Inspiration to Break Down Those Icy Walls.

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With the cold weather fast approaching there is no better time to get down and dirty with your writing. Snow drifts and icy winds tend to keep us cooped up inside the house where we can stay warm and cozy. For many of us this cold weather leads to cabin fever and frustration. If you are anything like me, winter can be the ideal time to advance your writing and find new sources of inspiration. Below are some exceptional and inspiring writing prompts that are guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing and help pass the colder months with creativity. So snuggle down and get in gear for some imaginative and interesting writing ideas that may change the way you look at the world around you, and help to expand your writing style.

Writing Inspiration for the Cold and Windy Winter Months:

Take 5 minutes to describe…

  1. A crime you would commit if you knew you would never get caught.
  2. One memory from your childhood you truly miss.
  3. Something you would do differently if you had the chance.
  4. An object, without actually naming the object itself.
  5. What you would say if you won an award for your writing.
  6. A good deed that needs to be done more often.
  7. Your favorite poem/book/blog/story.
  8. The inside of your closet.
  9. What is perfect in your life at the moment or What you would change.
  10. How your favorite color would smell, taste, sound and feel.

Take 15 minutes to write a scene that involves…

  1. A disgruntled customs clerk.
  2. A family run restaurant that is going out of business.
  3. A character that has intentionally hurt a family member.
  4. An email message that has been sent to the wrong recipient.
  5. A horrible first date.
  6. A mother and daughter having a heated argument.
  7. A man in the women’s restroom of a shopping center.
  8. A conflict that involves a computer disk.
  9. A man in a suit walking barefoot down the highway.
  10. A confrontation in a check-out line.

Finish a paragraph that begins with…

  1. “I have no idea what I was thinking…”
  2. “This was not the plan…”
  3. “The minute my eyes opened I knew…”
  4. “I remember it as if happened yesterday…”
  5. “I finally had the proof I needed…”

Using as much detail as possible describe…

  1. A snake.
  2. A murder or crime.
  3. A stain on the carpet.
  4. An overdue apology.
  5. Your favorite smell.
  6. A bad habit.
  7. A person you love.
  8. Your favorite food.
  9. How you feel when your sick.
  10. Your child/own eyes.

Make a list of…

  1. 20 interesting ideas for stories.
  2. 15 titles for a story/poem/post/etc.
  3. 10 character traits.
  4. 10 posts you would write if you could only find the words and had no fear of judgment.
  5. Great names for characters in a story and/or Bad names for characters in a story.
  6. Places you want to travel to or Places you don’t want to travel to.
  7. All the things that make you angry/happy.
  8. Your greatest temptations.
  9. All the things you would change if you had the power.
  10. 20 great settings for a story.

*Bonus Inspiration*

  1. Create a list of every word you can think of that begins with the letter ‘A’ (Each day move along the alphabet completing the exercise until you have made a list for every letter.)
  2. Describe/list your best/worst features, your values, your unique abilities, your goals/dreams.
  3. Describe what you feel like when you are writing.
  4. Write a story that involves a mother, a stolen diamond, a canoe and a missing penguin.
  5. Write an entire story with only dialogue.
  6. Describe in detail the next stranger you see. What they look like, where they are going, what their life is like, who they are overall, etc.
  7. Modernize your favorite nursery rhyme to fit the ‘real’ world today.
  8. Write a few paragraphs in a neutral narrative voice that describes the scene of a crime without ever revealing what the crime itself was. Use clues and details to help your reader figure out what crime has been committed.
  9. Write a story from the point-of-view of a child lost in a crowded place (e.g. mall, parade, market)
  10. Turn your favorite story into a poem/favorite poem into a story.

**Feel free to share your writings in the comments section below or link to your site**

Submissions of your result or your own winter writing inspiration ideas can be sent to perfectlyprompted@live.ca if you wish to have them posted on this site in the future for inspiration and critique.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Essentials of a Good Scary Story

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Coll little Orange Tabby kitten

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October is the month of ghosts, goblins and vampires. It is the season of fear and the home of Halloween, it is also the ideal time of year to read, and write, scary stories.

The history of the horror story dates back to the beginning of time, and modern-day horror stories fly off the shelf as fast as they are printed. Authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and even Edgar Allen Poe have turned the art of the horror story into the popular genre it is today.

Writing horror can be rewarding, and interesting work, but there are basic essentials that every horror story should have if it hopes to gather an audience and frighten the reader enough to keep them coming back for more.

The Essentials of a Good Horror Story:

The basics of good horror are not much different from that of any written work. Good characters, good plot and plenty of detail make up a great portion of any story, but there are things that a horror story must contain if it hopes to be successful and the least bit scary.

  1. Suspense – Every good horror story or movie is built upon suspense. It is that ‘what is going to happen next’ or the ‘I know something is going to happen next’ feeling that pushes the reader to continue on. Good suspense can be built in two ways, either with the reader know what it is that is going to happen but not knowing when, or with the reader not knowing what is going to happen or when it is going to occur. The first example is one of the most difficult to achieve as a writer, Stephen King is the master of this form of suspense. King has the amazing ability to take an event and turn it into pages upon pages of suspense, all while keeping the reader hooked on each and every word. Creating good suspense requires practice, but one of the easiest ways to achieve this is to feed your reader only pieces of the story, little bits at a time. This action causes them to read further in the hopes that the puzzle will all fit together in the end. There is no short cut for creating suspense, it is all in the details and it takes time to write. Be patient and prepared to edit often.
  2. Death – Death is a major part of fear in humans and is a major detail in all, scary stories. Death in your writing does not have to be gruesome to create fear, but it has to be realistic. Using death to induce fear in your reader is not a difficult skill to master, it is about leaving blanks of information to be filled in at a later time. It goes hand-in-hand with suspense and all other aspects of horror writing and again, it all takes time.
  3. Realism – No matter the plot of your story it has to have some sort of realism. What was considered scary 10 and 20 years ago is not the same as today. Society has been desensitized to the horror story over the years, ghost, goblins and alien invaders are not considered the doom they once were. Horror stories today have far more realistic plots and min-altering story lines that leave the reader wondering if they could possibly be true. You can still utilize the old favorites of ghosts and vampires, but you need to be sure that you will be able to use them in a new and exciting way. No longer can a writer simply ‘create’ something and claim it to be true, today’s stories must back up their creations with proof if they truly hope to induce fear.
  4. Suggestiveness – This is another element that helps to build upon suspense, to induce fear and write a good horror story you must leave it to the reader’s imagination. Feed your readers only what you must to make the story move, but allow their imaginations to create the rest, right up until you bring on the ‘big twist’ and the shocking end.
  5. Strong and believable characters – As with any other genre, believable characters play a major role in the horror story. Your readers must connect with your characters, they must want them to live, and they must be engrossed in their battle to survive. Also, you must have that character that your readers hate as well, that character that they know is doomed, and they truly don’t care. Be sure that you spend a lot of time on character creation if you are planning on writing a horror story, as with every other element involved, this will take up time but the result is worth it. Horror stories are often character driven, so if you go wrong here you run the risk of ruining the entire story right from the start.

Things to Remember While Writing Horror:

If you want your story to be a success remember the following…
Avoid clichés – Too many scary plots have been played to death, avoid the obvious fearful situations such as, a woman alone in a dark house, the experiment gone bad, the haunted woods, and the Ouija board are just a few. If you have seen it a hundred times, read it a hundred times, or told it around a campfire when you were 12, choose another scenario.
Be Realistic – You can not get away with writing a story these days that is based solely on fantasy, it just won’t fly. Readers want stories that are realistic in at least some sense. Even if your idea is based on fantasy you must have some realistic elements to back it up. Scientific evidence is a major part of today’s top-selling horror novels, it requires a lot of research on the writer’s part, but it also helps make the story more believable and thus more frightening.
Be Aware of the Gore – There is a fine line between gruesome and grotesque, be aware of the gore content in your writing. You want to scare your readers, but not completely gross them out. Keep the gruesome details to only the necessities  and avoid going overboard.
Keep it Organized – It is absolutely imperative that you keep your information organized or you risk losing your reader’s attention. There is a ton of prep-work to be done when writing scary stories, and keeping organized notes can make the whole process a lot easier on you as the writer.
Set the Stage – Both your characters and your setting should help set the stage for your main point of conflict. Right from the start of your story you need to connect the two and create instant suspense.
Remember that God is in the Details – There is nothing more important that good detail to the writing of a horror story. Use descriptive words, explain and describe the surroundings, characters and emotions. Horror relies on the reader being able to visualize the scene in their mind so the more vivid the image the more fearful they will be when the time comes. There is no need to go overboard, but make sure that your readers can see the scene as you do being the writer.
Until Next Time…
Write On!

Amazing Autumn Inspiration

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Fall is the season of change and with all the beautiful colors and the crisp air it is one of the best times to get outdoors.

Being outdoors can be very inspiring, especially with beautiful landscape and amazing autumn colors. Why not take a short walk and use the outdoors for some writing inspiration?

Below are a few Fall Writing Suggestions for you to try out. Feel free to post your results, or your own ideas, in the comments section below.

 

Fall Inspired Writing Prompts

  • Write a story or poem from the point of view of a leaf getting ready to fall from the tree.
  • Write a story about a squirrel getting prepared for the winter weather.
  • Recall a memory from your childhood that has to do with fall. Did you jump in the leaves?
  • How do you feel about raking the lawn? Love it, Hate it or Leaf Blow it all away?
  • Does fall weather inspire you? What do you like/dislike most about this time of year?
  • What is fall like where you live?
  • What is you favorite way to spend a nice fall day with friends/family?
  • Write a haunted Halloween story, poem or other piece.
  • Write about Thanksgiving.
  • Write a story or poem about the colors of fall.
  • Write a post about the best places to visit for fall colors.
Have fun and get inspired, as always comments and suggestions are always welcome. You are welcome to post in the comments section below or submit your inquires to: perfectlyprompted@live.ca
Until Next Time…
Write On!

Flash Fiction Challenge Post 2

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I have just posted my second story in my month of July Flash Fiction Challenge over on Complicated Chaos. Feel free to check it out. The story is titled ‘Higher Power

 

As always comments and feedback are appreciated, and feel free to share links to your own site as well…

 

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Flash Fiction Challenge – Post 1

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July 1st marks the first day of my personal “Flash Fiction Challenge” feel free to check out my first attempt at writing a very short story. Comments and feedback are always appreciated.

You can view the post on my personal creative writing site Complicated Chaos, or by clicking HERE!

 

 

 

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenging Creativity….

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*Re-blogged From: Complicated Chaos*

I have decided that I need to, not only expand on this site, but on my creative writing as well, thus the content of this post….

Today as I was stumbling around WordPress I came across a site that inspired me to challenge myself. Elisa Michelle ofelisamichelle.wordpress.com wrote a post about her current Flash Fiction Challenge as well as a second challenge she has decided to face in the month of July.

Not knowing much about what Flash Fiction is, I read on, as she explains Flash Fiction is a story with normal plot elements (exposition, rising action, climax and resolution) condensed into 55 – 1000 words. This got me thinking, and searching the internet, and led to me reading a wide variety of Flash Fiction stories.

Seeing as I want to expand on my creative writing, but don’t see to have much free time these days, I decided that this would also be a great way to challenge myself as a writer to explore my creative abilities, while not overwhelming, or forcing myself, to write at length when I don’t have the available time.

And so, I have decided that I will take inspiration from Elisa Michelle and challenge myself to my own Flash Fiction challenge for July. Though I can not ‘promise’ I will be able to post every single day, I am going to aim to write at least 20 Flash Fiction stories throughout July and post them here on this site, as well as on Complicated Chaos (my personal creative writing site) under the new ‘Creative Writing‘, ‘Flash Fiction Challenge’ categories.

This “challenge” is a very new thing for me, and the stories I produce are not guaranteed to be any good, but it is a way to encourage myself to write and be creative.

Stay tuned for tonight’s post, the first of my Flash Fiction Challenge stories, that I hope will open my mind and get me in a creative writing habit.

Check out some of the Flash Fiction postings at Zenvirus.com to get a clear idea of what Flash Fiction is all about…

If you are starting a challenge, or looking to explore your own creativity, feel free to share your progress, and links, here or join me on this challenge if you want to get creative.

Comments, links, and submissions are always welcome below or can be emailed to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

 

Finding Inspiration to Write… What to do when you can’t get started.

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Writing

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Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say
– Sholem Asch

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is finding a subject to write about. Those that have suffered from Writer’s Block, know the helpless feeling lack of inspiration can cause, and even the most creative soul can lack ideas from time to time.

So how do you get started when it seems there is nothing there to write? 

If you hope to succeed as a writer you must seek out inspiration at every turn. When times get tough you must fight through the wall and find a source for your words. Like an artist, words are your paint, you need to learn to use every color if you hope to create a masterpiece. Inspiration is available all around you, you simply need to open your eyes, and your mind, to let it in. If you are faced with a creative block and can’t seem to find a suitable subject, try out these tips to get your mind working and spark your creativity:

Finding Inspiration to get you Started

  • Read – Often times the best way to get inspired is by reading what someone else has written. I have said this many times before, and I will say it many times in the future. Some of my most inspiring writing is brought on by reading another writer’s blog. Not everything needs to be a ‘great new idea’ it is perfectly acceptable to take someone else’s idea and make it your own. Next time you stumble across a blog, article, or story you enjoy consider how you can expand upon it and make it your own. The only rule here is to provide credit where credit is due and link back to the inspiration.
  • Get out and about – Sometimes all it takes is a little socialization to get your gears going. Meet up with a friend for a chat, or head to a busy café and strike up conversation with a stranger. Conversation produces ideas, and ideas can be turned into art, so get up, get dressed, and get talking… Even a short chat on your favorite social media site can stir up creativity so log on to Facebook and enjoy a chat.
  • Savor the Silence – When social situations are not the inspiring, often time solitude is what we seek. The silence and beauty that peace and quite brings is often very inspiring for a writer. Head to a quiet place in nature, like a hidden beach or quiet forest and simply savor the silence, listening only to the sounds around you and your thoughts. If you can’t get outdoor create solitude inside, retreat to a quiet room, or head to the local library for some down time. Bookstores, art galleries and museums are also inspiring and relatively free of crowds. Bring along a notebook and jot down any ideas that come to mind. Enjoy the peace and allow your creativity to connect.
  • Tune in – Music can be very inspiring for a writer. Next time you are lacking a subject to start your writing step away and crank up the tunes. Listen to the lyrics (if there are any) and really consider how the song makes you feel. Ask yourself what the artist is trying to say through the piece, and allow their inspiration to fuel your own.
  • He said, She said – Quotes are another excellent source of inspiration. A few simple lines can spark endless possibilities. Head over to your favorite quote site, (I like q.uote.it) and immerse yourself in the words of others. There are quotes available on literally ‘thousands’ of topics, and they are a great way to start off your writing (see above) or inspire you to expand. When reading quotes consider not only the words and the source, but the underlying symbolism that these simple pieces often hold. Allow your mind to fully process each written word, and evaluate how they truly make you feel.
  • Just Breathe – Not every moment is meant to be spent writing. If you find that you just cannot find inspiration to get started simply step away. Often times a short break is all that a writer needs to regain perspective and get their creativity back in gear. Take a short walk, step outside, have a bath or do the housework. Focus on something else for a while until you are ready to tackle the task again. By taking time out to relax you are clearing the clutter of your mind and allowing new thoughts and ideas to enter.

If all else fails don’t forget to visit the Prompt section of this site. Writing prompts can be a great way to get started and often lead to other ideas. You can view the prompts this site has available HERE or follow the link at the top of the page.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

How do you cope when you are lacking inspiration?
Where do you find sources for your writing?

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