Tag Archives: writing

Writing Prompt- Road’s End

30 Apr

 

I’m sharing a quick writing prompt with you today. I hope you like it.

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Photo by William Felker on Unsplash

It seemed so long ago now. The sounds of gravel under the tires. The music filling the cab of the truck. The sun streaming in, blinding her from the left. She fixed her neon pink sunglasses that covered half her face. She loved those sunglasses. The field to her right stood empty, the house in front of her was one she knew well. This was her favorite retreat from the confines of the city. She reveled in knowing that she’d managed to squirrel enough time off to be there for two whole weeks. No more smog and blaring noises. No more crowds and odors that made her want to gag. Here, in this place, she was free. She adjusted her sunglasses again and sung along with the radio.

She came up to the final bend in the road and turned on her blinker. Just a quick left and then a right into the driveway and she’d be there. Anticipation riding high, she looked both ways. Nothing but emptiness that she could see. Just as she pulled out onto the tar-paved road, a horn blared. The sound of brakes squealing and tires skidding. The sudden jolt of being hit and the subsequent rolling. Over and over the truck spun. She screamed, one long, endless scream until finally the truck stopped.

In that moment, her plans changed. There would be no treks to the creek a few miles away. No evening drives down the back roads. No meandering through the country fair. No dreaming of leaving the city.

There would be no more dreaming at all.

Her sunglasses lay in the middle of the road, bent and broken.

~Laura

Writing Prompt – Confession

21 Feb

 

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

On This Page I Write My Last Confession. Read It Well.

I confess to wandering, when my place was by your side. My heart was happiest with you but little things, daily things, pulled me away and sought to take your place. To my ever-lasting shame, I let them. They seemed so important then, but truly they weren’t. What a life we could have lived, if I’d only stayed by your side.           

I admit that I lied, when it seemed like it didn’t matter. Little white lies, that hurt no one, I told myself. If I could make my path a little smoother, I easily let slip a lie. Relieved when I got away with it and angry when I got caught. Were those lies worth the worry of being caught, keeping them straight day after day? 

I confess to holding grudges over the years. I knew that I should let them go but instead I ignored them. Pretended that if I didn’t think about them, they weren’t affecting me.

I admit to begrudging others my time, my attention, my love. I was so focused on me and my wants and desires, that I rarely saw the truth. The beauty of helping and connecting and sharing. By rote, I carried out these things but they didn’t reach my heart.

I confess to getting caught up in comparisons and striving for more, always more. A bigger house, a better car, nicer clothes, fancier things. 

I confess to giving such an outward appearance of morality, faithfulness and charity, that I never stopped and looked inside myself. To see myself truly. 

But as I write this with shaking hand and certainty that my last days are coming, I regret that. My life was good and full of good, but in striving for more, I lost sight of that. The end does not justify the means, because in the end, so much of what I was aiming for, no longer matters. In the end, I find that it’s me with my thoughts. Me with my family. Me with failing body and struggling words. Too late I’ve learned the truth. Too late I’ve come to realize what I should have been focusing on. All I can say is, I confess it. And don’t make the same mistake.”

~I don’t do much editing at all with these writing prompts. The idea, for me, is to let the words come as they will and leave them be. Getting the creative juices flowing is the goal.

~Laura

Writing prompt : Hesitant Fate part 2

17 Jan

The first two sentences of this short story was a prompt that quickly took me back to another short story I wrote back in September. It fit so nicely into it, plus it was nice to add to Hesitant Fate, I hope you enjoy it.

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Photo by gbarkz on Unsplash

You think you were always meant to save us? That path was never meant for you.”  Tashe’s eyes gleamed in the dim light of the room, her passion filling the space.

The younger girl shrunk, confused and hurt, further into the blanket wrapped around me.  He’d brought her here and filled her head with lies? What purpose was she here for then? She longed to ask, but the venom in Tashe’s voice, in her eyes, forbid such openness.  She stalked back and forth, her long stride hindered by the small quarters their prisoner had been assigned all those long days ago.

Tashe stopped her pacing to look closer at the girl, her expression clearly communicating her disdain. ” If you for one minute think that you’re going to get out of this alive… I’ve got my own plans, here, girl. Don’t –” Tashe turned at the door opening. Her posture stiffened in surprise just as the prisoner’s sagged in relief.

The figure filled the door frame, shoulders broader than any of her brothers or uncles could claim. He was well past double her age but she felt that he was as trapped by circumstances as she was. His silence filled the room, just as Tashe’s passion and rage recently had. The two warriors were poised, ready for a move from the other. Authority demanded obedience and respect, something Tashe knew, so she stiffly bowed, keeping her head low while she waited for him to move from the door. She held her head high when she walked out though, and the girl knew she’d only been saved this day from the woman’s anger. She would return.

“She’ll come back for you. Perhaps worse than this day. Be prepared, Chara.” Surprised to hear her thoughts spoken aloud, the girl moved her eyes to his worry-lined face. “I keep you as safe as I can. But I cannot refuse her entry here.”

“She said she has her own plans.” Chara spoke softly, hesitantly. While she sensed something trustworthy in this man, she knew he was dangerous. He’d seemed more so that first night, when he loomed over her in her bedroom and bore her away from her home. She hadn’t fought then and she hadn’t since. His unspoken sorrow at his actions had kept her anger mostly at bay. For some reason, she wanted to help him. Even if she didn’t understand exactly what he wanted from her yet.

“Tashe always has her own plans. Connivings. Schemes.” He pulled on his beard as he looked down at her.

Surprise lifted her brows. “You know of them?” He curtly nodded and she couldn’t help but remember Tashe’s other venomous words “If you for one minute think that you’re going to get out of this alive…”  Chara shuddered, wondering how brave she could be.

“Come. Eat with us.” He put on his most convincing smile and held his hand out to her. The poor girl hadn’t accepted in all the time she’d been there but he wanted her to see that they weren’t monsters. That he wasn’t a monster.

Uncertainty warred within her, the same as it did every evening when he asked. But with Tashe’s words ringing in her ears, she wondered if it would be best to investigate exactly where she was, and maybe she’d learn something… Taking a deep breath, she released her hold of the blanket and put her hand in his.

She’d get out of this alive. She had to.

 

How I did on Nanowrimo 2018

7 Dec

I wanted to share with you all just how I did during last month’s National Novel Writing Month – aka Nanowrimo. This was my fifth…sixth? year doing it and I’m eagerly looking forward to Camp Nano that comes in April and July.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

By the 20th of November, I’d hit a whopping 4k odd words. Not the number I was hoping for but I’m trying to only be proud of it and not be disappointed. It’s a lot more words than I started this month with. I did get distracted and wrote 1k on a completely separate story so it’s been hard to pull myself away from that and back into the world of my novel.

The 25th- I’ve gotten 804 words down! It’s so unexpected because we drove home yesterday and I’m normally just so wiped out that my brain is mush.  Total word count now is 6,792!

The word count total on the 28th is 7845 – another 1,053 words down.

And that’s it folks, Nano ended without me reaching 25k, which was my goal instead of the normal 50k. I am planning on continuing with tracking my word count as it seems to really help me want to sit down and write. My struggle still seems to be balancing getting what needs done around the house and writing – in those times that I have physical energy and mental clarity. But that’s a long rabbit trail of a comment.

I am pleased that in the words I DID get written, I have managed to gain a slightly better understanding of the relationship between my MC and her aunt (it’s changing from how it was in the first draft), my MC’s changed goals/immediate dreams as well as who some of the side characters are at the outset of the story. Quite a lot of info gleamed from just 8k words.

~Laura

Did you do nanowrimo? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

Writing Prompt: Hesitant Fate

20 Sep

Writing Prompt : Pick up the book closest to you. Turn to page 55. Use the second sentence on the page as your prompt for today

” The lower middle classes, and a substantial swath of the more prosperous, did not have the servants to permit them to lie in bed for weeks (or even days).” –This was my first quote option, from the book Inside the Victorian Home, but since I couldn’t come up with anything I grabbed another book for a different quote.

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

“She was curled up, drooping and asleep on a cushioned shelf built out from a curved window; and for a moment pity struck him and he hesitated.”

Who was he to change the fate of her life? What right did he have to do this thing to her? But what choice did he have? The fate of those he loved hung in the balance – and was there really any wondering who he would choose in this moment? This stranger or those whom his heart beat for? He hovered over her, taking in everything about her. He wanted to remember this last innocent moment, for they were few and far between these days. He knew that soon her dreams would be haunted, just as his were. He took a deep breath and pulled on his beard, decidedly putting away his doubts. He reached out and woke her. His heart ached at the sudden fear in her eyes.  “Don’t make a sound. Come with me.” Her breath caught in her throat as she took in his threatening appearance. Two sword hilts showing above his right shoulder. The dagger on his belt. The gauntlets covering his forearms. She nodded shakily and he silently thanked her for it. He had no stomach for forcefully threatening such an innocent. They stealthily made their way from room to room, his large hand clamped around her wrist.  Eventually they made it to the relative freedom of the courtyard and he paused in the shadows. Patrols were making their quarter-hour trek around the ground and he pulled the girl close, clamping his hand over her mouth. They stood in the shadows and waited while the oblivious men walked their way. After they had passed, he turned the girl and looked at her. Her eyes were big as she stared back at him, but she remained still. He raised an eyebrow, impressed despite himself. Somehow, he suddenly knew she wouldn’t risk the lives of the men simply to chance an escape. He moved his hand away, feeling oddly ashamed, and continued leading her out of the courtyard. Out of any hope of someone seeing them and rescuing her. Out of any chance of his plan failing. 

~Laura

 

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Writing Prompts: Character Development (Harrison)

23 May

It’s been ages since I did one of these but I’m having to partially re-work one of my side characters. The time period is late 1890’s, set in the East Coast where Society is still rigid (more lax than it would have been in Europe but stricter than out West).

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Harrison James – American – Name means ‘Power’ – 19 years old at the beginning of the book – single child – brown hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 9 inches (taller than Amelia, shorter than Ian), trim

Standing in Society – In one of the Prominent families

Type of Childhood- pampered – High Society (raised by nannies?)

First Memory – a nanny getting fired for refusing him something?

Religion – in name/title only

Finances – wealthy and set to inherit the estate

Bad Habits – gambler, drinks, smokes

Hobbies – card playing/gambling, betting on horse races (does he start racing horses too?)

How does he spend a rainy/sunny day? –  at parties, club or the races

PERSONALITY:

Greatest Source of Strength – ????

Greatest Source of Weakness – gambling

Soft Spot – Amelia

Is this soft spot obvious to others? Maybe before he realizes it himself

If not, how does he try to hide it? – Tries to treat her the same as everyone else (but how does it ACTUALLY come off? is he harsher with her or is he simply not able to?)

Biggest Vulnerability – ??

ATTITUDE

Most at Ease when – he’s the center of attention/when he’s working hard at the paper

Ill at Ease when – he’s idle – in Society and after

Priorities – MONEY

Philosophy – ?

If Granted one wish, what would it be? – ?

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

How does he relate to others? – on his terms – there are a few that he doesn’t act as arrogant around but not many

How is he perceived by the Heroine? –  Originally she is infatuated with him. She sees only the good. Time goes on and their relationship changes and she starts to see him in a professional light – someone to give her a chance.

How does he view heroine? – Until 1/2 way through the book (?) he sees her as a young girl with impossible dreams. But realizes she’s grown up – wants to help her gain independence/backbone – and snub Society. Is drawn to her.

First Impression and Why? – Depends on his mood – could be very good/charming or could be terrible. he decides in an instant if he likes you or not and bases it off that

What do family/friends like most about him? – He’s entertaining – when in the right mood. He can charm an entire crowd when he wants to

What do family/friends like least about him?- he’s cocky. Arrogant.

GOALS

Immediate Goals – none. Are you kidding? Life’s about having FUN

Long range goals – once tragedy strikes (in whatever form that happens..) to create his own fortune by growing a newspaper empire

How does he plan to accomplish this? – growing a struggling paper and then buy out others as he can

How will other characters be affected? – Amelia will be helped. Georgia will be helped/hurt in the 2nd book. What about his parents?

 

There are 2 more pages of questions but that’s it for now! You’ll notice there are several question marks still – and I didn’t even write all of the blank questions down, just the ones that I feel really need answered.

I recently heard advice for developing a character – take who you want them to be at the end of the story and flip it – that’s who the character is in the beginning. I am trying to follow that with Harrison. But let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road to get him where he should be.

~Laura

~Also, these are the ladies that I’m loving following for all things writing related lately – lara ferrari and Amara Luciano .

 

 

 

Character Creation : Aunt Angie

27 Sep

Hello again! Today I’m going to share some more information on another one of my characters from my book – I’m using this Character development sheet  although I will point out that it has changed and several of the new questions/areas aren’t what I want to focus on. So I’m a little bummed. But I pulled off aspects from the original sheet I printed last year (ish) and pulled the two together.

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So here we go!

Today’s character is Angela Barrington – nickname is Angie – American – widow – mid/late 50s – oldest of two girls – sister is Diana Hughes (Amelia’s mother)

~Loves the theatre and opera houses. Loves traveling.

Standing in Society – near the TOP

Eye Color – green

Height – 5 ft 7in

Type of body/build – slim/trim

skin tone – medium/pale

Is she healthy? – no. she has a debilitating disease that is as of yet unnamed (will it ever be?)

Favorite Literature – poets (named in story…)

Mode of Transportation – Carriages (she has several)

Daredevil or cautious – a bit of both – she had to be to end up where she is in Society

Is she the same when she’s alone? – yes. although she worries more when she’s alone

Good Characteristics – good listener, encourager, lighthearted (fun to be around)

Drives and Motivations – live life to the fullest while she can, give her niece a better life/chance to chase her dreams

Introvert or Extrovert – Extrovert

Optimist or Pessimist – optimist

Character Flaws – worries, has a hard time forgiving her sister

Biggest regret – that she didn’t have any children

Minor regrets –  won’t see Amelia wed (?)

Biggest Accomplishments- giving Amelia a new life

Character’s Darkest Secret/ does anyone know? – I can’t come up with a dark secret for her.

 

~Also, picmonkey has recently made it impossible to export photos without signing up and as I don’t want to pay/need that money for other things, does anyone have a suggestion for another free photo editor that I can start using? ~

~Laura

 

 

Character Creation – Ian

22 Aug

Once again I’m using this character development sheet , she has many other free printables to help you get your story idea off the ground.

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Today I’m filling in more characteristics of Ian Greenwahl, a minor character in my first novel. I have fallen in love with Ian as I’ve written him so I’m excited to add some depth to him.

Ian Greenwahl – American – mid 20’s  – oldest of two children, one sister – inherited the estate from his late father

Optimist or Pessimist – Why?  – A quiet/hesitant optimist. 

Introvert or extrovert. Why?  – Introvert. Prefers to be at home reading or volunteering at the orphanage.

Drives and motivations : wants to take proper care of the estate his father passed to him; wants to improve the lives of orphans.

Talents:

Extremely skilled at : putting people at ease – including children, 

Extremely unskilled at : flirting , shameless flattery

Good characteristics : steady, good listener, honourable, always ready to help, honest

Character flaws : a bit of a perfectionist, finds it hard to forgive certain flaws in others (list!), takes him a while to trust, can be too honest at times

Mannerisms : upright stance, uses facial expressions to get his point across

Peculiarities: doesn’t enjoy large gatherings (bad for a man of his social standing),

Biggest regret: something to do with his father? both his parents? an orphan?

Minor regrets:

Biggest accomplishments:  the building of a new orphanage? 

Minor accomplishments: didn’t he row in college? or how about mastered fencing?

Character’s darkest secret: does he feel responsible for parents’ deaths?

Does anyone else know? no

If  yes, did character tell them?

If no, how did they find out?

 

Have you been working on a project lately? 

~Laura

Writing Prompts: Character Creation (Edward)

11 May

I found this great little character development sheet that I’m going to use to help round out some of my characters in my novel.  (fun fact: I tried to print out 4… I ended up with 12 copies of it. Have no idea what happened. OY)

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Today’s will be the second-main character in my new novel.

Edward Kempthorne – English – Youngest of 4? kids – 32 years old – lived in the U.S. since he was a teen

Optimist or Pessimist: Why? – Pessimist. Learned it from his father and losing someone he loved only increased it.

Introvert or Extrovert: Why? – He learned to keep his thoughts/feelings to himself when he was growing up (was he ridiculed when he did share, reinforcing this trait?)

Drives and Motivations: He wants to make a difference in the world – not sell (WHAT?) like his father does/expected him to. He wants to make his family proud. Doing what’s right.

Talents: Reading people, (add to this!)

Extremely skilled at: writing speeches?

Extremely unskilled at:

Good Characteristics: honest, hard-worker, direct

Character Flaws: stubborn, lacks confidence in himself(?), resistant to change

Mannerisms: subtle

Peculiarities:

Biggest Regret: that he put his job above his family one fateful day

Minor Regrets: that he hasn’t married yet, he’s never _____, bitter words that never should have been spoken

Biggest Accomplishments: getting into the “Academy” to become a cop

Minor Accomplishments:

Character’s darkest secret: Hmmmmm

Does anyone else know? :  not yet

If yes, did character tell them? either straight out he does, or in a round-about way…

If no, how did they find out?

 

So obviously I’ve got more figuring out to do for Edward but I have fallen in love with him already.  I love that he’s English and is a searching, broken soul. His search through the darkness for truth and light will be interesting to write.

~Laura

Writing prompt – Character Fidgets

20 Apr

I got today’s writing prompt from What is a Plot. Think about your main character’s fidget. What do they do as a tell? Write a scene.

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As she waited for her mother, Amelia opened her book, eager to know what happened next to Esmeralda. She got so wrapped up in the world of old-time Paris that she didn’t hear the front door open, admitting her mother. The heavy footfall coming closer pulled her out of it just in time to slam the book shut and sit properly, the book getting shoved on a side table.

“I’m glad to see that you managed to be presentable today. And where you ought to be.” The sarcasm dripped from her mother as the tall woman eyed her daughter with criticism. “Although why you can’t be like Mrs. Smark’s daughter, I’ve no idea. You could learn a lot from that girl if you’d only take the time. What a relief it would be to have a daughter that I could take out in society.”

“Yes, Mother.” Amelia clenched her hands between her knees, hoping this interview with her mother would end soon. It was always a trial to sit still and silent during these. Her mother paused just long enough for her response and then set off again about her ideas of proper etiquette. Many minutes went by as she expounded on this pet subject of hers, during which Amelia flexed and relaxed her hands in response to particularly cutting remarks, until a knock at the door indicated the arrival of Amelia’s piano teacher.

“For goodness sake, Amelia, stop ruining your skirt like that – you’ve wrinkled it dreadfully.” Her mother’s comment brought Amelia’s gaze to her skirt and she tried to smooth out the wrinkles she’d created, but they refused to budge. Much like the knot in her stomach.

“I don’t know why you do such a thing. You really should get over it, a lady putting her hands between her knees is unheard of.” With that, her mother rose to greet the piano teacher coming into the room.

Amelia sighed and flexed her fingers to get the blood moving in them again. She’d make sure and do some extra scales this morning to help limber them up.

~I do very little editing on these writing prompts. I prefer to use them more to practice and get the creative juices flowing. 

~Laura

 

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