Tag Archives: blogging

Weekly Writing Prompt: Let’s Get Spooky

2 Oct

Hello one and all! Sorry for disappearing over the last four days, let me just say sinuses can be a pain. Literally. I’ve been dealing with sinus issues here in Illinois where our temperatures have gone from high’s of mid 60’s to highs of mid 80s, then back down again. It has lead to a lot of headaches and more. However, I know many of you don’t read my blog to hear about my sinus woes. No, you come here for the writing content. So let’s get to it.

If you haven’t seen from my last several posts, or have been hiding under a rock, it is October, which means several things. First and foremost, it’s my birth month (huzzah!), it’s SUPPOSED to feel like fall now, and of course, Halloween. Now if there is one thing that I’ve expressed in many of these weekly writing prompts, it’s that I love the genre of science fiction and horror. However, in most of my writings, I have avoided such things and for good reason. This is simply a practice session and practicing what you’re already good at isn’t much practice, now is it?

However, for this entire month an exception is going to be made, and every week we will be doing some kind of writing prompt that has to do with Halloween. So if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, I’m not sure what will.

So now you may be asking, but Ty, what are we going to be writing this week then? Well that’s an excellent question. This week’s prompt is going to focus on something very close to home for you. In fact, it’s so close that odds are while you read this, you’re already there.

We’ll be focusing on writing something that scares you in your home. One of the things that I find most terrifying in horror is when something takes place in a character’s home. I mean think about it, your home is your safe place. It’s your sanctuary and escape from all the things in the world that scare you. That being said, when something is written or said about your home that changes that perspective, makes it terrifying or brings a sense of unknown into your sanctuary, that can be one of the most horrifying things possible.

So scare both yourself and me. Write a short story or a flash fiction involving the character getting terrorized in their home. Remember to, the only parameters are that the story take place in the character’s home and that it’s scary. If you want your character to deal with a haunting, go for it! Or maybe a mass murderer is on the loose and stalking outside of your character’s house. Maybe the zombie apocalypse has arrived and the character is making a last stand in their childhood home. No matter what it is, make it terrifying and make it fun.

To help get you started, let me remind you of the famous quote from the movie The Strangers. In that movie, the characters, who are obviously murdered, ask why they were the ones targeted. The response: “Because you were home.” Same premise for this prompt. So let’s get to work!

Come back tomorrow to see what my story entails.

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Weekly Writing Prompt: Something New

25 Sep

Hello fellow writer’s and welcome to Tuesday’s Weekly Writing Prompt! As always, I’m here to encourage you to make sure that you’re writing everyday. Not only is practicing writing a good habit, but will also make you better at it in the long run. That and reading, reading is also important. But I digress.

For this week’s writing prompt, I thought I would issue a challenge over something to practice with. I feel that it’s always best to try and find ways to improve your writing. Obviously, reading and practicing as I stated above will go a long way, but that isn’t the only thing you should be doing.

So here is my challenge: Break from your usual routines and read and write something unique and different. I’m talking a whole new genre for you. Many of us writer’s find ourselves in niches, certain genres and writing styles we love, and don’t worry because I’m one of those writer’s. If you check out my book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, you’ll quickly see my influence from H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and more.

There is good reason those influences show up too: it’s because it’s the genre I love to read. Even looking at the bottom of the page you’ll see on my Goodreads that I’m currently reading more Lovecraft, some Neil deGrasse Tyson for science, and Leviathan Wakes for my science fiction. These just happen to be the genres I love and so I constantly look to them for inspiration.

However, just like I stated in my challenge, we as writer’s need to be able to work outside of the genres we love. That’s why I’ll also read books like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, or Total Frat Move, both of which are comedies about college party life. Is this a lifestyle I personally lived? No. Is it one I wish I lived? Probably not. However, the books are comical to read and give insight into an area that I don’t know well and can transition into my own work.

So this week, first go out there and try to find a short creative work in a genre that’s new to you. It could be erotica, if you’re in the mood for that, or maybe a romance piece. Maybe you’ve stayed away from the horror genre because you’re worried reading it will make it hard for you to sleep, well just read it during the day! Find something outside of your comfort zone and just read it.

Then, once you’re done reading, I highly suggest trying to imitate the work you read and write in that genre. Even if you have a manuscript or a small piece you’re working on, you never know how this study and practice of a new genre may help you. Do you feel like two of your characters may fall in love? Then read a romance and see how an author handled a scene like that. Maybe you’re planning on having a character do something in the realm of science. Perfect! Read some science fiction and see how those authors handle science and then write it your way.

This week’s prompt is fun and easy. Find a new genre. Read the new genre. Write in new genre.

Simple. See you tomorrow with mine.

Short and Sweet

24 Sep

Hello everyone! Happy Monday and I hope all of you are having a great start to the week!

Now usually Monday’s are a weird space for me on my blog. Sometimes I shamelessly promote my work. Other times, I give updates on what I’m currently writing. There have even been a few times where the start of a story takes place (like last Monday, and yes, I still plan on finishing that). Today however, I thought I’d keep things short and sweet.

So first off, as I am apt to do every month, let me start this thread by just saying thank you! In only a few month’s time I’ve quickly been able to get my work and my writing out there to an audience that is slowly but surely growing everyday. I absolutely love the support everyone gives me and the interest that they have in what I have to write and say, so thank you! Thank you for the reviews that you’ve left on my book, thank you for reading my blog posts every week, and thank you currently for your efforts in voting in Author Shout’s Cover Wars.

Now for those of you that don’t follow me on social media, and really you should because I post great content daily, I recently entered the cover of A Monstrous Tomorrow into Author Shout’s Cover Wars competition. The event began yesterday and run’s until 8 am eastern time on Sunday 9/30/18. If you haven’t had a chance to get over to that page to vote for my cover or haven’t done so yet today, I would greatly appreciate it. Winning this competition gives A Monstrous Tomorrow free publicity as their “book of the week.” So what does this include? Well simply that they promote my book on their website, shout outs, and newsletter. All of this would be huge for me since I’m a still a relatively unknown writer. It’s easy to get to, but just in case, the link to the voting can be found here.

In addition to voting for my book to win Cover Wars, which btw my dad made the cover so voting for it is also telling him he did a job well done, I could also use more reviews on my book on Amazon. Currently I’m sitting at 9 and with one more Amazon will begin to recommend my book to people reading similar works. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can be something simple as “I loved this book!”

If you can’t afford the book right now, I would also keep an eye out in the future. Last week I ran a countdown sale on the Kindle edition which was counting down the days, until my favorite season, autumn, started. Now I’m saying a ton of great deals will be going on during October, but it is my birth month AND Halloween coincides well with some of the themes in my book, so I’d keep an eye out for some killer deals then.

I believe that’s all I have to say in this post for now. Thanks again for being an amazing support system and as more people come forward to share my work and tell people, the more I’ll be able to put out. Have a great day everyone, hope you kick ass at this entire week, and come back to the page tomorrow for the next installment of my daily writing prompt!

Writing Prompt: Favorites

11 Sep

Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week where I give a suggested writing prompt and you go out there and do it! For this week I decided to do something different. Instead of having a writing prompt that teaches like the world building exercise or character development one, I thought this time around the prompt could be something a bit different.

This weekly, my writing prompt is about YOU, which I guess that means there will be a lesson after all. I’m a pretty firm believer in writing what you know. Despite the fact that my book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, takes place in the future where major cities were wiped off the planet and monsters are terrorizing things, there is plenty of personal knowledge that went into that book.

For example, in order to create this world, I did heavy research into what nuclear fallout would look like, along with finding various animals that fit my setting. It took a lot of time and effort to make sure that things were right and made sense for the setting. And I know what you may be thinking, “but Ty, that’s research, that isn’t something you just know,” which is true, but after you research it, you know it.

Let’s not forget the fact that I also kept my setting in central Illinois. For anyone that hasn’t read my bio, I was born and raised in the same area. So a little bit of a teaser alert, my book is pretty accurate in describing what some people call “not Chicago” looks like.

In addition, some of my biggest passions in terms of genre are both science fiction and horror. I grew up reading and watching as much as I could in the two genres, which reflects in my book as well. This again is something that I knew and wanted to show my readers.

So what does all this bragging have to do with this week’s writing prompt? Well it’s simple: write a story about something that you love. What is something that is your favorite thing in the world? Is it sports? Maybe it’s a certain television series or book series. Maybe it’s a genre of music or musicals. Write me a story showing me what you love.

As always, I will be doing my own take on the writing prompt tomorrow and everyone is welcome to either send me what they wrote and I would be more than happy to read it and critique.

That’s all for today, have a good one and come back tomorrow to see my take on this writing prompt!

Let the Fun Begin

10 Sep

Well it came and passed and was a major success. I officially did my first book signing at the 408 Fine Arts Factory in Peru, Illinois and let me just say I had fun while learning a few things for future endeavors. The biggest thing that I learned was that it doesn’t hurt to tell the audience what your book is about. In hindsight, it seems like something that should not have been over looked on my part and yet I still managed to do it. Oh well, hopefully the next time I get things right.

But now that the book signing has came and passed, it is time to focus in on getting my book out there once again. On the off chance you haven’t bought a copy yet, A Monstrous Tomorrow is available on Amazon and to the right hand side of your screen. With the sequel still being in the early stages, there is still plenty of time to get a copy and get it read.

As for the future, my next endeavor is to really grind in on marketing my book. This starts with both running ads AND trying to get more reviews. If you’re a professional reviewer and have the proper credentials, feel free to get in contact with me. I would love to be able to get a copy in your hands in order to get more information out into the ether about my book.

The other option I have is to begin running professional ads and promotions on Amazon. Starting sometime in October, my book will run at a discount for a handful of days (I haven’t decided which yet) and hopefully as you visit the site you’ll begin seeing suggestions for my book to be purchased as well.

Please also keep an eye on my author page on Amazon as well. With Halloween coming up, I will be rolling out some more short horror stories on there for people to read and preview. Hopefully that will inspire others to check out my book as well.

The only other thing I have to say is to start tuning in regularly with my blog and my social media accounts. With my favorite time of year coming up, I tend to get inspired to write a lot of my best work in the fall. As such, tiny stories may begin appearing on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, or even my Amazon page for purchase. This will be quite an exciting flurry so stay tuned!

Update On….ME!

6 Sep

Hey everybody, so I just thought I would just do a quick post today to give an update on me, myself, and I. It will basically cover what I’ve been working on and why there haven’t been as many posts as I usually do.

So to start things off, I would like to let everyone know that if you have the time and energy, I will be doing a book signing of A Monstrous Tomorrow in Peru, Illinois. Details are listed on my Facebook page. The event will run from 1-3:30 with yours truly doing a reading from the book (which story is still being determined) along with a Q&A session after. There will be a limited quantity of books for sale and will run $10 a piece. Please bring cash or make sure to try and get your copy of the book through Amazon ASAP.

Next order of business is the sequel to A Monstrous Tomorrow, or as it its known on this blog, A Book Has No Name. As it stands, I’ve only written one chapter since the last time I gave any information on the book. As a reminder, it will be a full length novel and not a collection of short stories this time around. It will feature one of the characters from A Monstrous Tomorrow, so if you’re interested in the second book of The Forsaken World Chronicles, I highly recommend reading A Monstrous Tomorrow.

Besides the book, there are two other projects I’m working on. One is entirely under wraps but let me just say, when it’s done, everyone will fall in love with it. The other is of course, Pantheon Productions. We have backtracked a bit and began filming short creative pieces again and look forward to getting those out to the public soon. In the meantime, I am continuing to try and strive towards making our three fiction towns feel as real as possible.

I believe that is it for now. As it stands, my focus over the past two weeks was first vacation and now my book signing. After this weekend, my focus will return to solely the blog and only my writing projects.

Make sure to come back tomorrow because I can guarantee there will be a new fiction piece up for everyone to enjoy!

Weekly Writing Prompt: Gulf Shores

5 Sep

Hello! So usually I would give a big run up before showing what my version of the prompt is. This time, however, I’m simply going to write now and explain after. Enjoy!

Off in the distance, a flash of light in the sky accompanied by a warm breeze. In front of me, the water rolls and crashes, shoving everything in its path back to the shore. Silhouettes in the night stand in the water, laughing as its violent warmth washes over them.

I walk forward and into the water. It’s lukewarm, different than the Atlantic and Pacific, both of which are cold to the touch. Another breeze blows in, carrying with it another storm. The smell of salt water burns in my nostrils, bringing a childish smile to my face. Staring off into the distance there is nothing but darkness, mixed with white from the breaking of the waves. Flashes of light go off in the distance.

I wade further out into the water, getting to about waist high. Around me, my friends whoop and holler, fighting against the waves. In the strength of the sea and its never ending power, we become small children. We run around, laughing and tackling one another into it’s warm embrace.

The gulf is not gentle though. She pushes and pulls, rolling our bodies under the waves as they crash violently. On more than one occasion I can feel the sand underneath me rip at my skin as the water forces my body to rub across it mercilessly. As I come up for air I can see my friends facing the same fate. We take a moment to stand and relax, before fighting against the water once again.

This process continues for awhile. Us jumping and diving, letting the waves rush over us and letting everything fall aside. In the water I don’t think about the 16 hour drive we embarked on, one to leave our closest friends behind in this paradise. I don’t fret over what stories to read at my upcoming book signing or how many people will show. The worries of present slip away and it’s just my friends and I enjoying the ocean. It’s my fiancee and myself and embracing and sharing a kiss in the water, pretending as if the others on shore cannot see us.

Simply put, it’s a vacation.

 

So I don’t plan on doing too much of a breakdown on this piece as well. As you can see, I did a small of amount of setting, letting my reader know that I was at a major body of water but that it wasn’t the Atlantic or Pacific. I felt this was important because it allows the reader to imagine where I’m at without having to specifically been to the Gulf Shores.

I also chose to make myself the main character and leave my friends nameless. In as short of a piece as this is, I felt it was best to not have to try and describe and create everyone. By keeping it short and sweet, I felt I was able to show off a single aspect of my vacation and what it was like to be in the ocean again.

Finally, I decided to stay focused in on the ocean and its effects on a person. The main reason I chose this was two-fold. The first was that it was probably the best part of the trip. For anyone that doesn’t live near the sea, you’ll understand what I mean. The second is that the ocean is always something fun to write about and take on as a writer. There have been many ways its been written about and I’d be shocked if there weren’t more that came later on.

Well that’s it for now. If you have any questions or want to share your own work, feel free to leave it in the comments wherever you may have seen this post!

 

Writing Prompt: Vacation

4 Sep

Hello everybody!

So I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but I took a bit of a hiatus over the last few days and haven’t blogged recently. The reason for this is the same as the writing prompt for the week! I took a 3 day vacation down to the Gulf Shores to help some friends move and get settled into the area.

So if you can’t guess, this week’s writing prompt is inspired a bit from getting to return to the Gulf of Mexico and enjoying the beach and sea. I also figure that since I want to write about it, most of you should join me!

So this week’s writing prompt is relatively easy. All I’m looking for you to do is simply describe your last vacation to me. It doesn’t have to be every detail of the vacation, heaven knows that could lead to a very long short story or even novella, depending on how much you remember. No, for this one, the idea is to bring a scene from that vacation to life.

With this prompt, it will help to try and bring in some of the practice from the previous ones I’ve given before. Who is the main character of this scene? Is you or somebody that went on vacation with you. What do they look like? What do they smell like? How do they act? Let me and your other readers really know about this trip.

Next, and obviously the most important part of writing a vacation piece, where did you go? Was it to a major city for a weekend or a getaway to a beach? Did you stay in the mountains somewhere, contemplating life or did you go camping instead, traversing with nature and all its beauty? Tell me about where you went!

Finally, make sure this scene has something that you or the person that’s your main character has an activity going on. Did you go swimming or biking? How about hiking or mountain climbing? Did you stay home and sleep all day? What was it about this last vacation that made it unique and special to you?

As always, I will write mine up and share it tomorrow for everyone to see how I handled my own prompt. Don’t forget, you’re more than welcome to comment on the post sharing your own prompt, just let me know! I’d be happy to give any feedback that you may be after.

Enjoy!

The Dreaded Writers Block

23 Aug

It has finally happened. After a couple steady month’s of chugging along with my writing, I have been struck with the dreaded writer’s block. Now I know what you may be thinking, “How could this happen to you?!” and quite frankly, I don’t know. Another question may be “how are you writing right now if you have writer’s block?” Well that’s another great question and one that I have a bit of an answer to.

So for starters, I think part of the reason I’ve hit a block has to do with either my sinuses or allergies acting up, I’m not sure which yet. This may come off as a lame excuse, but when you’re having difficulty breathing and a headache to go with it, it makes life a bit difficult. Not saying that I shouldn’t be able to write because of this, just saying that it probably has a bit of an effect.

I believe my main problem is the weather in general. See with writer’s block, at least how I get it, it’s more of an inability to concentrate on creating what is in my head. I know the entire story. Hell, if I wanted, I could probably list how my current manuscript and the next few will go no problem. The issue is making hit the page with the write words and eloquent delivery. I personally believe that the new development of having fall-like weather, mixed in with a flurry of other things on my mind, has led to more a distraction, making it hard to just sit down and write.

I struggled to even get myself to the chair to write/complain about my block today.

I think the other issue is that I’m at a place in my novel where I want to move on. I know for a lot of writers, they are able to bounce around. If they don’t want to write any more scenes that help develop setting and character, they can bounce to another scene, one that is more exciting, and write that before headed back to those scenes. I, sadly, am not one of those people. When I begin something, I need to go from start to finish. I know that if I don’t, those scenes just won’t get done.

So yeah, at this point, there isn’t much more to really update on the manuscript. I am sticking with Dan Harmon’s philosophy on writer’s block, which is even if you have it, you need to continue to write. So that’s what I’m doing. I cranked out a whole two pages yesterday for the antagonist of my series and the page count is now up to 35 pages. I’ve done some editing today as well, so even with a moment of not feeling the manuscript, at least something was accomplished.

That’s got to be worth something right?