VOTE NOW! For the Six-Word Story Challenge – TRAVEL

Whether you participated or not you can still vote for your favorite top three stories. 

My story for the TRAVEL prompt was:

“Book open now off I go!”

Head on over and vote for your top three favorite submissions even if you didn’t feel like participating. More votes = more fun.

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Also, don’t forget the Daily Word Prompt, click below to participate and follow the New Daily Prompt.

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VOTE NOW! For the Six-Word Story Challenge – HOME

Whether you participated or not you can still vote for your top three stories. 

My story for the HOME prompt was:

It’s just a house without you.”

Head on over, show your appreciation . for fun prompts and vote for your top three favorite submissions even if you didn’t participate this round. More votes = more fun.

6 word vote

 

Also, don’t forget the Daily Word Prompt, click below to participate and follow the New Daily Prompt.

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VOTE NOW! For the Six-Word Story Challenge – Expectations

Whether you participated or not you can still vote for your top three stories. 

My story for the Expectations prompt was:

“Wow, your online picture is… different.”

Head on over and vote for your top three favorite submissions even if you didn’t feel like participating. More votes = more fun.

6 word vote

 

Also, don’t forget the Daily Word Prompt, click below to participate and follow the New Daily Prompt.

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Shut Your Cake Hole – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is Shut Your Cake Hole . Originally posted on Sep 5, 2016 11:50 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that it’s easy to let a character run their mouth, and sometimes that’s a good thing.

Cake

Shut your cake hole

Blabbermouths are common in the real world. To your face or behind your back. So why not put them in the story? I love a good jerk, the one that makes you grip the book a little harder and hope they get their comeuppance or feel bad for what they’ve done. Whether they know they are loudmouth squealer or not, doesn’t matter. That they stir the pot does matter. A proper bigmouth can change the game and save a floundering storyline.

Here is a little tidbit of mine from a work in progress: (Unrevised version, but it still gets the point across.)

“Good morning Nell, Wendy.” Hank smiled and sat at the meeting room table.
“Oh good morning Hank.” Wendy gushed. She had no problem flirting with the unnaturally handsome Hank. “How was your weekend?”
As usual, Nell sat quietly since Wendy cut off any chance of casting Hank a greeting. Hank finished his tales of golf, beer and a spontaneous trip to the beach without a glance toward Nell. “How about yours, Wendy?”
“Ah same ole, same ole.” She waved her hand. “Now Nell had quite the adventure.” Her sly tone was devastating.
There was zero chance Hank would drop the subject. Nell shot her a what-the-hell look. She knew better than to confide in her friend but did it anyway.
“Oh really.” He slid his gaze to Nell. “Do tell, what could Nell possibly do that has her redder than your blouse Wendy?”
“She had a hot date.” Wendy ignored Nell’s kick to her leg. “Like really hot.” Wendy fanned herself.
Hank tilted his head staring at Nell. She was quiet, mousy and barely noticeable on a good day. All work and no play. Usually. “With whom?”
“Wendy.” Nell’s clenched teeth made her plea to shut up, louder than she meant. The last thing she wanted was Hank, of all people to laugh at her. “Please don’t.”
“Now I have to know.” Hank chuckled.
“She and Barry from accounting went to Point Garrison beach yesterday. Apparently, it has an amazing view.” Wendy waggled her eyebrows.
Nell’s cheeks drained of all color as he smiled broadly, understanding that he was the view.

(In this instance Nell is too shy to say much to the handsome Hank. Wendy’s plan wasn’t clear, did she do this to tease Nell? Did she play matchmaker on purpose or by accident? It all depends on Wendy’s character or who she will be. There was no reason to outline Wendy’s true intentions here, subtlety is key.)

My advice about Chatterboxes.
Use them. Make them make your story tantalizing or spice up a dull storyline. Someone spilling the proverbial beans can start a good conflict. I like to use it as an opportunity to let(or force) someone behave outside their comfort zone. (These types of characters don’t always have to say a lot, they can say little and still be blabbermouths.)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

 

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. A new word every day!
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VOTE NOW! For the Six-Word Story Challenge – FOUNDLINGS

 

Whether you participated or not you can still vote for your top three stories. 

My story for the FOUNDLINGS prompt was:

“Howls at moon with new family.

Head on over and vote for your top three favorite submissions even if you didn’t feel like participating. More votes = more fun.

6 word vote

 

Also, don’t forget the Daily Word Prompt, click below to participate and follow the New Daily Prompt.

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Silliness And Seriousness – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is Silliness And Seriousness . Originally posted on Aug 20, 2016 11:48 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that it’s easy to forget to let a character in a crap situation have some fun.

Silliness And Seriousness

Silliness And Seriousness

She envied their innocence, longing to go back to when a scraped knee was the most stressful part of the day. ‘Don’t rush to grow up.’ Her mom had said it often. As a young adult, she understood the wisdom of those words too late.©

This character is often being silly and doing things that are typically something a child might do. Why? because growing up doesn’t mean dismissing the essence of Youth completely. She herself is young, yet old enough to see and understand the worldly restraints of adulthood. Life will punch her in the teeth and kick her when she’s down, yet she will hold onto the things that make her and others smile. Joy in life, the shadows of youth that keep her from losing herself in an already too serious world.  She doesn’t see herself this way, but others in the story do.

I wrote her this way to allow for a humor break from the drama, danger, and violence. It gives a great opportunity for character interaction. The overly serious and stoic friend might find her enthusiasm annoying. He may or may not comment on it. He could find it charming and pay more attention to her. Or it could get her into trouble when she needs to focus. (Having a strong personality trait is important for the main characters IMO, it allows for growth one way or another.)

In my life, I have come across adults who range from silly and carefree to starchy and unendingly serious. The diversity of maturity is present in the real world so I put it in my characters. (People watching is a wealth of information. People are random. I love seeing how different people react to the same thing.)

My advice about being silly or serious.

Everyone was young once, even an adult character in a book. Who they were is who they are. Silliness and seriousness have their place, I don’t think it always has to be the obvious one. (Still true, I would add that every character needs a sliding scale of silliness and seriousness. Nobody is 100% one way. A man who never laughs at jokes or silly antics may howl at puns or “Dad jokes.” Don’t forget to have some fun.)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. A new word every day!
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What I’ve been up to.

What I'm Up To Update

Hi everyone. Life has gotten busy again! Thank goodness summer is here and now I can shift the type of busy to summer fun-busy.

I recently joined Twitter and have been figuring that out. (Yes I know I’m behind the times) If you write books and are not on twitter, get on twitter. While I have been building a following of fellow writers and literary agents, I have stumbled across Twitter contests called PitMad and SFFpit. I found PitMad one hour before it ended and SFFPit a couple weeks in advance. I hadn’t had any time to write a post about them or twitter… I wrote another book. (between reading other books while exiled from technology for hours a day.)

Good excuse right? This one’s a romance, straight up. It’s third in line for editing and revision now… I’ve never written a romance before. I tend to lean on Urban fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism. it needs a bit of descriptive beefing-up and there’s a hole in the plot that I knew would be there and needs to be fixed. I also have another story brewing that I might not be able to keep on the backburner for much longer. So far it feels like a Paranormal Romance – Urban Fantasy. I’m still fleshing out the details.

On top of that I started the “Your Daily Word Prompt” and reading and catching up on posts, I know I’ve been missing and possibly neglecting some. Sorry about that. So far so good, people seem to be enjoying the prompt, the more the merrier, people can participate via pingback or comment in the day’s’ post. I’m open to suggestions for words if you want to send me a message through the “contact me”. I’ve had a couple comments on the layout that I will address in July so feel free to let me know if you think a color or style isn’t working for you and I will take it into consideration. I’ve kept the daily word prompt separate from my regular blog so the prompt posts don’t get mixed into my regular and personal posts. They will remain scheduled and my attempt or hope is that each prompt word is new and fun.

I’m in the thick of querying agents for Prophecy Ink (Sort of on hold at the moment while I do some more research.)  I was super excited to get a request for materials today from a SFFPit pitch. I hope once I get into a groove and things in my personal life settle down I’ll get everything running smoother than it has been as far as reading posts and posting them.

Thanks for sticking it out and being awesome blog-friends.

Keep writing and creating from the heart.

-Sheryl

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. Today’s Prompt is: Adulation
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VOTE NOW! For the Six-Word Story Challenge – TRAIN

6 word vote now

Whether you participated or not you can still vote for your top three stories. 

My story for the TRAIN prompt was:

“The car jumped track derailing thoughts.

Head on over and vote for your top three favorite submissions even if you didn’t feel like participating. More votes = more fun.

6 word vote

 

Also, don’t forget the Daily Word Prompt, click below to participate and follow the New Daily Prompt.

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The FAB Pencil – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is The FAB Pencil . Originally posted on Sep 6, 2016 10:26 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that this is good practice and can be fun.

The FAB Pencil

The FAB Pencil

What’s so FAB about it? It’s just a lame pencil.

Or is it? I have gone through some nifty retail sales training. You know the kind that teaches you to sell your soul to the devil to make the sale. Up-sell, up-sell, up-sell.

I no longer wonder how they do it, how they smoothly transition you from buying the watch to including the warranty, the battery replacement program, the matching belt and shiny new car. I don’t wonder, because I know.

FAB Feature Advantage Benefit. Oddly, this applies nicely to describing something in writing. The lesson is to take an ordinary item say… a super lame ordinary No.2 pencil and show the customer something they can see, touch or smell about it. Then explain the advantage of the feature and smoothly move into how it benefits the customer.

The feature: it has No.2 lead
The advantage: No.2 writes smoothly
The benefit: consistent writing

Feature: built-in eraser
Advantage: erases efficiently
Benefit: saves time having to search for an eraser

F: seamless wood design
A: easy to sharpen
B: no slivers or sharp bits

F: bright yellow paint
A: easy to see
B: hard to lose

These things seem obvious, right? Maybe, but now they are clearly stuck in your head. How does this apply to describe items in a story? If you give a purpose to an item then it makes sense. If it’s horribly random then its distracting to the reader. If anything, it will help give an object depth. Even a yawn-worthy pencil. I do this with items my characters interact with that are important or interesting.

Sasha plopped the yellow pencil’s eraser end in her mouth. Scrunching her face she removed it instantly. The rubbed-rubber taste turned her stomach and reminded her of the party she went to instead of studying. She set the flattened tip to the paper to mark her answer. Only to rub it out second-guessing herself again.

Sasha jumped when the bell rang. She stared wide-eyed at the paper, a test failed before it was marked. Less than half the questions answered. Gripping the smooth pencil in her hands, she tightened her grip, snapping the light wood easily.

(I did a few edits on this one, the grammar was lacking and I was even missing a word. Just goes to show with a lot of practice and effort we grow and learn more every day.)

My advice about describing things.
Instead of just blurting out what it is with a standard ‘it’s blue’ description, dig deeper and see what it has to offer the user then the interaction between the object and user is more fluid. Be cautious that you don’t go overboard describing an item to the point of excess. Less is more. (I would now add Less is more, if that less is quality.)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. Today’s Prompt is: Adulation
DAILY POST PARTICPIATE

 

VOTE NOW! For the Six-Word Story Challenge

6 word vote now

Whether you participated or not you can still vote for your top three stories. 

My story was:

“Humans photographed us again.”
“Weirdos.”
“Right?”

Head on over and vote.

6 word vote

 

Also, don’t forget the Daily Word Prompt, click below to participate and follow the New Daily Prompt.

DAILY POST PARTICPIATE