Tag Archives: writing practice

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: BFFs

26 Sep

Well it’s that time of the week. The time of the week where I do my own weekly writing prompt and just hope that people love it. I won’t lie, even after doing some reading in a field I’m not use to, hello Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I was stumped to be honest. I found myself questioning if I can up with something that may be a bit too challenging?

I then decided nah, that wasn’t the case. This is just writing practice and practice is what every good author and writer needs. So I sat down, spun in my chair multiple times and thought about things that could be fun to write as I continued to get dizzier and dizzier. In the end, this is what I came up with:

Bob and Dan had been friends over the past thirteen years. It all started on a fateful summer evening, many years ago. Both Bob and Dan had made the mistake of dating two women that were secretly in to one another and were looking for a way to date in private. Both of the women’s families had disapproved of homosexuality in any form and so both of them were looking for a way to date without said families knowing. Enter Bob and Dan.

Bob had met his date while working in a local junkyard. He was a stout man in his early thirties and he was happy working in the yard. Bob had left high school to take over the place but soon found that his father did not think as highly of himself as Bob did, and so the junkyard business went to his older brother instead of him. However, Bob was not deterred and felt with enough work and dedication, one day his brother would get bored of the company and just give it to him. By the time Bob met his date for the evening, that plan still hadn’t taken effect yet. However, Bob’s inability to operate the crane correctly, which in turn saved the car his date was trying to rescue a lost bag out of, and his overall dim-witted charm, allowed for him to land his date for the evening.

Now in Dan’s sad case, many felt that his date had taken pity on him or was trying to use him to get a better grade in the course he was teaching out in the community college. Dan was a man with a plan that went down in a ball of flame. He went and got his doctorates and believed he would be a voice of real change in the world at a prestigious university. He had studied and devoted his life to history, wanting to find some error that historians made about World War II that make him the most prominent figure on the subject. Sadly, his life work went up flames as most people felt his research made him look like a nazi sympathizer over anything else. In shame, he returned home and began teaching at a local community college. In his time there, he packed on a hefty belly and watched sadly in a mirror as his hair left his head, only to reappear on his chest. Sometimes he would eat ice-cream in front of said mirror while having himself a good cry. His life was miserable and so that is why many believed his date wanted a better grade in his course over an actual date with the man.

So on that same evening thirteen years ago, Bob and Dan were introduced at a local bar and while their dates left them to go talk with each other, Bob and Dan slowly began their lifelong friendship. It started with Bob complaining about the bar having sports on because he didn’t really care and would rather be watching game shows. Dan launched in a bit on the history of game shows, since they were also a favorite pass time of his. Before you knew it, both men went from talking about game shows to their general disdain of sports, how they preferred mix drinks over beer, and how both had never been to Utah.  That summer night turned out to be a magical night for both the two men and their dates.

 

 

 

So that is just the start of a story and one that I may flush out and expand upon later on. The reason I decided to write about these two men is due to the fact that I plan on having similar characters show up in my current manuscript. Now the reason I did that is because my current manuscript is meant to be a dystopian horror novel but I wanted to be able to add a bit of myself to the piece.

Now with any writing, we all put a bit of ourselves into any work. With this example, it comes from a guy that ended up hanging out with me and my friends for an evening after his date ditched him. We didn’t become life long friends or anything like that, in fact, after that night I haven’t heard from him since, but nonetheless it did inspire the story. But anyway. The reason I say this is because with my manuscript I wanted to write to fun and lovable characters that could periodically appear throughout the series. Since most of my writing is dark and the characters more serious, this was the perfect time for me to try writing out a fun setting with some lovable losers.

So that’s basically how this story came to be. It was practice for me to leave my comfort zone of horror and science fiction, which is what this writing prompt was all about. What did you write this week? Feel free to comment below with a link and I’d be happy to read it and share my thoughts as well!

 

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.

Weekly Writing Prompt: Weather

18 Sep

Hello everyone! It’s that early time of the week again where I force everyone that reads my blog to consider doing a bit of writing. For many people that read this blog, the death throughs of summer are upon us as autumn tries to claw desperately into the limelight, bringing promises of pumpkin spice, colored leaves, and of course spooky time events.

The reason I’m bringing all of this up is because I absolutely love autumn. Besides my birth month (October) being encompassed by this season, it also brings on cooler weather and my personal favorite type of drink, apple cider. However, that is neither here nor there.

No, as much as I would like to continue talking about myself and about fall, it is time to get onto this week’s writing prompt. What I think would be fun to do for any writer reading this is to to write a short piece about your favorite season and the weather that corresponds with it. Maybe you love summer and the hot 90 degree days that come with it. Could it be you love spring, a season that breaks from the icy death of winter and brings blooming flowers and warmer weather with it. Maybe instead you love winter, when time finds a way to stand still when snow gently falls.

No matter what, write a bit about your favorite season and the weather that takes place in it. The goal of this prompt is to really make your reader feel like they’re experiencing your favorite weather and season all at once. As always, I will be giving my take on the prompt, and if you haven’t pieced it together yet, mine will definitely be singing the praises of autumn and why it’s clearly the most superior season of them all.

Now get to writing!

Weekly Writing Practice: World Building

28 Aug

It’s that time of the week again folks! The time where I tell you what to write and you go ahead and do it! As always, I am always open to reading anyone’s prompt, so feel free to share it on one of my many pages. I’ll do my best to respond and give feedback to your work.

Anyway, onwards to this week’s prompt!

If you read yesterday’s writing corner at all, you’ll know that this week is going to focus heavily on world building. Why world building you may ask. Well for one, it’s important to really know the setting that you are going to be working in. As I stated yesterday, the more you know of your world and the mechanics that exist in it, the better the odds are of writing a greater story.

The other reason is simple. I’m struggling with my own setting so having a writing prompt that helps you, also helps me! It’s a win-win.

So this week we really want to focus on building your setting up. So go ahead, tell me a bit about your world! Does it take place here on Earth or does it take place on another planet? Maybe it is on Earth but in a different time period. Maybe it doesn’t even exist in our universe. Get creative and funky with it, tell me where your setting takes place.

While we’re at it, once you know the planet your on, tell me about the continent. Or maybe it’s one giant country. Tell me how the mechanics of your world come together. Then tell me the region your story takes place in. Bring that microscope in closer and show me a city. Or a town. Or hell, maybe it’s even just a home in the country.

Paint me a picture. Let me see the world that your characters in habit.

Don’t forget to tell me about the weather and environment as well. Is it always hot or always cold? Maybe it’s neither. Does it rain a lot or is it always sunny, like in Philadelphia. (See what I did there? It’s a really bad joke.) Is there wind and if so how much, if any? Is the world exotic and would be exotic by our standards or book standards.

When it comes to writing setting, there is so much that you can show a reader. So show me a bit of your world. Write a couple paragraphs that make me feel like I’ve just sat down and have been transported to your world. Make it fun and make it unique!

As always, check back in tomorrow where I’ll throw together my own exotic world for everyone to fall into.