creative writing

Writespiration #97 52 Weeks in 52 Words – Week 1

writespiration-2017Welcome back folks. I stopped Writespirations back in November, a few short of 100, and I knew then I couldn’t just leave it 3 short. But the break did me good, and now I am ready to rock and roll with a whole new challenge this year.

This year there will be 52 challenges over 52 weeks and your challenge is to write your story using the theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device. But I wanted to add to that challenge which is why, you have to be exact too. Because there are 52 challenges over the year, THAT’s I want you to write your entries in EXACTLY 52 words.

Each week I will give you a prompt of some variety and then you submit your entries and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You’ll have until Sunday to enter each week. (more…)

Writespiration Round Up 2016

writespiration-round-upWritespiration Wednesdays have been around since October 2014. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of entries, and I’ve read each and every one. It’s been an honour and a privilege to read them, but with the end of the world  year nigh, I’ve decided to take a wittle pause to both, reassess my plans for next year, and catch up with some post scheduling, so I’m not living in a state of perpetually chasing my ass.

See, I have this delusion about myself, that I’m super woman, and that I can do everything and all the projects… ALL AT FUCKING ONCE… because who the fuck needs sleep anyway? Just pass me fuck bucket of caffeine, and I’ll beeeee fineeeee! *twitch* *twitch* *heart tremor*

Wrong.

Apparently I didn’t pack my lycra because I couldn’t find my glitter covered super girl cape and the quantity of caffeine I drank landed me an appointment with the cardiac specialist.

Sigh. Let’s move on.

Next year, I have some plans for Writespiration Wednesdays. It will be back, slicker, quicker and even better. I mean, I can’t get to 96 and stop for god sake. Who stops at 96? Everyone likes a round number. It will be back on 4th January next year.

For now, to round off the year, here are your entries from writespiration 96 – Write a Fairytale set here.

If you want to see any of the previous writespirations, have a look here. (more…)

10 Things Every Writers Needs To Know About Conflict

conflictConflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page.

Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. And yet, you need to, because conflict is the god of novels.

If you’ve been a good little girl then conflict will dip its mighty hand into Santa’s sack and bestow heavenly book treasures on you, like: pace, tension, plot line and well-rounded characters with enough depth to drown a reindeer. But without it we’re talking dead Kipper slaps to the face.

And no body wants a stinky dead fish face mask.

But when you love your precious little bundle of baby hero joy more than life itself, torturing them with a bout of – villain/antagonist/insert other form of conflict shaped nappy rash can be rather more difficult than one expects.

Here are 10 tips for shaping your books conflict. (more…)

Write a Fairytale Set Here – Writespiration #96

fairytale-writespirationFairytale retellings are going through a big come back. They’re the latest trend, with books like Cinders, or the plethora of other books on this Goodreads list. I’ve read Cinders, it’s quite good, I liked the twist on it, although for me, the joy of writing is in creating something entirely new. And sure, no story is completely unique, but lets not bicker about trivialities.

This week your task is to write a fairytale, or a part of one, or a fairytale poem set in the photo. Maybe it’s a nightmare tale, or perhaps a happily ever after ending, or maybe a prince’s love monologue. Write a fairytale in less than 200 words. Leave it in the comments or use a pingback so I find it. Due by 23rd October.


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30 Writing Competitions With Cash Prizes

30 FlashThis post is a cheat, partly because I’m exhausted after having thrown a surprise party for the wife’s 30th. But also because I happen to be in the midst of a significant bout of procrastination all because I am wallowing in a deep, deep pit of writerly self loathing.

So this week instead of my wordy bullshit, I bring you more writing competitions than you can shake a shakespearian cat at.

With any competition, it’s advisable to ensure you rake the rules of each one with your finest, slickest rule finding comb. I have not displayed the rules of any of these competitions, so if you don’t check, don’t expect to win. (more…)

Writespiration #92 First and Last lines

writespiration first and last lineThis week, I am giving you a chance to share something from your WIP. I want to know what the first and last line of your current story is.

To join in, post a link in the comments or drop your lines (identified by which is first and which is last) into the comments.

If there’s a significant number of you joining in, I may not be able to comment on every entry this week as I am snowed under trying to meet a deadline. However, I will publish every one in the next Writespiration.

Here’s Mine: (more…)

The Visual Writer’s Guide to Pacing & Tension

Pace Tension2I always thought being visual and a writer was a massive contradiction. I don’t mean having an imagination. Obviously a writer needs an imagination. I mean, in the way we process information.

See, when I think, or try to work out a problem, like how to prevent the terror tot shoving his finger up his nose in public, I think in pictures and voices. Yes, I hear a voice in my head, but not the kind of voice that whispers violent temptations, although sometimes it might be nice to blame my rage on it… Where was I? Some people think in words or numbers or actions. If you have synesthesia you might even think in colours, senses or feelings.

This has never been a problem for me. It just meant I created mood boards for my story worlds and characters on my pinterest or instagram, rather than filling out character templates and scene plans.

That was until I wanted to check the pacing and tension of my novel.

Once you’re knee-deep wading through the slush of your story, you know as well as I do, you can’t see the commas for the sentences. Let alone step back enough to see the shape of your newly trimmed bush manuscript.

So I set about some research and have figured out my own method, using a Sacha sandwich of pilfered ideas, to help visual writers figure out their uppers from their downers. (more…)

Writespiration #85 Snippets of You

snippets of youAs I write this, it’s actually last Wednesday. I am feeling a tad overwhelmed with everything I am trying to do, so you’re going to help me with a prompt for next week.

The weekly writespiration is a platform of inspiration for writers but also an opportunity for writers to share their work. So. This week, I want two things from you:

1 – The title of your current WIP – if you’re working on more than one, just choose the one you like the title of best. Or if you like, make a title up.

2 – A 150 word snippet from your current WIP. If it is part of a series, feel free to post links to amazon for the first book (only) in the series and I will add it for people to have a look.

Please note – I will be using your titles in next weeks challenge, so if you are not happy for them to be published as part of a challenge, please do not enter them, and perhaps choose another title you are happy to share.

If you want to join in, either post your entry at the bottom, or in a blog post with a ping back so I can find it.

Here’s Mine:
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Writespiration #82.5 Opening and Closing Lines

Worst Open and CloseIt’s all been a bit serious lately, with heart break, discrimination and cliff edges, so this week something different.

Oh and my math might be bad, but I haven’t spontaneously jumped into decimal numbers for no reason. I’m cheating. I’d already scheduled 83 this week and changed my mind because tomorrow is my birthday and I wanted to play a fun game instead.

So what is this riotous affair I speak of? I’ve done worst opening lines, and worst closing lines before. But this time, I want both.

Your challenge is to write the WORST opening line to a story you can, and then write the WORST closing line to the same story.

The badder it is, the better, if I see even a hint of  good quality writing I’ll disqualify you faster than I can eat a family sized bar of chocolate, and don’t be fooled, that’s fast. Post both lines in the comments, or on your own blog with a ping back here so I know you’ve entered. (more…)

Grab Your Readers Attention – 5 Tricks To Kicking Down The 4th Wall

Grab Readers Attention - 5 Tricks To Kicking Down the 4th WallWhen I heard about Deadpool’s use of the 4th wall, I raised a skeptical eyebrow, checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t May, and braced myself for some kind of Marvel comic pornstar love fest between Obi Wan and Asimov. I was disappointed, there was no need to call social services. The hybrid love child was not to be.

Instead, I discovered it was one of those literary techniques I knew, but didn’t know I knew.

Have I lost you yet? I have, haven’t I? You’re thinking Sacha’s pulled one too many all nighters, lost her shit and fallen into a caffeine induced hallucinatory coma.

Okay, let me start again… I had one of those, mythical childless evenings the other day. So the wife and I hot footed it to the movies before my mother came to her senses and promptly brought the terror tot back. We watched Deadpool, the latest Marvel comic hero movie and in my usual style, I dissected it in order to bring you some kick ass (did you see what I did there?) lessons. (more…)