Tag Archive | writing prompt

I’ve Only Gone and Done Some Writing

Yes, I kid you not. I actually came home from work, got out my laptop, searched for a prompt and wrote 308 words. Not that many, but much more than I’ve done over the last few weeks. Ok then, months!

Was it any good? No, it wasn’t. I got all mixed up with my tenses, which sucked. I’m going to go back to it tomorrow, or maybe even later tonight and see if I can see how and why I went wrong. I so need more practice, that didn’t used to happen. I suck. NO, I’m just out of practice. I need to get back to it. Tomorrow and Friday I should be able to do some. I’m starting to sort things out this weekend for moving, but I need the boyfriend around for that, and more boxes, so can’t do anything for the next couple of days. 500 words WILL be written (at least 250 a day) by the weekend. I’m not sure if I can realistically do any over the weekend, but baby steps.

The book I’m reading at the moment is great. It’s Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan. It’s supposed to be ‘romantic suspense,’ but in my head it’s totally thriller. It’s great. It’s gross (way too graphic for my liking about sickos that have really messed up minds), but it’s great. I’m glad I’m now living with my boyfriend, because I have to consider someone else when I go to bed. If I didn’t have to consider him, I guarantee I’d be up till at least 2 every night. Gripping is an understatement.

Speaking of my boyfriend, I actually have to thank him for doing my writing tonight, and doing this blog. I asked him to make dinner tonight, cause I was really tired, he said he would, provided I wrote 250 words and a blog. It’s so good having someone who is so supportive.

I’m now off to get my cookie – my treat for writing and blogging 😉

Better Late Than Never – Fiction Friday – 27th August

Last week’s prompt had ‘homework’ which I hadn’t finished by Friday so couldn’t write this then. This is literally the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write since then.

The homework was:

Step 1. Go to a busy locale—a cafe or coffee shop would be easiest. Sit down with a notebook, and make sure you look busy, so people don’t know you’re listening. Now write down random sound bites of  conversations.Try to get at least 10 lines or snippets.

Step 2. Now use all ten in a cohesive scene of dialogue or as dialogue in a story

Step 3.  Leave a list of the lines plucked from real life at the end of the story for people to see.

Here’s my story:

            ‘Been treating yourself have you?’ Gavin looked down at the Danish pastry in his hands and hated himself for having to justify himself to her.

            ‘I haven’t had lunch or breakfast today, and the bakery was the only place on my way here. I could’ve taken a detour, but I figured you wouldn’t want to wait any longer for me.’

            ‘Ooh, bit touchy aren’t you? I was only saying. I though you were trying out that diet this week?’ Gavin raked his fingers through his hair, too late realising he had icing on them. He swore under his breath and shook it out.

            ‘That’s the tiredness, it’s really getting to me this week.’ Sammy put her hand on his arm, he left it there for a millisecond before pulling it away – just because things weren’t great at home, he couldn’t start looking at Sammy in that way again. Not now.

            ‘She still waking up all the time? Doesn’t Janie get up?’ He could hear the way she said Janie, she was trying to hide it,  but there was still spite in her voice. Janie was right, he should’ve stopped seeing her. Someone from the firm would’ve taken over. But then she’d said it was him or she walked. Her company were big time – they simply couldn’t afford to lose them. Janie understood. Somehow. If the roles were reversed he wasn’t sure he would.

            ‘Sam, we don’t have time for small talk, we need to get down to business. Have you seen the figures for last week?’ Sammy sighed. Gavin ignored it and pressed on. ‘The figures are down for the second month in a row. We have to concentrate on getting them back up – it’s an objective.’

            ‘Yeah, we’re gonna do some work on it next week.’ Sammy fiddled with her bracelet and looked bored. He had to focus this somehow, make her realise the importance of the what he was saying. ‘Sammy.’ He moved his hand towards her wrist laying on the table between them, before he realised what he was doing and snatched it back. ‘This is impor…’ The ring of her mobile broke him off. Without hesitating she answered it

            ‘Hi Mike, I’m just… Uh…’ Gavin felt naked under the look she gave him. ‘In the middle of something. Can I catch up with you later? No, it’s not that important, we don’t need to renew it just yet. Yeah, I’ll come and find you. Yeah me too.’ She giggled. ‘Here? No!’ She giggled again. ‘Ok, I love you too.’ Gavin nearly splutted his coffee on the table, had she really just said what he thought she had?

            She noticed his reaction and smiled, fluttering her eyelashes at him.

            ‘Look Sammy, where’s this going?’ She sat back on her chair, flicked her head back, and laughed heartily.

            ‘Well, well. This is a revelation. The great Gavin asking little old me where this is going! I though we were just here on business?

            ‘We are. You know that. But I know you and I know you did that on purpose. You want to make me jealous don’t you? Well it’s not going to work. I’m happy with Janie and the baby. There all I want. I don’t need you coming here, trying to win me back. I don’t need it.’ He stood up and started packing his papers away. He’d just realised the contract with her company wasn’t worth going through this for. If they want to go somewhere else, fine, at least it would get her out of his hair once and for all.

            Sammy stood up, knocking her chair over in the process.

            ‘You know the disgusting thing? Men like you! You think you can just pick me up and put me down whenever you want.’ Gavin looked round embarrassed. Sam had raised her voice and people were staring.

            ‘Sammy, keep your voice down,’ he whispered at her.

            ‘No. I won’t. You don’t care.’ She looked round the room. ‘None of you care. We’re over Gavin. Over. NEVER contact me again. Not for business, and certainly not for pleasure. You’re dead to me.’ She grabbed her bag and marched out the room.

            Gavin sunk back into his seat at the other customers turned back to their coffees and cake. He felt like a massive weight had been lifted and life could now go on.

 My ten lines of dialogue were:

  • It’s an objective
  • We’re gonna do some work on it next week
  • I haven’t had lunch or breakfast today
  • Where’s this going?
  • That’s the tiredness
  • It’s a revelation
  • I’ll come and find you
  • Been treating yourself?
  • You know the disgusting thing?
  • We don’t need to renew it just yet.

I actually chose to do my earwigging at work – I split my time between reception and sat in the post/print room so there’s always people coming in and out.  I actually wrote 13 snippets, and as I was writing tried to fit them in. It was fun – and totally not what I thought it would be (originally it was going to be a couple breaking up).

Please let me know what you think. Oh, and remember as always it’s unedited.

Another Evening Blog

I have honestly not had any time to blog over the last two days. I know sometimes I use that as an excuse, when I probably could’ve done – but this time I really haven’t. Work’s been busy, and I’ve been using any quiet time there to job hunt. I’ve applied for I think 4 or 5 jobs and sent my CV off to an agency. Considering it takes me about an hour to edit my CV and cover letter each time, I’m pretty happy with that.

I have managed to do writing over the last couple of days. On Tuesday I started writing from a prompt from Novelkicks: ‘Your flight is delayed so you sit next to a stranger.’ I love this prompt. I’m now on day 3 of using it to write, and I think about 1,100 words in. Pretty good. I’m really enjoying it. I’m trying to use it as practice at both describing someone and describing fancying someone you just meet. That’s an important part of Italian Infatuation, so good practice. Although I like what’s happening so much, I’d like to at some point use it for something. I was thinking it would fit pretty well into Holiday (the novel I’ve written about 20,000 words of), the MC is a lot like the MC here. I’m not sure if or how I could put it in, but it’s a thought.

I finished 1984 on Tuesday night. I was really impressed with it. I loved the way George Orwell wrote it, and loved the story. I was a tiny bit disappointed at the ending, but I think it was the right ending. I’ll definitely be reading more Orwell. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t get the political references in the novel, but as a story I liked it and don’t have a problem with my ignorance. There is part of me that wants to understand, but that bit is taking its usual step back in order for me to do other things. One day…

I’ve started a new book, which I am LOVING. It’s What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson. From the first paragraph I was totally drawn in, and by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. It ended with the MC wishing her best friend that was in intensive care would die… I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about that, except: I have to read more. It’s getting more intense as it goes through, and I think I’ve just worked something out, that’s going to keep me hooked until the end. How? What? Why? Or Why Not? It’s just really good.

I’m planning on finishing it this weekend, because I want to start American God’s by Neil Gaiman early next week. It’s the first book that’s been chosen for the Twitter experiment One Book One Twitter. The plan is to get as many people as possible on Twitter to read the same book. I have no idea how many people are reading over the eight weeks it’s taking place – but it’s about to be one more! To be honest it’s not a book I would’ve chosen to read myself, which I kind of think is a good thing. Already the experiment is great for me – it’s broadening my horizons.

I’ve just ruined the rest of the Twilight saga for myself. Stephanie Meyer has just released a novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Bree is a ‘newborn’ vampire that is seen in Eclipse (the 3rd book in the series) for a brief time, but she stayed in Mayer’s mind so created her own novella. From now until 5th July (my birthday!) you can read it online for free. I really wanted to, but wasn’t sure if I should, I mean, there might be something in it that showed something that happened in the second or third novels that might wreck it for me. So I asked Twitter if it would spoil anything, and thought I’d read the introduction while I waited to see if anyone would reply to me. Oops. There’s something in the introduction that’s kind of spoilt anything else I read from it. Damn.

For the longest time, I didn’t want to read any more books in the series after Twilight. I cannot explain how much I loved Twilight and had heard the rest of the books don’t compare. I thought I didn’t want to dilute my feelings for the first one by reading something not as good – plus the second apparently focuses on Bella and another guy, not Bella and Edward. I wanted it to be Bella and Edward. But, something’s happened over the last few weeks, and I’ve started wanting to read them. I think it’s this Bree Tanner novella actually. Anyway, I’m going to read them. There just won’t be a surprise at some point as I know a pretty major plot. Damn me. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine changed her status on Facebook to ‘ I want Edward and Bella love.’ I know what she means. I think that’s a brilliant, and so accurate, compliment to Meyer’s writing (I do too!)

Right, I’m off to bed to read more of What My Best Friend Did. Tomorrow is Fiction Friday AND Rowan Coleman’s Status Short Story Friday. I’ve not taken part in RCSSSF for weeks, so really want to do that tomorrow. I might prioritise that over Fiction Friday to make sure I get it done. It’s just a little harder, cause I have to think of a story myself, rather than having a prompt there for me! Oh well, I’ll think of something. I hope.

Something Strange…

… seems to have come over me today. I was walking back from the library (I know…) and thinking that I’ve never written a story that’s idea came from people talking in the street/on the train/tube/in a coffee shop. I hear that’s how a lot of writers get ideas, so was thinking I should try it.

All of a sudden (well, not really suddenly) two people were walking towards me. I heard the women say ‘Her name was Maria, but…’ I didn’t hear anything else. So my mind went into overdrive and after discounting an idea where Maria was actually Martin, I thought of a story. Two hours and 1,600 odd words later it’s all on paper. Roughly, but it’s there. And there’s a pretty pleased with herself person typing this.

I may have to try that more often. I do think that sometimes, usually when I’m sitting on the tube. But, not that many people actually talk on the tube, and even less speak in English! Still, it’s obviously something well worth doing.

Back to the library then. I had to go today and take some books back. *stifles giggle as knows what’s coming next* I returned three… and got out… wait for it… only two. Wow. That’s pretty good for me. Last time I went there with the intention of getting nothing I came out with 4 books – although they were mini read small books, so really the amount of time it took me to read them, they should only count as one.

One of the books I got today isn’t even fiction – it’s an Italian translation book. Hey, have I mentioned I’m going to Rome? I may have done. Did I mention I go a week tomorrow!  Wooo Hooooo! So, yeah, one language book. The other one is Love Lies by Adele Parks.

It’s no small coincidence that the book I’m reading now is an Adele Parks and the next one I’m going to read is by her too. The current one is ‘Mrs Whippy’ one of those short novellas that I picked up. It’s great, and it reminded me that I’ve still not read Love Lies and that I know they have it at the library. Yay for libraries.

Right, I suppose I should go and do some work now. I love having a job where I can write so much if I want to; next time I complain about the hours or the pay (which is actually pretty good when you consider how little I do), I’ll have to remember today. Oh, and every Friday where I spend a LOT of time writing!

Peter’s Chair’s beginning

I can’t think of anything to blog about today, so thought I’d share a little excerpt of some writing I did this morning. 

There I was reading though my regular blogs when I found a great prompt for writing from I Had the Write Idea.  The prompt quite simply was ‘Peter’s Chair’. Well, I love a good prompt, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever written anything that hasn’t come from a prompt of one sort or another (except the novel of course).  This is where I went with it (I’ve spent a little time on it, but not too much… so don’t expect perfection!):

‘Peter’s chair stood in the corner of the room.  It was that chair that had got him through his childhood.  Whenever his parents were arguing he’d go and sit on the chair, put on his dad’s huge old headphones and listen to music for hours and hours. 

He couldn’t believe his mum had kept it, in fact he couldn’t believe she’d kept everything in the room the same.  Stepping into it, he felt like he was stepping back in time fifteen years. 

When his dad walked him out of the house that night, he thought it was just another fight.  He thought they’d be back in a couple of days, a week max.  When they’d got to the airport he’d never even dreamt that his dad would be taking him back to England permanently, and that he wouldn’t see his mum or sister for months. 

He’d loved his life in England, the teenage years at school were great, uni was even better, and now he had a great job and stunning girlfriend.  But there was always something in him that made him question if he was doing the right thing. 

Should he have come back to America when he’d turned 18 and been able to?  Or a couple of years later when his dad died?  He’d been so settled in England.  He felt English – he even sounded English. 

But had he have been here maybe he could have stopped everything that happened.  Maybe he wouldn’t be here now emptying the house…’

Well, that’s all there is to it.  I have a few ideas for where it might go.  One of them is nowhere. I’ve got so many started bits of writing, I’m never going to finish them all.  But this could be the beginning of something.  Maybe.

What do you think?

Reading list and an Italian frame of mind?

I can’t get the words out today.  Normally my blogs are the words that spill out my head as I think them (you may have noticed) then just tidied up at the end, but today the words just don’t sound right coming out. 

I’m trying to say that I need to expand my ‘To Read’ list to be a list of books that are more than ‘Chick lit’ and ‘How To’ books.  I’ve just found a list by The Guardian of 50 Books You Must Read.  I need to read some of these.  I don’t want to be a person that hasn’t read the ‘classics’, and more.  Looking at the URL of the website, I’ve found that this list is movie adaptations, even so, it’s still a good list.  I’m going  to take some and add them to my list.  I’ll probably actually do some more research on ‘Classics’ then add them on. 

I’m going to try to read something with a bit more to it every few months.  I’d like to get to this time next year and be able to read over the books I’ve read, and be happier with them than I am this year.  I love chick lit and I could read it all day every day, but I have to read more than that.

I found a really good writing prompt on WordPress today here.  Victanguera found a photo on Flickr of a bottle and coffee on a coffee shop table.  I loved it, so wrote a little on what came to mind seeing it.  Worryingly it was a scene set in Italy (I think the espresso was the hint for that one) with a handsome Italian man and an English woman as the main characters.  Hmmm, where have I seen that before?  Oh, in the book I’ve just written about an English girl falling in love with an Italian man, in Italy.  I need to stop it and find something else to write about – something different.

I’ve started wondering today if I don’t want to go back to ‘Holiday’ now, because the story is set along the same lines as II – girl goes to a wedding abroad and falls in love.  It’s totally different, the story, the POV, the age of the characters, the characters, but maybe it’s a little to similar to be going to straight after II?  I don’t know.  

I think right now I’m going to focus on little things (daily writing prompts etc), not monumental feats, like another book.  Even if I am about 1/3 of the way through it already.

This is going to sound silly, but it’s really only just hitting me that I’ve written a novel.  Ok, so it needs editing to hell, but I’ve actually started and finished a whole novel.  A whole 50,500+ words.  Wow!  I know I’ve been planning on doing that for as long as I can remember, and the actual idea of the novel has been floating round my head for about 10 years,  but I’ve actually sat down and done it. Get me. 

The really good thing though, is that I’m going to do it again.  And hopefully again and again.  They say EVERYONE has a novel in them, well I’m not going to be one of those ‘everyone’s  – I’m going to be one of those ‘writers’ and write more than just one.  I don’t think I’ve really looked at it in the bigger picture terms – I’d just looked at is as a great achievement for November and for Nano, but really, this is a great life achievement.  If I could I’d pat myself on the back right now 🙂

Another rubbish title

Why do I find titles so hard?  When I do bits of writing with random words, I tend to use the words as titles – yesterday I started something using the words prompts Citrus, Decontaminate, Affection and Tailor from this post.  I called it Citrus Affection.  I quite like the name, but it doesn’t really fit a story where a woman thinks her husband is gay, but finds out through following him he actually just likes cross dressing.  I have no idea where that idea came from.  bizarre!

If you’re wondering how the words fit in with a story like that: the wall beneath the balcony where the husband is standing is citrus yellow; He has an affectionate look towards the men rehearsing the play he’s watching; she wonders who it is he fancies – is it the tailor?; and finally the story takes a little tangent when the wife thinks about her friend who’s currently working in Afghanistan decontaminating something (I don’t really know what!)

Yesterday, I did about 2 hours research for my ‘magazine article’ (assignment 2 for my writing course), a blog here, and then 450+ words on Citrus Affection.  Pretty good for a days work.  Today I’m crazily hungover and tired so not sure I’ll get anything done.  I might push on and finish the story from yesterday.  It’s not going to be very good – it’s a pretty rubbish ending (her confronting him and him telling her he just likes cross dressing not men) but I couldn’t think of any other reason why he’d be where he was unless he was gay.  It’s not believable either.  But it’s writing and that’s the main thing.  Who knows what I may decide to take from it in years to come.

My boyfriend’s decided he wants to write a novel.  A children’s novel.  He is worried (and I am) he’s going to finish it before I get anywhere with mine – then resent him for it.  It’s quite possible he will as he decided on the subject on Sunday night, then started writing it Monday morning!  I wonder if this means I should make a big effort to get on with writing mine?  I made the decision on holiday that the novel would take a step back and I would put most of my effort into getting on with my course.  I think that’s going to be the best plan of action.  So with that decided I’m not going to resent him if he does that.  I promise.  It has made me have thoughts about us both giving up work to write novels, and having life like a permanent holiday.  Slight glitch there is that we’d have to be writing – not doing whatever we want.

I’ve just been looking through my writing folder on the work computer and found a document titled ‘Oneword.com’.  What?  I’d totally forgotten about it.  Somehow I found this website.  Every day they put a random word on the site and you have 60 seconds to write about it.  I love it.  I need to start remembering to do it.  60 seconds of free writing about a word you get to see as the time starts.  It’s brilliant to get the old creative juices flowing.  Strangely enough my 60 seconds of writing, if extended to a story, was Si-fi.  Very strange as I know nothing about it and that really isn’t the kind of thing that would pop into my mind.

I’ve been thinking about writing a Mills and Boon book.  This idea pops into my head every few months.  I’ve got the basic plan for a book I could write.  I’ve got loads of M&B books at home for research.  I’ve been on the website (in fact I go on it every couple of years) to research writing a book for them.  But I do nothing.  I’m not even sure if I’ve got a plan written down for it.  I may do that today (to be honest I’ve already created a document titled ‘Mills and Boon Synopsis’ today – I just wrote the title, saved and closed it).  Seems like a good way to get today’s writing in.  Look at me – I make a decision to focus on one thing and immediately look for something else to do.