Write a story based on the scene above.
If you use this prompt, leave a link to your story in the comments below. I’d love to read it!
The other day I shared some mugs for readers, but we have to add a little fun for the writers as well.
“They’re having their coffee over there.”
I think this is great. I have a mug that says “I’m silently correcting your grammar” and this mug would go right next to that one. I can’t explain how many people still get this wrong sometimes.
“Please do not annoy the writer, she may put you in a book and kill you.”
This quote actually used to be my profile picture for the NaNoWriMo website for a long time. It’s true. We’re discreet about it, but who hasn’t wanted to kill off someone in their stories?
“Writers Block: When your imaginary friends stop talking to you.”
I know some people believe in writer’s block and others don’t, but there are days when you just can’t get the words out. Your characters are being difficult for whatever reason and just don’t feel like showing up to work.
4. Go Away
“Go away, I’m writing.”
This is one of those “magic” mugs that change when heat is added to it. They are the coolest thing ever. They also have other ones that say, “go away, I’m reading” and “go away, I’m blogging.”
Basically the many definitions of a writer.
This mug is great and knows the ways of a writer very well. It’s pretty uplifting and encouraging if you’re ever stuck on a certain project.
We’re already about halfway through December. I had a lot of projects lined up for this month in an attempt to get myself prepared and ready for January and beyond in the new year.
I’ve been working extra hard and, surprisingly, it’s been going well.
What am I currently working on?
I’m currently working on two projects right now. One is The Scribe, which was my NaNoWriMo novel last month. I’m currently editing it, hoping to finish the first draft by Friday so I can retype/rewrite it.
As I’ve been editing, I’ve realized a lot of things… not necessarily wrong, but just didn’t quite fit. In other words, I have to rewrite the entire beginning, so… we’ll see how that goes.
Hopefully, that will be done this week because I also hope to get through the second draft by the end of the month.
I’m also editing another novel, Unwritten. I wrote that for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’ve been submitting a chapter to my local writer’s group each month. I’m finally getting around to looking at their feedback.
I’m going to edit the chapters I’ve received feedback for and edit the rest as well. So for the new year, my group should be reading the second draft material.
What’s the easiest part?
I actually have a good schedule down. I created a calendar for December and wrote in what I want to work on which days. I’ve been using Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays to edit. I aim to edit each piece for at least two hours a day. While the process has been a bit slower than I would like, I’m making progress, so there’s no room for complaints.
What’s the hardest part?
I decided to do all this in December. The first week was slow because I had so many other things going on such as catching up with old friends and early Christmas parties.
Still, we’re about halfway through the month and I’ve been making good progress. So we’ll just have to see how the rest of the month goes!
Director: Ishan Modi
Starring: Topaz Winters
Writer: Topaz Winters
Release Date: March 2017 (Singapore)
“It is so easy to believe that I’m made entirely of empty space. Loneliness is familiar – it’s blue and flushed, like remembering. It’s a mother tongue. It comes so easily to me. I disappear into myself and I find solar systems, galaxies. I understand more than I ever could when I’m surrounded by others.”
A film exploring the loveliness in loneliness & the infinite wonder we find when we allow ourselves to bloom into the empty. A soft sense of purpose, how it sings within & around itself: this is so, this is so, this is so.
Supernova is a short film written by a good friend of mine, Topaz Winters. It’s a three-minute film exploring loneliness and the world and people around us.
Despite the film being short, I got sucked into it. I seemed to have blinked and it was over.
The narration was spot on and brings you right into the story as you watch the protagonist gaze around her, question herself, and try to figure things out.
The writing was poetic. I found it to be very true to life and it was easy to follow along with.
The words, sound, and music, were smooth and easy to hear in the background. The camera and direction were great as well. You forget you’re watching a movie.
Everyone should give this film a watch. It’s quick, poetic yet out of this world, and has a great message.
“I crave the company of others as much as they overwhlem me.” –Topaz Winters, Supernova
“What do you think?” Amy asked. She held up a bright yellow sundress under her chin. It fell down to just below her knees. She peered down at the ground trying to decide whether or not she liked it on herself.
“I like it.” Henry said, nodding his head.
Amy lifted her chin to look up at him sitting in a chair on the other side of the changing room. He shrugged his shoulders once he noticed her staring at him.
“You don’t really have an opinion, do you? You’re just telling me what you think I want you to say.” Amy deadpanned.
Amy sighed, putting the dress back onto the rack.
“I mean, I think it would look good on you if you tried it on. I’m trying to pay attention, I really am.” Henry said. He stood up and walked over to Amy putting both hands on her shoulders. “Seriously, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to dress shopping. You’re just going to have to bear with me and use your own judgment sometimes.”
Amy inhaled deeply and then finally nodded after a brief moment of silence. “You’re right. I did bring you here against your will.”
“Yes, you did.” Henry snorted.
Amy smiled. “I’m going to try on that dress!” she turned right around and headed into the dressing room.
“Great!” Henry grinned.
Once Amy was in the small private room with the door closed, Henry groaned and looked at his watch. They had been at the store for two hours already and Amy still hadn’t picked anything out to wear to meet his parents.
He knew that some girls took forever to shop, pick out their clothes, and get ready to go some places, but he never imagined that he would be stuck in a store for this long waiting for Amy to pick out one simple outfit.
In a flash, Amy stepped out of the dressing room with the yellow sundress on. She held out her arms and spun around in it.
“Well? Now what do you think?”
Henry flinched at its brightness.
Amy frowned. “You don’t think it looks good on me?”
“I just don’t think the color flatters you…” Henry said honestly.
Amy bowed her head somberly.
“What’s wrong with what you have in your closet, anyway?” Henry asked.
Amy looked up with a smirk. “Henry, you have to bear with me on this. I have no experience shopping for a dress to impress meet my fiancé’s parents.”
Henry put his hands into his pockets. “Okay, you got me on that one…”
Amy turned back around and headed into the dressing room again.
Henry thought for a moment and then called out to her. “Remember, they don’t know that you’re my fiancé yet.”
Title: 13 Steps To Evil: How To Craft Superbad Villains
Author: Sacha Black
Published: May 2017 by Atlas Black Publishing
Genre: Nonfiction, writing craft
How I got the book: I bought a digital copy onto my Kindle
Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:
• How to develop a villain’s mindset
• A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
• Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
• What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.
These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
I’ve followed Sacha Black on her blog for a long time now. I’ve watched her create this book and I feel like I’ve learned a lot just by reading her posts. Now she’s put all her research, time, and effort, into an ebook.
(There’s no plot, but I don’t have another picture, so I’m going with it.)
In this craft book, the author discusses a range of “bad guys” from the villains to the antagonists (yes, they are different) to anti-heroes. Just like the summary suggests, everything you would want to know about creating villains is in this book.
This includes basic definitions of villains and villainy as well as motivation, character traits, and getting into the mind of the villain and the psychology behind it all.
This book is broken up into 14 steps, plus an introduction. Each step seemed to go on in the blink of an eye because I just kept reading and reading.
When I say that, I mean it was highly entertaining. I often found myself thinking I was reading a textbook, but it wasn’t the typical textbook you’d get from college. The author’s way of words was informative but entertaining. It was fun to read about the villains and why they do what they do.
It was educational and I found myself wondering if I should be taking notes, but at the end of each step, there was a quick summary of that section plus questions to think about when you create your villain. It made it so that I could sit back and absorb the information knowing that I can go back for reference and not be flipping through the pages trying to find something particular.
This is a wonderful writing craft book that you don’t want to miss. It’s packed with helpful information on villains and it’s entertaining enough that you’ll learn without realizing it. There is also a workbook that goes along with it that I have yet to get, but will definitely be buying soon.
13 Steps To Evil: How To Craft Superbad Villains by Sacha Black gets…
5 out of 5 stars
“What separates a villain from a hero are the decisions and choices he makes.” –Sacha Black, 13 Steps To Evil: How To Craft Superbad Villains
Buy the book:
*This post contains affiliate links.
Today’s guest post is a short story brought to you by Hanna. Thanks, Hanna!
Autumn was sitting all alone on a small, peculiar pebble. She had no idea how she got this small. What did she do? Where did she go? Somehow, Autumn became as small as a bug and was in the strangest of places. Autumn looked around. She was by the bank of a stream, that is, what looked to her like a ginormous river. She looked up. The sky was a very weird purple color and she saw a gap in the clouds. Autumn wondered if she had fallen into some dream world, just like “Alice in Wonderland”. Autumn stood up, and just a split second later, before she could even step off the pebble, she heard a faint screaming coming from above her head. Right then, before her eyes, her best friend Lily fell right onto the same pebble on which Autumn was standing. They both stared at each other in the oddest way, and then the peculiar, purple sky turned blue, and the gap in the clouds disappeared.
“Lily! Are you all right?” Autumn said, approaching Lily.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Lily said, as she stood up and brushed off her clothes. Lily took one glance around and realized what was happening. “Why are we so small and why…?”
Autumn cut Lily off. “Shhhh, I know. I have no idea what in the world just happened, but we have to find out.” Both girls started walking, but could only go as fast as their miniature legs could carry them. “The first thing I want to find out is why in the world we are so small,” Autumn said.
“Yes please,” Lily responded. As they continued walking, they heard a rustling in the bush that was beside them. “Ummm, Autumn??” Lily said as she started backing away. All of a sudden, a bunny, one that looked as huge as a bear to the girls, hopped out of the bush. Not only did the girls jump out of fright, but also from the strange look this bunny had.
“Don’t be scared, I am here to answer all your questions,” the bunny said. This bunny was the strangest looking creature the girls had ever seen. He had extra-long ears and an extra-large nose. He was purple, just like the color the sky was. He also had overalls on and carried a tiny backpack.
“Who are you?” Lily and Autumn said, simultaneously, looking at this creature with concern.
“My name is Desman, and my job is to help people like you learn why you’re here. Jump on, let’s go!” Seeing as how everything else around was just as weird as Desman, the girls agreed and jumped on Desman’s back.
As they traveled through the woods, they saw many interesting, strange, and mystical things. It almost seemed as if they were dreaming, but yet they were awake. They wondered where Desman was taking them. In just a couple short minutes, they ended up in front of a cute little cottage.
“Is this where you live Desman?” asked Lily, as she and Autumn jumped off his back.
“Yes, yes it is. Please come in.” Desman and the girls went inside and sat down. “Now, I must tell you why you are here, I’m sure you are wondering,” said Desman, as he plopped on a little cushion.
“We most certainly are,” Autumn said, as Desman motioned for them both to sit down.
“First answer this question, what were you both doing before you fell down here?” asked Desman.
Autumn answered, “Well, Lily and I were just sitting on our couch playing a game when our parents walked into the room.”
“Yeah, but they didn’t know that we were in there and they started talking about very important things,” continued Lily.
“Okay, do you think you were supposed to be listening to that conversation?” asked Desman. Autumn had a blank expression on her face and she turned red.
“Well, no…but we couldn’t help it! We wanted to hear what they were saying!” Autumn said as she and Lily frowned, realizing what they did.
Desman replied, “Well, this is why you came here. After you listened to your parent’s conversation, that’s when you fell into the hole that opened up under you into this world and became small. You are in ‘Land of Consequences’.” Both of the girls looked at Desman with a sort of despaired look on their faces.
“We made a mistake…I’m sorry,” Lily said, and Autumn agreed.
“But why did we become small?” asked Autumn, with a puzzled look.
“Becoming small was to teach you guys a lesson that if you mind your own business, the world would go round a deal faster than it does, come with me.” Desman replied, as he got up and motioned to the girls to follow him outside.
As they went outside, they looked around. The girls realized that Desman’s house changed to be right in the middle of a busy town. There they were, small as bugs, watching other bunnies and forest animals minding their own business and going about their life throughout the streets.
Desman watched the girls as they looked on with wonder, “Now if you two were to walk out there and try to get someone’s attention or try to have someone hear you, they wouldn’t be able to. You are too small and they are too busy to notice you, too busy with their own business and not causing trouble.”
“I think we both understand now…” said Lily, with a regretting tone. Autumn agreed, “Yeah if we would have minded our own business, our parent’s would have been able to go about what they were doing without having to worry about us.”
Desman smiled, “I’m glad you both were able to learn a lesson from this. I think it’s time to get you girls home.”
Both of the girls jumped onto Desman’s back once again. At that moment, the little town disappeared and there were just woods in front of them. Desman started running back down the path into the woods, as both of the girls glanced at each other.
In just a few minutes, they were back at the side of the stream where Desman first found the girls. “Now, you must wonder why I carry this tiny little backpack with me,” Desman said, taking the backpack off of him and putting it on the floor, “It holds what you need to get back home.” Both the girls looked at Desman, and then at the backpack, with the most puzzled looks on their faces. Desman pulled out two tiny crystals out of the backpack. “Both of you need to hold one of these in the water until it melts, and then go stand on the same pebble you fell onto. It has a purple mark on it. Then, the hole in the cloud will open up again, and you both will be pulled back home and return to normal size. However, when you get home, remember to not tell anyone about what you have seen or heard.”
Both the girls responded, “We understand.” In that moment, Desman hopped away back into the bush in which he appeared out of earlier, and he was gone. The girls ran down to the stream. They both waited for their crystals to melt, and then they ran to the pebble. They watched the hole open up, and they were zapped back home so fast they couldn’t even see it happen.
Autumn’s and Lily’s vision cleared and there they were sitting in the house behind the couch. The first word the girls heard the parents say was the exact last word the girls heard before falling through the hole.
“Wow…no time must have passed at all!” Lily said, with an excited look on her face. “Yay! We need to do the right thing now and stand up and let the parents know we are behind here, and tell them we are sorry for eavesdropping on their conversation.” They both agreed and stood up. The parents had a startled look on their face when they saw the girls. The girls explained how they were behind there the whole time and how they were sorry for listening to the conversation. The parents forgave them, and everything was alright. Then the girls gave their parents a hug, and they both looked at each other and smiled. They never told their parents about what happened, just like Desman said, and the lesson they learned was one they would remember for the rest of their lives.
Every month I feel like such a broken record.
“I can’t believe the month is already over.”
“I can’t believe we’re at the end of the year.”
“Time has certainly been flying!”
I mean, it’s all true. I feel like I blink and the month is over or the whole year is over. Well, guess what? The year is almost over. We’re already about a week into December. Life doesn’t slow down for anything.
When December rolled around, I wasn’t sure what theme I wanted to talk about. Then I wrote down a list of posts and assigned them dates. After that, I realized I didn’t have too many dates left for December. There wasn’t much of a point to me doing another themed month.
I tend to do a lot of end of the year and holiday type posts. Mix that with a couple of guest posts and interviews and then the month is over. It’s crazy how fast the dates fill up.
I always take the time for December to kick back, relax, and look back on the year. I’ve accomplished a lot of my writing, a lot of this blog and Double Jump, my career, relationships, and my life in general.
This is why December is the easiest month and the hardest at the same time.
It’s easy to look back and be amazed at all you’ve done and all you’ve accomplished. You think about the good times you had and even look back at old blog posts and see how much you’ve improved.
Then the hard part of December comes along. I was amazed at the end of 2015 when I made some major changes to this blog. I was amazed at the end of 2016 because I beat my 2015 reading goal, I made more changes to this blog, and I started a new blog.
Now, here I am, amazed at the end of 2017 because I surpassed a lot of my goals as well as made even more changes to the blog than before. All of these changes have improved the blog, my writing, and myself as a person in more ways than one.
So, the hard part of December is this: now I have to think of bigger and better ways to improve in 2018.
Okay, so I don’t have to. But I want to. It’s not good to push yourself too hard, but you have to push yourself a little if you want to learn new things, accomplish new goals, and improve.
I have been working so hard on completely revamping the physical look of this blog as well as come up with new features to add to it both on the blog and off the blog. Yes, outside this blog as in these things will be connected to the blog in some way, shape, or form, but it will not be in the form of a blog post on this particular website.
Some of these things will happen in January (hopefully I make the deadlines I’ve created for myself!) and some will be spread out through the year (again, hoping I make the deadlines I’ve created…).
Not to mention my books. I have four novellas planned to come out on Wattpad in 2018 while I work on four other projects that will… I don’t know if I plan on self-publishing or going traditional, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
It’s all been a lot of planning up until this point and now it’s time that I start putting things into action. Well, November helped a lot with the action too, but December is where most of the magic is happening.
Between the blogging and writing and then of course real life with the holidays and such, I may be a bit frazzled this month. Bare with me.
Website: The Writing District
Deadline: December 30, 2017
Entry Fee: N/A
Theme: Family Matters
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: December 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $18
Prize: First – $2,500
Theme: Topics are on website
Deadline: December 31, 2017
Entry Fee: N/A
Theme: Christmas and Holiday Collection 2018
Website: Chicken Soup For The Soul
Deadline: January 10, 2018
Entry Fee: None
Theme: The Empowered Woman
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: January 10, 2018
Entry Fee: None
Theme: The Miracle of Love
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: January 15, 2018
Entry Fee: None
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: January 15, 2018
Entry Fee: $10
Please be sure to read through the guidelines for each contest. Information may change.
Do you know any other contests with deadlines coming up? Are you thinking of submitting to any of these contests? Let me know in the comments below! Good luck if you do!