 


 

If you're a current or experienced author and have some advice for newbie authors, send me a PM with your advice and be featured in a future "New Author Advice" feature.

 

If you're a new author, or even an existing author, what questions would you ask your fellow authors? PM me your questions regarding writing and if there is enough interest, we'll start a new feature where I post your questions for the various site authors to give their opinion. You can choose to remain anonymous if you'd like.

Renee Stevens

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. Hopefully you'll find something in this weeks prompts to spark an idea and get you writing!

 


 

Prompt 556 – Creative
Tag – List of Words
Use the following words in a story – a hammer, a lasso, boots, a silver bracelet, and a gun.

 

Prompt 557 – Creative
Tag – First Line
And then I hid it somewhere he won’t find it.

 


 

And since we had no takers for last week's prompts, feel free to share one of your past prompt responses!

Renee Stevens

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. Hopefully you'll find something in this weeks prompts to spark an idea and get you writing!

 


 

Prompt 554 – Creative
Tag – The Tree
After watching the tree arrive in Times Square, you and your mate decide you want a real one this year. Are your tree wishes a big hit or a total diaster.

 

Prompt 555 – Creative
Tag – Company Death
You’ve been hired to help kill off the zombies. The country has seen the dead rising and attacking the living constantly. The company has hired and trained a group of 100 to exterminate the zombies. You lead a team of three. What is your team like?

 


 

And now lets look at last weeks responses to Prompt #553

 


 

Our Tune by Ivor Slipper

 

I’d got into the habit pretty soon after he left. I know living in New York there were plenty of other options for how to spend the evening after work. I could have gone to the movies or the theatre but those would still have meant sitting in the dark on my own –without him. I could have gone to a restaurant I suppose – but a table for one? That’s a real loser situation, sitting on your own and reading a book in a restaurant! So instead I’d started going to bars. I spread my custom around; different locations on different evenings. After all there are lots of bars in New York. I didn’t even bother whether or not they were gay bars. It wasn’t as if I was looking to pick someone up; after all these years I wasn’t ready for a replacement or even a one night stand – as yet. What I needed was not be sitting alone in the apartment watching some dumb program on the TV. At least in a bar I might get into a small talk conversation with the guy sitting on the next stool or I could half listen to the conversations of others as they washed around me. Then when I decided I’d had enough to drink for the night, which after the couple of months that had passed was getting harder and harder to decide, I’d stagger out into the night and hopefully find a taxi to take me back to what had once been home but was now just an empty shell of an apartment.

 


 

Baby by JohnAR

 

“My back hurts,” he moaned, slowly sitting down on the comfortable chair; an ‘old man’ chair he wouldn’t have wanted to be seen in dead – if it hadn’t been for his ‘special’ circumstances.

 

“Shall I bring you some herbal tea?” Warren asked caringly.

 

“Who do you think I am?” Prime barked back, losing steam immediately, holding his belly nearly apologetically. “Actually yes.”

 

“No problem … ah … Sir,” Warren answered in confusion and was off to the kitchen.

 

“Everything is okay, the baby is healthy, Prime,” Leo packed the little electronic equipment he had used to examine the ever-growing belly.

Renee Stevens

Happy Friday, Y'all!!!!! Hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend, I know I am! To help start your weekend off right, it's time for some new prompts. Hopefully one of these great prompts will inspire you, and don't forget to share your responses (at least a link) so that they can possibly be featured next week. Also, as always, remember that prompt responses under 1K have to be posted as part of a collection.

 


 

Prompt 552 – Creative
Tag – End of the world
Due to a lack of humanity, the world was a lot less forgiving. New strains of diseases, ones thought to have been eradicated, have come back stronger and with no vaccine. People everywhere are dying. How are you going to survive the end of the world.

 

Prompt 553 – Creative
Tag – List of Words
Use the following words in a story – a dvd, a blanket, library card, a book, and a dagger.

 


 

Last weeks Prompt #550 had a lot of responses, lets take a look.

 


 

Prompts 2017 by Cazpedroso

 

“There is no way I’m wearing that!” Dereck snapped.

 

Chris looked at the costume he was holding then back at his furious looking partner. “Why not?”

 

“I’ll look like an idiot. That’s why not!”

 

“But, it’s couples costume night. We’re supposed to either dress in matching costume or as a famous couple. If you don’t like this what about, Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dee? They’d be less revealing if that’s the problem.”

 


 

The End of the Big K by jamessavik

 

"There is no way I’m wearing that!"

 

The comm crackled, "Come on Bobby, you have to. There's too much damage. Most of the ship is open to vacuum."

 

"I can't. I've got claustrophobia. I'll go nuts in there."

 

"Look- you've got to do it. Containment is breaking down on the #3 Fusion plant. We lose that and this wreck will become a mini supernova. You've got to get out of there."

 


 

A Ripping Yarn by northie

 

“There is no way I'm wearing that!”

 

Geoff stared in disbelief at the sartorial monstrosity Helen was offering him. She laughed at him although with some sympathy.

 

“Geoff, what else are you gonna wear for the gig this evening?”

 

He backed away from her slightly, still unable to take his eyes off … it.

 


 

Unrequited by Sasha Distan

 

“There is no way I’m wearing that!”

 

“Why not?”

 

Max snorted at his best friend, and turned away.

 

“Because it’s two sizes too small, and it’s blue.”

 


 

Prompt #550 by Hunter Bartholomew

 

“There is no way I’m wearing that!”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because!” Marcus waved at the contraption as if the gesture was explanation enough.

 

“What?” Andy flipped the black cotton vest back and forth, inspecting it for defects. “What’s wrong with it?”

 


 

Prompt #550 by Greg_A

 

“There is no way I’m wearing that!” I growled, glaring at Alex.

 

“Why not?” Alex asked with a grin on his face letting me know he knew perfectly well why not. “I know you normally like blue, but I thought you’d look good in green. Well, green and black.”

 

“The color is not the point,” I hissed with my teeth clenched. “I’m not wearing that thing!”

 

“Why?” Alex asked again, his voice getting a little defensive. “What’s wrong with it?”

 


 

Plan by JohnAR

 

“There is no way I’m wearing that!” The wind carried the protesting voice up to his terrace.

 

She cried in his arms.

 

He might be Fate, but he couldn’t make the world silent to comfort his goddess. Even if her child had died.

 

“Come on, you’re not in Alabama. This is Greece. Speedos are normal here.”

Renee Stevens

I hope everyone has had a great month so far. It's been a while since we had a Grammar Rodeo from Cia, but it's back! Thank you, Cia for providing us with another great writing tip!

 

The Structure of a Sentence

 

Okay, so maybe this seems intuitive. After all, we all write sentences every day, right? But sometimes the visual we’re trying to get across doesn’t work because of the way the sentence has been written. A lot of the time, this can be chalked up to dangling modifiers. What are dangling modifiers? I bet you’ll realize you intuitively know what I mean once we get to the examples, even if you didn’t know you knew!

 

So, dangling modifiers are words or phrases, usually offset by commas, that are supposed to explain more/better describe the subject of the sentence but don’t because the sentence structure either places the subject in the wrong place to work with the modifier or doesn’t have a subject at all. These can be dangling participles or gerunds, but that’s a little more exact than I want to go in for this lesson. We’ll come back to that though! Let’s try a few examples to show just how modifiers work, how they can go wrong, and how easily they can be fixed.

 

Example:
Having come to the same conclusion, the project temporarily halted.

 

Having come to the same conclusion is our modifier, but the subject of this sentence is ‘the project’. Can the project come to the same conclusion? No. So the modifier is dangling because the true subject is missing from the sentence.

 

Rephrased:
Having come to the same conclusion, the contractor temporarily halted the project.
The contractor can come to the same conclusion, so he can halt the project.

 

Example:
Without knowing what his job was, it was hard to pick the right outfit.

 

“It” didn’t know his job? That doesn’t make sense. In this case, the surrounding information might make it clear who/what ‘it’ refers to, but that doesn’t prevent this sentence from having a dangling modifier.

 

Rephrased:
Without knowing what his job was, Jacob found it hard to pick the right outfit.
Jacob didn’t know what his job was, so he could find it hard to pick the outfit.

 

Example:
Long and boring, the author must revise their manuscript.

 

Is the author long and boring? No. In this case, the subject of the modifier is a ‘misplaced modifier’ because the manuscript is what is long and boring, not the author.

 

Rephrased:
Long and boring, the manuscript must be revised by the author.

 

This phrase properly describes what is long and boring, which could not be the author as a person (we don’t usually call a person long, lol).

 

So, basically when you have a modifier in the sentence, you want to make sure it takes place in the sentence close to the subject. If you’re unsure if you’ve structured the sentence properly to avoid a dangling or misplaced modifier, ask yourself, “Was the (subject) (dangling modifier)”? If you have it wrong, the question will usually show how your sentence doesn’t make sense.

 

Was the project coming to the same conclusion?

 

Was it not knowing what his job was?

 

Was the author long and boring?

Renee Stevens

Hope everyone has had a great week so far and is looking forward to the weekend. What better way to start it off than with brand new prompts! If you've been feeling stuck, or maybe just want to do something a little different, maybe one of these prompts will jump start a new idea. A reminder: Prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection.

 


 

Prompt 550 – Creative
Tag – First Line
There is no way I’m wearing that!

 

Prompt 551 – Creative
Tag – Holiday Picture
Every year you and your partner create an awesomely cute picture for you holiday cards. What did you do this year?

 


 

Now, let's take a look at the two responses that Prompt #548 received!

 


 

Duty by JohnAR

 

Gideon, Sariah, Porter, Spencer and Marta had fallen asleep; finally. Them ranging from two to seven years old, it was quite a feat to convince them to go to bed Sunday night, after church and lots of play.

 

His wife had audibly closed her book – ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ – and turned off her little reading light.

 

He had put his pad aside – it wasn’t appropriate to work too much on such a sacred day – and darkened the room completely. He pulled the cover up to his chin. It wasn’t really necessary in their cozy bedroom despite the cold wind of November outside, but for some reason he felt the need for weight on his body.

 


 

Prompt #548 by Hudson Bartholomew

 

Gusts of cold wind rattled the window pane and the blowing snow made it impossible to see the few yards from my front window to my driveway.

 

I used to love snow storms. I’d turn the fireplace on, make some hot chocolate, and curl up on the sofa under a blanket to watch the world turn white.

 

Now it just felt cold.

 

I guess that happens when you don’t have someone holding you to keep you warm.

Renee Stevens

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a great week and is ready for the weekend. To help start your weekend off on the right foot, we have a couple of new prompts for you. Don't forget that prompt responses under 1,000 words can be posted in GA Stories as long as they are part of a collection. And also, remember to share your prompt responses in the appropriate forum thread so that we can possibly share them next week!

 


 

Prompt 548 – Word List
Tag – List of Words
Use the following words in a story – Cold wind, blue sweater, bald man, postcard, and a gift.

 

Prompt 549 – Creative
Tag – Superhero
You’ve been tasked to create a superhero for today’s average person. Your creation will be made into a movie. What is your superhero about? What is their message and what powers do they have?

 


 

And our featured prompt responses from Prompt #546

 


 

Mistaken Identity by Sasha Distan

 

“Just slowly rub it in, why don’t you!”
Ewan laughed heartily, and slapped his friend’s shoulder. The other guys in the common room had fallen about in similar fits of giggles, and Jim was becoming so red in the face it was a wonder he was still able to draw breath.
“Oh dude, your face.”
“Shut up,” Craig whined, shifting his weight from foot to foot, looking decidedly uncomfortable. “You guys are horrid.”
“We weren’t the ones flirting with the new teacher,” Jim pointed out, having regained full control of his lungs.
“I was not flirting!” Craig huffed.



Dean by JohnAR
“Just slowly rub it in!” Stiller moaned.

 

“You’ve declined his ‘invitations’ at least four times,” Carl added with a smirk. It wasn’t often he had the upper hand versus a US Army General and beta. “Our alpha is not showing up, either. You couldn’t expect this dean not to want to talk with the pack who has a love affair with vampires – on his campus,” he continued stating the obvious.

 

“Done with gloating, enforcer?” Stiller barked. There were limits.

 

“Sure,” Carl answered, not so sure. Maybe that taught Stiller he was an enforcer, a potential alpha, and not a little secretary.

Renee Stevens

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a good first week of the new year, and it's now time for the first prompts of the year! Don't forget to share your responses in the thread so that we can possibly share it next week. Please remember that prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection if you're posting in GA Stories.

 


 

Prompt 546 – First Line
Tag – First Line
Just slowly rub it in!

 

Prompt 547 – Creative
Tag – The Trip
You’ve been pinching pennies and doing all you could to save money for the last year. Now the time has come to relax. Where do you go for your hard earned trip?

 


 

We didn't have any responses to last week's prompts, so for this week, I'm going to ask authors to look back over the prompts they have written and share their favorite one.

Renee Stevens

Well, I can't believe that it's already the last prompts of 2016! Rather than do our regularly scheduled prompts, I thought that we should do some kind of special prompt edition. I wracked my brain for a couple of ideas, and in the end, Cia and I banded together and came up with a couple of End of Year / New Year prompts for you to try your hand at. We look forward to seeing your responses!!!!

 


 

Special Prompt: End of Year #1
Tags: New Years Resolution
The clock strikes midnight and the ball drops in Time Square. I look at the people around me, laughing and drinking, and wonder if, like me, they make New Years Resolutions. Do they keep them? This past year, I accomplished some of mine, but others were utter failures. This year, things will be different. Where I have failed in the past, I'll succeed in the future. Now, I just have to decide what this years resolutions are.

 

Special Prompt: End of Year #2
Tags: The Envelope
A random envelope appeared on my plate. I looked around, but I couldn't see anyone else with one. I sat and opened it. "I've been waiting for this chance to accomplish last year's resolution, so please meet me on the patio at 11:59". It wasn't signed. A secret admirer? Should I meet them... or not?

 

For today, lets take a look at the prompt prompt responses for Prompt #544:

 


 

MetaPrompts: Lure by JohnAR

 

“It’s time to bury the hatchet,” a husky voice whispered hopefully, in its best baritone.

 

“Unlikely,” a female soprano answered in a way that made Brian was nervous. It must have been the accent.

 

He couldn’t even really see the girl behind the glass; his wolf ears could pick up every word, though; and his wolf instinct got roused: available female.

 

It made him even more fidgety.

 


 

Rob on a Mission. A Nelson POV Chapter by Timothy M.

 

“It’s time to bury the hatchet.” Rob’s voice was low but firm.

 

Jasper gave me a small jab with his elbow, and we shared a quick grin. The blond Perry brothers had marched straight up to Ryan, who tried to look unconcerned as he sipped his morning coffee. The café had its usual crowd of early Monday morning coffee-buyers, but since there had been no baseball game over the weekend, none of the players were present. However, Rob knew Ryan would be there, because his dad dropped him off early every morning on his way to work.

 

Eric had been convinced by Rob that they needed to take the initiative. Now that Chris was gone from the team, Rob wanted everyone else to move on and forget the fight.

 


 

Truth over Drinks by Jamessavik

 

"It's time to bury the hatchet."

 

Colt looked stunned and said, "Maybe in that rat bastard's head."

 

Jerry said, "Oh come on Colt. I know he's a rival but.."

 

"Rival? You don't know what Frank did to me do you?"

 

"I know it goes back a long way."

 

Colt sighed and said, "Frank cost me..."

Cia

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. It is I, bringing you the prompts again this week. It's always fun to put myself in Renee's boots (she has a LOT more snow at her place) for a time. Fortunately, she makes it easy peasy to do this post--certainly nothing like a nightmare such as prompt #545... yikes!! (Does it make you feel better about your holiday plans though? LOL)

 


 

Prompt 544 – Creative
Tag – First line
It’s time to bury the hatchet.

 

Prompt 545 – Creative
Tag – Party Nightmare
Every year, your family has a different member host the holiday party. This is the first time you are to host it. Unfortunately, your cesspool is backing up, a wicked storm is due to hit, and you in laws arrived four hours early. What happens next?

 


 

So what shall I feature today...? How about a long-awaited return to his prompt story with Timothy's Terrible Prompt Stories.


“I think it is time for you and I to have a little talk.”

 

Rob turned around to grin at his brother, who had walked into his room with a quick rap on the open door. Eric closed it behind him and strode over to perch on the bed next to the older teen.

 

“Of course, bro. Any time you want; but tell me first, did you have a good time last night?”

 

“None of your business,” Eric growled.

 

“That’s not what you told Mom.” Rob pretended to be puzzled, but when Eric punched his leg, he started laughing. “Ohhh,” Rob gushed in an all-too-accurate mimicry of Eric telling their parents about his date with Nelson. “We had this amazing Italian food, and on the way home we met some of Nelson’s friends. Later we watched a movie, and this morning we went to see Carolyn together with Jasper.”

 

“If you already know what happened, why ask?”

 

“Those are just the official parts of the date. I’m more interested in the important stuff.”

 

“I’m not telling you any intimate details,” Eric began and then blushed as Rob leered at him. Yup, he’d more or less admitted to having sex with Nelson.

 


You can read more here!

Renee Stevens

Have you thought about writing your first story, but it seems a little daunting? Don't worry, every new author has been there at one point or another. Thankfully, you're part of a great community that has plenty of authors willing to share their knowledge, and/or what they wished they'd known when they first started. Today we've got both Aditus, who is going to tell how he started out, and Graeme who is going to share a little advice on planning out your story. Hope this helps!

 


Starting Out


Aditus

 


I can tell how I did it. I read a lot of stories and comments first, to get a feel of GA. Then I answered a prompt or two. The response was amazing and I felt motivated. Next I tried the anthologies. I think short stories are a good start for a new author, you get to know people and some of them even might offer help. Multi chapter stories need a lot of time, energy and motivation. If the author doesn't finish them, readers get disappointed and might not read another story of the same author. Another beautiful thing about GA is that people are always willing to support you. Find an editor, and/or a beta reader and all will be well. :)

 


Planning


Graeme

 


Every writer is a new author at some point in time, so what do I know now that I wished I'd known when I started? There is a lot more than can fit into one blog entry, so I'll concentrate on one part of writing only, and that's planning.

 

The two best pieces of advice I received in this area are related. They are:

  • Know how you want the story to end. It doesn't have to be in detail, but does the boy get the boy? Does the team win the competition? Does the homophobe turn over a new leaf, or does he remain a villain to the end?
  • Always keep in mind what's going to happen in the next chapter when you're writing the current one.


Both of these recommendations have the same purpose: to keep the writing direction focused. All too often a new author writes themselves into a corner. They want something to happen, but what they've written stops that from happening. By keeping in mind what's going to happen in the future (either the short-term future for the next chapter, or the longer-term future for the end of the story), an author is aided to keep the story moving in the direction they want. This doesn't prevent an author from writing themselves into a corner, but it helps reduce the risk. It also helps stop the where-does-the-story-go-now syndrome, where an author writes until they run out of ideas, without finishing what they started.

 


It's okay if you don't follow this advice, because some authors don't. There are many authors who start with a situation, and then write until the ending presents itself. Stephen King, for example, has said that he doesn't know how a story will end when he starts. However, authors that do this are usually experienced, with a full toolbox of options and techniques to allow them to progress a story to a satisfactory conclusion. That's not something that comes easily to most writers, so please at least consider having an ending in mind when you start.

 

It's also okay if you change your mind during the writing. While some authors will write the ending of a story first, and then write towards that ending, others will have a general concept in mind for the ending, or even multiple options with the decision as to which ending they go for not being known until closer to the ending. This happened to me with my Leopards Leap novel. Right up to the last few chapters, I didn't know exactly what was going to happen to one of the main characters. I had a number of options that I had to choose from, each with their pros and cons. That persisted right up until I had no choice but to make a decision and write up one of the options.

 

Another way of looking at this approach is to view the writing of a story as a journey. You start at one point and you look to where you want to go. That may lead directly to the final destination, or it may be to a significant point in the story, a bridge or a fork in the road. Once you've set your sights on that destination, you then put your head down and start walking the road towards where you want to go, looking up from time-to-time to make sure you don't lose your way. The more often you look up, the less likely you are to wander off the path...but there's nothing wrong with a short side trek to see that beautiful waterfall off to the side as long as you return to the path afterwards.

 

In short, know where you're going with your story. The better you understand where you want to go, both in the short-term and the long-term, the less chance you'll lose your way.

 

Good luck, and have fun finding your way to the ending you want!

Cia

Today I get to be Renee! Woohoo! This time of year, it seems everyone is busy, busy, busy. But surely you have a bit of time to write some flash fiction, don't you? Last week we had two repeat Why don't you check out the prompts below. Hopefully they'll spark some inspiration.

 


 

Prompt 542 – Creative
Tag – List of words
Use the following words in a story – red leaf, turkey, squeaky wheel, pumpkin, and a blue shoe.

 

Prompt 543 – Creative
Tag – First Line
I think it is time for you and I to have a little talk.

 


 

Last week's prompts were put up as a second chance to inspire authors, so I'm featuring a piece that's also from an earlier prompt. Check out Hunter Thompson's story inspired by prompt #539.

 


Prompt: It began last night. Everything electronic stopped working. This was followed by every vehicle no longer working. Everyone began to panic, but that was nothing compared to the fact suddenly no one, not even the animals or insects could make a sound in your town. What happened and will the town forever be silenced.

 

Story:

 

Everyone thought the world would end with a bang. A thermonuclear fireball that obliterates everything and everyone you hold dear and makes certain to leave no survivors. It’s comforting to know that it’ll be quick, if nothing else.

 

That’s not what really happened. The world didn’t end. Well, it did. Just not the way people thought it would. Most of us didn’t even realize what was going on. I was working on a report at the office when the lights first started to flicker. I figured that with all the snow we’d been having that power outages would be inevitable, backed everything up and went back to work. Nobody else seemed worried either, so I put it out of my mind. Everything seemed fine, until it was time to leave. I’d been working at the firm for twenty years, and I’d never seen the elevators break down. When the lights went dark, we all tried to take the elevator to go home. Of course they wouldn’t be working in a power outage.

 

Clamoring through ten flights of stairs with my coworkers wasn’t all that fun. By the time we were all down, we were irritable, and my blond hair was plastered to my face with sweat. After waving goodbye to my colleagues, I got in my truck and thought about the hot meal Michael would hopefully have waiting for me. Except nothing happened.

 


Read the rest here!

Renee Stevens

To help you finish off your week right (or should that be write? :gikkle: ) it's time for a couple of prompts. Once again, we're featuring a couple of prompts that for one reason or another, didn't receive any prompt responses. I've included links to each topic as well so you can post your prompt responses (or links to them) in the forums. Have fun!!

 


 

Prompt 509 – Creative
Tag – The Tire
Your were called away for a business trip to the middle of nowhere. On the way home you blew a tire. When you go for your spare you remember you were going to get it fixed, but you forgot. You call the auto club and they send out a repair truck to help you. When it arrives you find yourself facing someone from your past. Who is it and what happens?

 

Prompt 511 - Creative
Tag - The Child
The neighborhood has gone strangely quiet since the new neighbors moved in down the street. Even the nosey lady across the street has stopped talking and seems to keep her blinds closed now. You have no idea why everyone is acting so odd ‘til you meet the neighbors child. What is so odd about this child?

 


 

We had two takers last time we did a second chance prompt post. Both are for Prompt #502

 


 

TLA1 (MW8) by JohnAR

 

“Where the hell is that road?” the cop shouted into the mobile phone.

 

“Half a mile on your right,” the voice on the phone on speaker informed him politely.

 

“We were there …,” Carla, sitting in the front next to the cop who drove their vehicle stated doubtingly. She looked up from her files that stated ‘IRS – confidential’ prominently, her face even paler than usually.

 

“Yep,” the fat guy in the back in a black jacket with the yellow letters ‘ATF’ confirmed; his nose moved as if he smelled a rat.

 

Only the forth passenger, in his stereotypical black suit, starched white shirt and impeccable red tie, didn’t comment on their frustration of not finding their way to ‘White Wolf Holdings Inc.’ easily. He removed a non-existent crumb from his trousers – most likely a relic of the ATF guy’s bag of candy – and continued to observe his surroundings.

 


 

Brotherhood by Carlos Hazday

 

The sun feels good beating on my shoulders while the wind keeps us cool as we cruise up US Highway 27 headed to Orlando. The radio’s off; the unmistakable sound of the Harley-Davidson exhaust my soundtrack.

 

Riding without a shirt or helmet might not be considered smart by some people but fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. I’m an exhibitionist at heart plus I know I look good half-naked. And a brain bucket dulls my enjoyment of what the biker experience should be: freedom. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to governmental intrusion, the old line about letting riders decide should be the law of the land.

 

I stayed in Wilton Manors two extra days as I’d promised the kid. His blood work proved negative for any STDs as I’d sworn it would be and he was elated with the results. So much so, he wanted a repeat performance of Friday night, offering to let me bareback him now he knew I was safe. I declined. Don’t want him to get any ideas.

Renee Stevens

And it's Friday, which not only means the end of most work weeks, but it also means it's time for a couple of new prompts! Did anyone brave the stores this morning? I didn't this year, partly because the hubby is working, but we didn't really need anything this year. Now, lets take a look at what we have in store for your prompts for this week.

 


 

Prompt 540 – Creative
Tag – The Lottery
Your job does everything by lottery, saying it is more fair. They pull a ball with a name on it for work assignments, business trips, and office party planning. Guess whose name was just picked? What do you have to do?

 

Prompt 541 – Creative
Tag – The Diary
You’ve just moved into your great aunt’s house. As you sort through her stuff you find her old Diary. You plan to dump it, but it falls off the pile and opens to a page all about you. What did she have to say?

 


 

For this week, let's take a look at the newest O. Henry Prompt: O. Henry Short Story Prompt #3:

 

Dogman - Mikiesboy

 

Being polite did not help, so Sam pushed his way through the elbow-to-elbow crush of his fellow travelers to disembark the subway car, giving his backpack a good tug to free it too. Finally able to breathe, he drew in a lungful of air that was not populated by the fumes of a hundred types of perfume and cologne.

 

“Thank god that’s over for two whole days!” Sam muttered, mainly to himself. He walked briskly down the platform looking for the Main Street exit. His thoughts of freedom were brief, as visions of his first chore once he walked through the apartment door entered his head.

 

Akasha.

 

That was the name of his partner’s fat, spoiled, mincing apricot teacup poodle. Akasha, by order of his partner Randolf, had to be walked as soon as Sam got in.

 

‘Because she’s been alone since we left in the morning, Sam.’ Randy would say—that made sense, but it was odd Randy was never home in time to walk his dog.

Renee Stevens

Brrrr... Anyone want some snow? I have plenty of it that I can give! First snowstorm of the year dropped at least 10 inches on us. Who else has gotten the white fluffy stuff? Anyway, now that the talk of weather is out of the way, it's time for the weekly prompts. Once again, we're taking a look back at two prompts which, for whatever reason, got overlooked. Don't forget to share your prompt responses in the threads. To make it easier, I've linked to both of the threads.

 

Prompt 502 – Word List
Use the following words in a story : a cop, a statue, a ship, a pink ribbon, a bag of candy.

 

Prompt 507 - Creative
Your life has been easy, but now you have to make a choice that will determine your whole future. You are having to choose between not only two dream jobs, but two very different partners. The first job pays well, and leaves you with one of the two people you love most, it is also in deep space and will keep you from seeing or really talking to anyone else for eight years. However, you will be paid approximately ten million dollars. The other job keeps you in the countryside, never far from anything, with other partner you love. The big drawback is you will paid $30,000 a year, but will be given a small home to live in for the length of the project. What do you choose?

 

Did anyone do the last round of second chance prompts? I don't see any links in the two forum threads. So this week, I'm going to do things a little different. Everyone is welcome to comment and share a short excerpt, and link, for one of their past prompt responses.

Renee Stevens

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. Hopefully you'll find something in this weeks prompts to spark an idea and get you writing!


 

Prompt 538 -Creative
Tag – First Line
“I need to find a way to make this right.”

Prompt 539 – Creative
Tag – Silence
It began last night. Everything electronic stopped working. This was followed by every vehicle no longer working. Everyone began to panic, but that was nothing compared to the fact suddenly no one, not even the animals or insects could make a sound in your town. What happened and will the town forever be silenced.

For this week, I decided to feature the responses from Prompt #536:

 


 

Longing - Sasha Distan

 

“It’s not like it’s a hard choice Devon. What’s more important, a sword or a new car?”

 

I sighed, and leant back against my boyfriend. I hated it when he was being sensible.

 

“I don’t want to pick. I’d rather have a burrito and blow job to be perfectly honest.”

 

“Devon!” Jacob slapped my bicep in mock horror at my suggestion. “You’re so lewd!” He settled himself against the tree, and wrapped his arms more firmly around my abdomen, keeping me pinned. I didn’t mind, because even though it was the middle of the afternoon, we were perfectly alone at the edge of our favourite hayfield, and I could already feel the shape and warmth of Jacob’s arousal pressing against me through our clothes.

 

“It’s such a nice sword though...” I mused gently.

 


 

Cell - JohnAR

 

“Hi, I’m Colt, can I buy you a beer?”

 

He had been mentally practicing the line for more than 15 minutes; since he had spotted that tall hunk leaning against the wall next to the bar as coolly as only an obviously straight jock who had recently got laid could do, fiddling with his phone in quite a bored way. The T-Shirt with the local baseball team’s ‘Angels’-logo stretched nicely, displaying his inviting shoulders, pecs and flat belly. The jeans hung a bit low – as fashionable nowadays – revealing his American Eagle underwear. His hair was brutally cropped; but instead of looking like a convict that made him ruggedly handsome and nearly son-in-law-worthy; maybe the pronounced jawline and the boyish grin contributed to that effect.

Renee Stevens

Hey Y'all! Well, I know that someone chose to use one of the last second chance prompts, but there is no link in the thread so that I can feature it. This week I'm once again just going to focus on two of the lonely prompts that nobody used (or at least shared). If you decide to tackle one of these prompts, make sure you share it in the thread.

 

Prompt 495 - Creative
Mostly you wanted to stay home, but you won a vacation. Where was the trip to and how was it?

Prompt 499 - Creative
You going to working long and hard on your project. It is taking years to get to this point but you have finally completed it. What is this major achievement?

Since I'm not sure who posted in response to one of the last prompts, this week I'm going to share the new response to Poetry Prompt #1: Tanka. Don't forget to click on the link to finish reading.




Darkness Falls - Headstall

Have you retired
From a world that shames your soul
One you can’t look at
Without regret and remorse
Not so easy being God

Renee Stevens

Happy Friday, Y'all!!!!! Hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend, I know I am! To help start your weekend off right, it's time for some new prompts. Hopefully one of these great prompts will inspire you, and don't forget to share your responses (at least a link) so that they can possibly be featured next week. Also, as always, remember that prompt responses under 1K have to be posted as part of a collection.

Prompt 536 – Creative
Tag – List of Words
Use the following in a story – a sword, a new car, a museum, an eagle, and a burrito.

Prompt 537 – Creative
Tag – A Spider
A lab in New York City had been cross breeding spiders trying to create a stronger type of silk. However, their cross breeding has created some strange side affects. The problem is two of the spiders have escaped the confinement of the lab. What happens next?


 

Prompt Responses from Prompt #534 - First Line: “And who are you supposed to be?"

 


 

Twilight's Last Gleaming - jamessavik

 

“And who are you supposed to be?"

 

"I'm Gorman from Global Analysis" He handed the officious man an identity card.

 

The bureaucrat read the card as if it might say 'enemy agent, detain on sight', and then returned the credentials'.

 

"Please come in Mr. Gorman. The committee is waiting. Are you an analyst for GA?"

 

Gorman took off his gloves revealing a dagger tattoo on one hand an ace of diamonds on the other. He said, "No sir. I'm the owner." He cocked his head in the direction of the door indicating to the bureaucrat to lead him inside.

 


 

MetaSplash - JohnAR

 

“And who are you supposed to be?” Rory teased shouting up the precipice.

 

“Moby Dick?” Will giggled.

 

More laughter.

 

“Let’s get away from the lake before he drowns us emptying the lake,” another voice suggested jokingly.

 

Warren tried to ignore them.

 


 

Hunter's Prompt Responses - Hunter Thomson

 

"And who are you supposed to be?" I called out.

 

I stepped out onto the back porch of my ranch, only to see movement coming from the fields. I wasn't surprised. It was almost harvest season, and movement meant either more scavengers, or more thieves. Either way, I wasn't happy to deal with them.

 

I was less happy when it was people who popped into view. the couple, at least I assumed they were a couple the way they were dragging each other along, appeared at the edge of my corn field without any warning.

Renee Stevens

Hey Y'all! Well, the last set of second chance prompts didn't seem to inspire anyone, so we're going to try again. Instead of doing four second chance prompts, this week I'm just going to focus on two. If you decide to tackle one of these prompts, make sure you share it in the thread.

Prompt #485 - Creative

It was a late night and you were driving home from work. You go to stop at the light, but your brakes fail, and slip through uncommon traffic and crash into the woods. What happened to you and what was the cause?

Prompt #491 - Creative

You and your best friend have gone out shopping for a surprise gift. You wander into this cute boutique and discover what you feel is the perfect gift. What was the find?

 


 

So now it's time to determine what prompt response I should share. It was a hard choice to make and I hope I haven't featured these before, but I decided to feature the previous responses from Prompt #497

 


 

Light of My Life - Puppilull

 

I clutched the cold porcelain, as I was seized by another full body heave. My body seemed hell bent on getting every last drop out of me. Not that I’d had anything to eat and hardly anything to drink since yesterday morning, so there really wasn’t much. Still my body kept trying. And trying…

 

When I could relax once more, I hung limply over the toilet seat, no longer caring if it was disgusting to be in such close proximity to it. It was cold. Cold felt good on my skin. Then it slowly started all over again.

 

“No, no… You’ve got to be kidding me… Please, no more…” No amount of talking to myself could stop this. I felt my stomach contract once again, making me feel like I was attempting to turn myself inside out. This time, there wasn’t even bile left.

 


 

First Surprise - Emi GS

 

"I'll come back for you! ..."

 

Those words were exactly what he spoke before leaving me, this town, this country itself! He may have been far away, but I could still feel his lips on mine. I could still remember the warmth of his hug, the softness of his kiss and the hardness of his wood against mine. God! That was a perfect moment in my life.

 

It had been almost seven years we were apart. It wasn’t like we weren’t in contact. He called me, sent the occasional letter and texted me on social media. But we never talked about that kiss. He remained simply Elli. It was nothing more than that.

Renee Stevens

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. Hopefully you'll find something in this weeks prompts to spark an idea and get you writing!

 

Prompt 534 – Creative
Tag – First Line
“And who are you supposed to be? “

 

Prompt 535 – Creative
Tag – God’s Choice
You thought you were having a bad day until there is a flash of light in the middle of your living room. There stands a man, who states he needs a champion in the coming battle. While you try to ask who he is and what battle, he waves his hand and you are now dressed in Greek battle equipment. The symbols on your shield mark who this God was. Who was it and why were you chosen?

 

Well, we didn't have any takers on the last set of prompts, so for this week, I decided to feature a response from Poetry Prompt #6:


He was an ordinary guy,
not tall or short, nor broad nor thin,
a pleasant visage with a grin,
who would for my attention vie.

 

And I recall the sky was fair,
the meadow greening in the light,
we watched an eagle taking flight,
while zephyrs feathered in his hair.

 

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