Friday, August 29, 2008

It's time for a bit of literary cleanup!

Your job, dear writer, is to clean up this mess.

The Literary Trash Fairy decided to scatter five words to the winds. The only way that this mess can be remedied is if you can incorporate all these words into a short story. The short story must be no longer than one thousand (1,000) words. It must be readable. You must not force words into the story for the sake of cleaning the mess up. You can use one word as many times as you want. The important thing is to use the words in their pure form (so that means no conjugation, no pluralization, no singulars, no changes – nothing!) and to have a story that makes sense.

Here are the five words:

elf yellow leaf arrow book

Good luck, and happy writing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here's Something to Help You with Photo Prompts


This blog has shown a few pictures and asked you to write. But sometimes, photos don't really push you to tell a story. Thanks to Kelly DuMar, you now have a few pointers to help you on your writing way.

Read the article posted through the link above, and you can get more info on how you can turn that photo into a story. By breaking the process down into the components of what your story might turn out to be, as well as what makes up your photo, you could have an easier time getting the photo to speak how you like.

Monday, August 25, 2008

All Green on the Road, All Words on Your Sheet

This photo should help you write a short story of about 1000 words. Pick your own plot, characters, setting, and everything that you need. All you need is this photo to inspire you.

Post your stories or a link to them in the comments section.

Good luck and happy writing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hunting Out Words, Getting a Story: A Goo Exercise

Remember those games when you were little, when you had to find all the little words that were in one big one? For instance, you could use the word FOREST to get words like tore, rest, for, fore, or foster. Or you could take the word INSTANT apart and come up with tan, sat, sin, tin, or taints.

Now, it's time to turn word goo into order. You have one word below. You need to extract 10 words from it, BUT you have to use all those words in a one-paragraph story. This may mean that you need to get 10 related words. It might also mean that you need to get 10 unrelated ones and come up with a really crazy tale. In any case, you need to follow these rules:

1.Your new words must be at least four letters long
2.They must all be nouns or verbs, NOT adjectives or adverbs.
3.Your paragraph must not go beyond five hundred words (and that's a pretty big paragraph right there!)

Ready? Your word is: TELECOMMUNICATION.

Post your exercise answers, or a link to your (most likely) gigantic paragraph in the Comments section. Happy word hunting, and happy writing!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thinking of Publishing After NaNo?

The nice thing about National Novel Writing Month is that you can get to be a part of as big group of writers all rushing toward a single goal: feeling the fulfillment of finishing a 50,000-word (or more) novel. But did you know that NaNoWriMo also regularly links up with a press in order to get its winning novels published?

Check out for details on how you might be able to get your work published. Lulu press is a great big marketplace, with writers, musicians, and photographers all working (and hoping) for their own shot at fame. There are several packages available for writers who want to have their work edited or their covers designed by professionals, but you can opt to upload your own cover, along with your own edited work.

Now, doesn't the thought of getting yourself published (albeit non-traditionally, and on your own) make you want to finish that novel?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Last Sentence #2: How's this For Even More Ambiguity?

You need to write a 1000-word (or less) story. The characters, names, locations, and plot are all yours. All you need is a good word processor, fingers ready to do some typing, a brain ready to do some writing, and yes, your last sentence.

"There was nothing left."

Now, build your story around that last sentence. Do post your link to your story (or even your story, if you wrote a really short one) in the comments section. Good luck and happy writing!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The First Sentence #2: How's This for Ambiguity?

All right, novelists, short story writers, and writers of the planet! It's time to start your fiction once again!

This week's First Sentence task requires you to stay within a 500 word limit. This is flash, quick fiction, with very little word allowance, and a lot of creativity required. So there it is: you need to write a short story that is, at the very most, 500 words long, and with this as the first sentence.

"At last, it happened."

Now don't forget to post your stories or links to them in the comments section. Good luck! Happy writing! And happy snipping and editing, too!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What If #2: You're About to be Famous!

...well, at least, only in your writing. Still, you get to pretend a bit - and this time, you might have to stretch your imagination a bit further if you've never played, or at the very least, never liked sports.

What if you were a sports star? Pick your favorite sport, or better yet, pick a sport that you don't necessarily like, but one you know that you could excel in if you were given the chance.

What if you were a world-famous star in that sport? What would your life be like? How would you deal with the media attention? How would you balance training with your numerous commercial endorsements?

Now, think of all your answers to these questions, and then write them in the form of a diary. You will need to write only one entry: it can be as long or as short as you like, and it should be set at the end of a long day spent doing what you think a famous sports star does. Pretend that you have all the time in the world to write a diary entry; pretend that you're that famous sports star who has a real life and personality behind the image.

When you're done, you can post either your entry or a link to it in the comments section. Good luck!

Happy pretending, and happy writing!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Unblocker #2: Life's Many Possibilities

The objective of an unblocking exercise is to remove all sense of limit and fear in you. You need to write whatever it is that comes to mind, and whatever it is that you want without worrying that someone will correct you.

This implies that unblocking can also relieve some of the pressures that our rational world can exert. For instance, you might think: what if there were dragons still alive today? In the next thought, however, you could dismiss it entirely and think that no rational person would pursue such a strange, not to mention insane line of thinking.

But guess what? A lot of writers started out with insane ideas, and they pursued the idea to the end. You don't have to write a fantasy story, or go into science fiction and start hitting the science books - but you need to let go of a lot of things that hold you back, and sometimes, reason can do that.

Here's an unblocker for you. Start your sentences with "What if...?" and then pursue the thought without thinking of rationality or sanity. What if I were a princess and I had to fight a war with goblins? What if I had gotten my promotion early and I had to choose between work and my family? What if I had eaten way too much and I turned into the vegetable I had for lunch?

Pursue a thought until it exhausts you, and then start again with a new "What if...?" You'll be surprised at how imaginative you are, and how funny your work can be.