Tag Archives: writing

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!

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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!

Weekly Writing Prompt: Aldaku

29 Aug

So for this week’s prompt I decided to quickly create a planet. Instead of writing a complete story for it, however, I decided to give it a detailed list. Now don’t get me wrong, you can handle this anyway you. For myself, I believe having a list compiled makes it easier to see all the features I want to add. As things begin to condense and the magnifying glass is brought in on the importance of this world, I will change it from a list to actual descriptions.

But for now, a detailed list will suffice. This should also show you that sometimes just writing out some ideas helps as well.

Planet: Aldaku

Location: In the galaxy of Habitau, in the system of Granskull.

Granskull: Was given name due to it the system being in the shape of a skull and having two suns that appear to be glowing eyes. Aldaku is located in a far outer orbit from one of them.

Aldaku is a planet of extremes that is known for only having terrible summers and winters. The planet spins quickly on its axis, creating quick seasonal changes.

This leaves the inhabitants of the planet as mainly a carnivorous group since the vegetation that grows on Aldaku has to be as tough as the people that live on it to survive.

Aldaku is made up of mostly land with only two major oceans existing on the planet. One thing that helps the people out is that the water is fresh, which makes it drinkable.

The planet itself doesn’t have much in the way of life, however. It’s rich in a mineral that the more habitable planets closer to the sun lack. Due to this reason, the people that live there are mainly mining colonies.

 

 

I could go on and deep into the details of this planet and the solar system it exists in, but you get the idea. This world building exercise is something simple and easy. Mine was simply creating names and zeroing in until I had a single planet pictured in my head. From there, I gave it a few defining traits and was able to begin creating a bit of a backstory for it and the galaxy.

So now it’s your turn. If you haven’t already, check out yesterday’s writing prompt and get to work. As long as you share what you create, you’re welcome to use to galaxy and solar system that I just described!

Enjoy!

The Writer’s Corner

27 Aug

Hello all!

Seems like I’ve had a bit of success as of late covering writing on my blog. In honor of that, I decided besides doing a writing prompt every Tuesday and Wednesday, I would also give some tips for writing. Some of these may be about writing fiction, while others may cover other topics in writing as well.

However, today’s is going to focus a bit on world building. As of right now, I write for my own group called Pantheon Productions while also striving to become a best selling author. Both of these things are new challenges for me and so it has led to my life being engulfed in the world of writing. With both Pantheon Productions and my novel still in the beginning stages, I find myself really in the midst of world building and I decided I would share some things that I’ve personally learned while doing it.

The first is to think as broad as possible. There is a reason that world building is called “world building.” When I went into my first book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, I spent more time figuring the state of the planet I was creating over the finer details. Much like character development, the more you know about your world, the easier it is to write things.

This has lead to me asking some of the more bizarre questions in my writing career. Questions along the lines of “if it’s hot on the northern side of the planet, is it naturally cold on the southern?” “How long are days versus nights?” “What kind of plants and animals exist here?” All of this has been fun to do so far.

With that world building though, there is also the decisions to make in how characters will react and how believable to make it. I love writing in science fiction and horror and one of my favorite things to do in both of those is to make it feel as real as possible. That’s why as my projects come out for Pantheon Productions, or exerts come out of my manuscript, you’ll find that a lot of it is written to have the reader as immersed as possible. I want the reader or viewer to feel like somewhere nearby, the events I write are happening.

That’s what I think makes good world building overall. This can be said to be the same for about every genre and that’s the main point. As a writer, if you go in and take the time to understand every detail of your world, to a point that it feels real even to you, then you’ve done a good job.

That’s all I have to say on the subject for now. Check back in tomorrow for an exercise to help begin creating your very own world.

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?

Weekly Writing Practice: Character Development

21 Aug

Hello one and all! Hope everyone that’s reading this is having a great Tuesday. Mine personally was very productive with cleaning around the house getting done and some writing and editing taking place. However, this post isn’t to talk about me, it’s about to talk about US and the weekly writing prompt I’ve come up with.

So one thing that I find myself sometimes struggling with, and it seems like a lot of people do too, is creating a character. Now just quickly coming up with any old character is easy. Simply pick a name, decide what they look like and what they do, and you have yourself a character. However, creating one that people will like and care about takes a bit more work than that.

To create a good character, one that people will understand and enjoy, there needs to be depth to them. If you don’t know your character as well as you know yourself, how are people supposed to care? Now normally what I tell people that talk writing with me is to make a list of everything they can about the character. Start with the description. What color eyes? What color hair? Any specific features that stand out? Scars? Tattoos? You get the idea.

After that, I recommend that you begin writing things down about the character, mainly there interests. Now I know this is where things can get difficult, as you may not know what they may or may not be interested in. So first take into account your setting and the things that are relevant there. For example, if you’re writing a fantasy novel that has a lot of magic, does that character like magic? Can they use it and if they can, do they like to use it? If you’re writing a modern piece, does that character enjoy sports? What about movies? What’s their favorite? The possibilities for what they may or may not like is endless.

So with all of that in mind, this week’s writing prompt will revolve around creating a character. Now this can be done in a variety of ways. You can make a list, just stating facts and figures about what they look like, the size of their waist, their hair length, etc. Your other option can be to write a scene that gives your reader a picture of what this person looks like. Find a way to create a scene where you can bring this character to life, describing their life and  what they look like.

Once you finish this, I would be more than happy to read it as always. Feel free to comment at the bottom of this post or wherever you read this blog post on social media. If you don’t wish to share as well that’s fine, just make sure you’re writing. Whenever you don’t, you hurt your chances of improving.

So stop reading this and get to work!

A Book Has No Name: Update

16 Aug

Another day, another bit of writing completed on the new book.

As I’ve stated in my previous posts, I’m currently working on the second book in the Forsaken World Chronicles, and as you can see from the title of this post, it still does not have a name. At this time I’m sad to say that it has not earned one as far as I’m concerned.

Now let me explain that when I say the book is not earning a title, that is different than saying it’s bad. When I say that my writing in progress, or WIP for short, hasn’t earned its title, I simply mean that so far a great title has not presented itself to me. This has probably happened for a variety of reasons but I believe that right now it’s because I’ve simply been doing more character building over the first few chapters over world building this time around.

To give it the official stats that I know some people would love to see, I’m currently at 3 chapters, including a prelude, or about 27 pages. If words are more your fancy on judging progress, than I’m just over 8,000. In my opinion, that’s not a bad amount of writing accomplished over a four day period. I’m hoping that as I begin to build a new routine of writing this book, it will help to move things along quickly and efficiently.

Right now my weekly writing plan is this: One day is spent on strictly writing and not looking back. I feel that I have a full story in my head and it is something that needs to make it into words quickly before the story leaves and I’m stuck waiting for it to come around again. However, I also understand that writing without looking back can lead to mistakes and errors, which has led to the routine I’m doing now, which is whenever I spend one full day writing, I spend the next day editing everything I wrote the day before. I feel like this allows for me to move fluidly through the writing process and doesn’t bog me down for a day of multiple pages being read and fretted over.

Anyway, onto the good stuff. Teasers. So right now there isn’t too much to give away as I’m still in the opening act of my book, but I am excited to share a little bit about my two main characters Abraham and Reggie. Now for those that have read A Monstrous Tomorrow, you’ll know that Abraham is the very last character in the book and that he faces down a major trauma while making mention of a few that took place before the events in What Comes Next. Rest assured, those traumas will be reopened and laid out for the world to see.

The other character, Reggie, is a nice fold to Abraham’s traumatic past full of loss. She’s a hacker and a hunter that works side by side with Abraham. She enjoys giving Abraham a hard time about his brooding and will push him to be more than just an upset character struggling through the burdens of life. There isn’t too much I can give away about her now, since she is just beginning to show off what she brings to the novel. Hopefully as I get a few more chapters done and get her more involved, I can bring a bit of her into my updates on my WIP to help get people excited.

As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned! As of right now, if you see the title A Book Has No Name, know that you’ll be getting some insight into my current manuscript.