Saturday, September 5, 2015

What Genre Is My Story?

After I was finished writing my first story, I was elated! I had finally done something that I could be proud of and share with others. After countless editing, countless hours, countless drafts, I finally felt it was the best it could be and was ready to send it to publishers; I was faced with a task that I hadn't anticipated being difficult for me. I had to select a genre that my story fit in. 
The reason I say this was a hard task is because my story didn't just fit in one had bits and pieces from numerous genres, such as romance, adventure, and fantasy, so which one did I call home?

Determined to do this right, I researched. It turns out, there are more genres than just romance, adventure, and fantasy! In fact, I had never even heard of a few of them in my life. I figured that if I had a hard time finding a home for my story, there may also be others who have a heck of a time finding a genre that fits; therefore, I have compiled a large and lovely list of Fiction genres and sub-genres, along with a brief explanation of each. 
(I realize this doesn't have every single one, but it does have a lot)

Similar to Adventure, protagonist usually takes a risky turn, which leads to desperate situations.
(Example: Explosions, fight scenes, daring escapes, etc...)

About a protagonist who journeys to epic or distant places to accomplish something. Protagonist has a mission and faces obstacles to get to his destination.
(Example: Superhero fiction, manga)

A world that is in the midst of crumbling. There can be many reasons for this: famine, disease, medical mayhem, earthquakes, aliens, natural disaster, zombies, etc...
(Example: The Stand by Stephen King, The Passage by Justin Cronin)

Fiction that uses Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. Both the content of the book and the religious affiliation of the author should be taken into consideration.
(Example: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, The Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis)

Often uses elements of absurdism, satire, and grotesque, along with pop-surrealism in order to create subversive, weird and entertaining works.
(Example: Satan Burger by Carlton Mellick III, Bucket of Face by Eric Hendrixson)
(I have never read these books, but they were the top rated on Goodreads)

Slang for a genre geared towards female readers which deal with modern issues in women's lives, often humorous and lighthearted. Although it often includes romantic elements, it is not considered a romance sub-genre because the heroines relationships with her family or friends are often just as important as her romantic relationship.
(Example: Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding, Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella)

Geared toward a child audience. Meant to be entertaining and often teaches a lesson.
(Example: Pop-up books, Picture books, Early Reader Stories)

Deals with climate change or global warming. May take place in present day or in the near future.
(Example: The Purchase of the North Pole by Jules Verne, The Wind From Nowhere by J. G. Ballard)

Tells about a series of funny/comical events, intended to make the audience laugh.
(Example: Satire, scandal, parody, sarcasm, romantic comedy)

Not mainstream fiction. Describes a daily reality familiar to many people. Meant to be entertaining, the writing is often times more pared-down and doesn't take many risks.
(Example: The Shining by Stephen King, Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton)

About a crime that is being committed or was committed. It be an account of a criminals life.
(Example: Detective story, courtroom drama, murder mystery, legal thriller)

Nonfactual work that has a large following of loyal fans who are highly devoted. Often Cult fiction breaks new ground in some way. Perhaps the author uses a new narrative or brings up edgy issues. Some of the most esteemed Cult fiction may have been banned at one point.
(Example: Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

The opposite of Utopia (which means Paradise). Hell on earth. Often takes place in a civilization that appears perfect on the surface but is bad underneath. Sometimes the corrupt existence is known but suppressed. Often discovered and changed by the main character.
(Example: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth)

Stories constructed as a series of letters exchanged between characters, diary or journal entries.
(Example: Star Trek, The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank)

A short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters.
(Example: Tortoise and the Hare)

Fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from a particular TV series, movie, etc...

About magic, gods, heroes, monsters, nonhuman characters or supernatural forces, rather than technology. The plot cannot occur in the real world; often set in non-realistic worlds or in alternate versions of the historical world. Removed from reality.
(Example: Contemporary fantasy [present day], Urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fairy tales, epic/high fantasy, heroic, legends, myths)

Deals with traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.
(Example: Greek mythology, Roman mythology, Egyptian mythology)

An effective means to convey grief and pain to the audience through character, locations and style. Often linked with satire and tragic comedy.
(Example: Odyssey by Homer, Myths of Monsters)

Defined either by its setting or by the epic stature of its characters, themes and plot.
(Example: Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien)

Plot takes place sometime in the past, characterized by imaginative reconstruction of historical events or personage.
(Example: Biography, memoir, historical fiction)

Told to be frightening to the audience through suspense, violence or shock. Horror can be either supernatural or not.
(Example: Thriller, Gothic horror, dark poetry, supernatural)

Highlights people overcoming adversity or reaching new levels of understanding. Meant to uplift and entertain.
(Example: Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield)

Centers on realistic (as opposed to futuristic or speculative) portrayals of scientists and on science as a profession. Set in a realistic world.
(Example: Mendel's Dwarf by Simon Mawer, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver)

A narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history. Usually takes place in short episodes. 
(Example: Urban legend, adventures, folklore)

Any type of fiction that sells well. Novels that don't stick to the "traditional" rules of genres. These novels are done in big print runs and with a large advertising budget. Often they are very long. On the cover, a famous authors name may be in bigger print than the title. (Sometimes plausibility and careful editing will take a back seat)
(Example: authors Stephen King and James Patterson)

A story in which the detective investigates and/or solves a crime or series of crimes. The crime or other event may remain puzzling to the reader until the end of the story. 
(Example: Crime stories, detective stories)

A story mocking the pretensions or weaknesses of a particular author, style, or genre.
(Examples: Bored of the Rings by Henry Beard, The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall)

A story that imitates on or more established works, or consists of episodes of such works. Unlike Parody, Pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.
(Example: The British Museum is Falling Down by Lin Carter, Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley)

An episodically structured story featuring a rogue or an antihero in low social degree as the protagonist surviving by his/her wit in a corrupt society. Often humorous.
(Example: Don Quixote by Migel de Cervante Saavedra, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut)

Set in a world or civilization after such a disaster that ruins the world. Focuses on how people change and evolve as time goes on. Sometimes will be many generations into the future.
(Example: The Walking Dead [T.V. Series], The Passage by Justin Cronin)

Primary focus on a relationship between two people. It must have an emotionally satisfying ending. 
(Example: Romantic comedy, paranormal romance, historical romance)

A story that pokes fun at human shortcomings, such as arrogance, greed, and vanity.
(Example: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)

Dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. 
(Example: Space travel, set on other planets, aliens)

A form of drama based on human suffering that invokes in its audience an accompanying sadness or pleasure in the viewing. 
(Example: Greek, Roman, Renaissance, Western tragedy)

A story with a plot centering on a significant amount of travel.
(Example: On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Coasting by Jonathan Raban)

Stories set primarily in the later half of the 19th century in the American Old West.
(Example: Cowboy, pioneers, bandits)

I'm sure there are many more that I haven't listed here, but who has time to write them all. haha
I hope this was as helpful to you as it was to me. Sometimes, I still struggle to find the right home for my story, but with the ever-broadening genre types, I'm sure that there is such a place for my story.
If there is a genre you've noticed I missed, I would love to hear about it in my comments section!
Happy Writing!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Unhappily Ever After Preview!

If you've ever tried writing a book, you know that a story takes a long time to put together and there are numerous steps that go into making it perfect. 
Well, I am pleased to announce that I have (finally) finished the sequel to 
It is called, Unhappily Ever After and will be a part of a trilogy!
If you have read my first one then I hope you love my second one as well.


Lorianna’s painfully beautiful face crinkled into a sneer as she loomed over me; a plum-wine stain beginning to bloom like blood on the princess' white gown.
Confusion surrounded me; as I looked around, I realized that I was dressed in a servant’s uniform and sprawled on the ground next to a now empty goblet.
My brows furrowed as I tried to figure out why this all seemed so familiar and then I heard the laughter. There was a crowd surrounding us and all of them were looking at me.
"Take Jennifer away!" Lorianna purred in sick satisfaction as two guards broke through the crowd to seize me.
"No! No, I didn't do it!" I yelled as they each grabbed onto one arm and hoisted me easily off the ground. 
The princess' ice blue gaze followed me as the guards literally dragged me away, my shoes scrapping the floor and all.
"It wasn't me!" I begged, my fear growing at the thought of what Lorianna would have them do to me.
Then the guards halted and before me stood Gray, my Gray! His face was full of concern and my fear seemed to vanish at just the sight of him.
"Oh thank God! Gray!" I gasped.
However, he wasn't looking at me. In fact, his gaze was trained just over my shoulder and he didn't even spare me a glance as he walked by. The guards holding me (bless their little hearts) decided that I really needed to see this and so they turned me around to watch.
"Are you alright?" Gray asked Lorianna, taking her slender hand in his.
What the Hell?! I thought angrily. "Is SHE alright?!" I asked incredibly as my stomach turned sour.
Lorianna, of course, pouted prettily and allowed him to pull her into his arms. "I'm fine...just a bit shaken up." She spoke dramatically, like a bad actor in a badly written play.
I opened my mouth to scream that she wasn't the one being carted away like some criminal when the guards decided to continue dragging me away.
"No! Wait!" However, no one was paying attention to me; the crowd watched the Princess with adoration in their eyes.
I’m going to be sick!
Gray tucked a golden lock of hair behind Lorianna's ear and I felt like I was going to blow chunks. Then he pressed his forehead to hers and the room went silent, as if to punctuate his words, "I love you".
                                                ₪         ₪         ₪

I shot up in bed, clutching my pounding heart. What a nightmare!
With a look at my clock on my nightstand, I groaned to find that it was only 4AM.
I scrubbed a hand over my face, trying to shake off the remains of the dream. For some reason, I had been dreaming about Delbrook more often lately. It had been almost three months since my... return, and still those dreams haunted me.
With a great sigh, I swung my legs out of bed and tried to wrestle my messy hair into something that resembled a bun; I knew there was no use trying to go back to sleep, it never came after a dream like that.
With a tired shuffle, I flipped the light on, squinting at the assault on my eyes. If I’m not going to sleep, I might as well clean.
Before Delbrook, I might have filled my sleepless hours with some romantic novel or another; however, since my return, just the thought of picking one up made me shudder.
Maybe being sucked into a romance novel has something to do with it, I thought sarcastically. On the other hand, perhaps it was the fact that I was now in the beginnings of an amazing relationship and didn’t need to fill my mind with imaginary love.
I grabbed a scrubber and went to work on the tub as my mind wandered. The thought that Delbrook had all been a dream still haunted me; was I some sort of skitzo who made up the entire thing in my mind?
Since my time back, I had visited a plethora of doctors, had MRI's, CAT scans, the whole workup and it had all come back normal...aside from the fact that I didn't drink enough water.
It left me unnerved to have no logical explanation as to what happened to me. So instead of let it stress me, I tried to chalk it up as one of life's mysteries; a mystery that I had never shared with anyone, not even Maggie!
A life in a locked down facility with padded rooms did not fit in my plan for the future and that’s exactly where I would be if I had spilled the beans.
Carrying around a secret this big was definitely a burden. No wonder I’m always dreaming about Delbrook!
Could it all be a dream? However, that didn't explain the Delbrook citizen lookalikes running around New York; they were all real flesh-and-blood people that I had never met before my time in the book, I was certain.
Nevertheless, that was all they were, lookalikes.
In the beginning, I had thought I truly had found Gray. That somehow our love had sucked him out of the book with me. That maybe fate wasn't actually cold hearted and ripped me from my love just as soon as I found him.
That night at Barry's was the turning point for me; Maggie dragged me to her boyfriend’s birthday bash and that's where Gray became so real, even though it wasn't actually Gray.
After my initial shock of finding Gray, I found out that his name was actually Ben Knight. (The irony that I had thought of Gray as my knight in shining armor didn't escape me.)
Ben offered to buy me a drink to make up for what was actually my clumsiness. 
The whole time, I was speechless to see Gray, not Gray, so close and REAL!
Ben looked so much like him, it was astounding and my heart immediately made the connection, no questions asked…not that I could blame the poor thing.
Maybe I was still distraught from being ripped from Gray or maybe there was something about Ben that drew me, either way, our "drink" turned into a date the next night, and the night after that and we had hardly been apart since.
Though they could nearly be twins, the more I got to know Ben, the more I realized he was different.
He was thoughtful; through all my bouts of depression about being away from Delbrook, he allowed me time to heal without questioning too deeply. I knew I couldn’t tell him everything that I had gone through.
Where Gray was almost frustratingly reserved and hard, Ben was much more open; especially about the way he felt about me. It turns out, our connection was not one sided.
A smile graced my lips as I turned my scrubbing to the shower walls.
Sometimes, when he was around me, I would completely forget about Delbrook and for once be happy to be living in the moment.
Ben was strong in his own right, whereas Gray had to be strong for what little family he had left.
I'll admit, at first it felt as though I was cheating on Gray (or at least the memory of him); however, with no proof that Delbrook even existed, I had to come to a place where I figured perhaps I had needed Gray for a time. I had needed a hard man in order to break me out of my bitter shell. I had needed him to teach me that I deserved more than what I was settling for. He taught me that I was desirable and that I could be strong for myself; those were lessons I swore never to take for granted.
Though I found myself longing for Gray sometimes, I found myself quickly falling for Ben (much faster than I should be). He looked at me with his hazel eyes just the way Gray used to; it never failed to turn my knees to jelly and make me feel as if I were the only one in the room.
Ben had a way of pulling a smile from me with merely a glance. He made me happy. So, why did I still have guilt about Gray? Why did I continue to dream about Delbrook?
Turning from the tub, I decided I needed a change of scenery and maybe that would change the depressing turn my thoughts had taken.
As I loaded the dishwasher, I puzzled over the only thing that really kept me questioning Delbrook. When Ben and I had met at the party, he said that I looked familiar.
How can that be? I wondered. With careful questioning, I discovered that he had no recollection of a place named Delbrook (he only knew it as his best friends last name) and he didn't have a sister named Andrea. I knew for certain that I had never seen Gray or Ben before I got sucked into that book, so how could Ben later claim that he felt as though he’d known me for years?
There had been a few times that I had slipped and called Ben, Gray; he never answered the name and I'd give him the excuse that he reminded me of someone I once knew.
However, Ben wasn't the only one from the book who was different; Maggie's boyfriend, Noah Delbrook, aka Derek of Delbrook, was night and day difference to the raging Derek who had tried multiple times to kill me for “kidnapping” his true love Mary.
Noah was actually...nice and sometimes he was pretty funny. He did, however, still have the same intensity about the woman he loved; only this time his heart was attached to my best friend. And...I was okay with that.
I found myself almost growing more comfortable with him, almost. He too had never been to a place called Delbrook, though he found it amusing that such a place could exist since it was his last name. He also didn’t know anyone by the name of Gray, or Demetrie for that matter.
Noah was not an exact replica of Derek either. It made sense that when we had first met, I would make the connection; after all, they both had blue eyes to contrast their dark hair as well as a ridiculously large build. Noah, however, had a crooked nose from having it broken in sports. He wasn't as tall as I remembered Derek being and he didn't have the hardened look of a soldier.
The coincidence was too close for my liking; however, with no one to question, it would remain just that, a coincidence.
I’d spent some time researching doppelgangers, wondering if that was what was going on. No matter what my theories were, there would never be a way to prove any of it. These sort of things only happened in sci-fi movies and there were no facts to go off.
I set up the dishwasher and pulled out my kettle, hoping that tea would soothe my mind. I made the same dizzying circles almost daily.
Ben and I had been dating since the first night we met and our connection was electric. I had never been the type of girl to dive head first…actually it was safe to say that I was always the exact opposite; but, with Ben, it just felt right. Perhaps I was a bit impulsive when I gave him a key to my apartment a few weeks ago, I didn't care; I wanted him around.
He'd been gone for a few days for work. He was a firefighter and it was his shift to stay in the firehouse. I always missed him when he was gone and worried (because that’s what I did best), but as he explained his training and told me stories about the different fires that he’d fought, I felt my confidence in him grow. Besides, he looked scrumptious in his firefighting uniform.
He'd even taken me along to work and introduced me as his girlfriend, which made my heart flutter at just the thought. It was another comfort to learn that the other men he worked with were pretty cool and had each other’s backs.
It amazed me to think we'd only been together for a few months. It was as if we'd known each other for our entire lives.
I miss him, I thought as I waited for the water to boil. I especially missed him when I dreamed of Delbrook. My dream had not been as serious as a few I'd had before, one that frequented my nights was the war that I had disappeared right in the middle of.
What I wouldn't give to know if my friends are okay. Andrea, Beck, Claire...Gray.
Yet another thing I had no answer for. The book that started it all was in another language. I'd “Googled” it, asked around and even visited a linguist at the university. All he could tell me was that it was mostly gibberish. Another dead end, so I had safely tucked the book at the bottom of my underwear drawer for the time being.
The kettle whistled, jostling me from my thoughts. Pouring myself a cup, I ended up curling up on the couch, dragging my laptop with me and powering it on.
When I            had a night like is, I eventually ended up searching the web for some kind of answers...any answers at all.
So far, all I'd found was that a man in Connecticut swears up and down that he found some sort of portal to a time-space continuum. The same man had published a book about being abducted by aliens a few years later.
I also discovered that there was no such place in the entire world, all through history, called Delbrook. Therefore, there was no information on a war that happened there.
Nevertheless, I opened a search window and typed in "Romance books about Delbrook".
After about twenty minutes of only finding every romance novel with the word "Brook" in the title, I gave up on that avenue.
New search: "Magical necklaces".
Popular jewelers’ from all over the world claimed, "Have a magical evening that she will never forget. Buy our blahdy blah blah necklace".
Growling in frustration, I closed that search. Rapping my nails against the keys, I tried to rack my brain for an idea.
New search: "Missing persons, Mary". I knew this would lead to nowhere. I had never even met the lady.
Finally closing my laptop, I downed my now tepid cup of tea and curled up on the couch.
I laid there for a long time, my mind a constant loop of questions and as the sun started to light the room, I finally fell asleep.

Something gently nuzzled my neck, drawing me too soon from my blissful sleep.
"Why are you sleeping on the couch?" a deliciously deep voice rolled over me in waves.
Without opening my eyes, a smile bloomed on my lips. "I couldn’t sleep."
"I noticed," he chuckled.
Now I cracked my brown eye to look at him from beneath my lashes, attempting a playful glare. "You only say that because the apartment is clean."
A sexy half grin graced his handsomely tanned face, before a more serious glint overtook his gaze. "Are you alright?"
I nodded and stretched. Right in the middle of my luxurious stretch, I felt his lips against mine, sending pleasant tingles through me while causing my heart to slam against my ribcage.
Will he ever stop affecting me like this? I wondered. Before I could return the kiss, he pulled away. "Mm, I missed you," his voice rumbled.
"I know," I joked.
With a sly grin, he dropped his duffel and grabbed for me. With surprising speed for someone who had just woken up, I darted off the couch. I was just about to taunt him for being too slow when I got a look at the clock hanging on my living room wall.
With a curse, I darted into my room, our fun forgotten. "I have a meeting in twenty minutes!" I called over my shoulder as I threw open my closet, chiding myself for not setting an alarm.
"Good thing I came home early," he answered from what sounded like the kitchen. Sure enough, moments later, the smell of coffee wafted through my small apartment.
"Ten points for Ben," I muttered as I threw on some slacks and dashed for the bathroom.
Right on cue, my cell buzzed.
"Maggie," I breathed as I loaded my toothbrush with paste.
"Where are you? Meeting starts in fifteen!"
"I kno," I blubbered around my toothbrush. "I woke ub lat."
"Are you drunk?" she asked incredibly.
"Hold on." I spit and rinsed. "I'm getting ready and am out the door in two seconds. I'll tell you about it later." With that, I hung up and ran back into my room, nearly colliding into Ben, who was holding a hot thermos of coffee.
He caught me easily, reminding me of how exactly we'd first met and of all the times I’d run into Gray during my time in Delbrook.
I took the thermos, offering him a peck on the lips and then scoured the room for my missing shoe, shoving Delbrook to the back of my mind. I dropped to my knees to look under the bed when Ben cleared his throat. I glanced up, rear in the air, to find him dangling the long lost twin to my other shoe that was already on my foot.
"Please, by all means, remain as you are. I'm quite fond of this view," he teased.
I glared and blushed slightly as I stood and reached for my shoe, which he held just out of reach, capturing my chin with his free hand and my mouth with his.
Had I the choice, I would have stayed like this for the rest of the day; however, the clock was ticking.
Still, I lingered; he was a phenomenal kisser and every time, without fail, I was dumbfounded. It wasn’t fair.
When he finally released me, my brain was a foggy pile of mush.
It didn't help that he flashed me that sexy smile again, "You should skip work."
"Work?" I murmured, and then finally snapped out of it. "Work! I gotta go!" I snatched my shoe and put it on while hopping down the hall, the thermos in the nook of my arm as I grabbed my purse. "Thanks for the coffee, I'll see you later!"
Neither of us had said the "L" word yet. I knew he was waiting for me to be more comfortable with the idea. Needless to say, I was still pretty awkward with the whole relationship thing. That didn't stop me from wanting to make sure this love was real and not some sick replacement for the Gray-sized hole left behind in my heart.
Ben was more than a rebound; I knew that, but did I love him? I mean truly love him?
Right now, I didn't have time to think about that, I had a meeting to sprint to.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Saw it in a Movie

I absolutely love movies, whether they're on the big screen or coming to me through Netflix while I vegetate on my couch, I can't get enough of them.
It's safe to say that I'm a movieholic! 
(I'm sure there are plenty more of you out there)

The other day, I was reading through some old writing I had done while I was still in high school when I came across a vampire story (I'm pretty sure every teen goes through a vampire stage) and as I read it, I got a strong sense of jà vu, but couldn't place it.
A few days later, it finally hit me why the story had sounded so familiar...I saw it in a movie!
(Not my entire story, mind you, but just enough that I rolled my eyes and laughed at young Crystyl.
I guess everyone has to start somewhere.)

Well, that got me to thinking, how much is my writing today effected by the media around me?
Probably more than you'd think.
Media is everywhere now-a-days. With phones easily accessible, we have media at our very fingertips; music, movies, art, books, you name it! 
With all that stuff flooding our world, it's no surprise to find traces of it in your own work.

Movies can be the simplest form of inspiration; what better way to get an idea than by something you SEE with your own eyes?

The longer I've been a writer, the more I find that I zero in on details. Doesn't matter if I'm reading or watching something, I break down story plots and predict outcomes (most of the time). I do this by thinking of what sort of twist I would write into it, and most of the time it comes true. It happens naturally now. 
(If you've even predicted know that people don't always appreciate your genius). 
I kinda think that becoming a writer has ruined a lot of things for me. Haha

I don't bring this up to discourage writers from going to the movies or using any media to influence their writing. Actually, I'm encouraging you!

Cinema can help give you a different perspective and tips on those little details you never thought about.

Nothing really takes place of good old fashioned research; I think its safe to add movies to the research pile.
For example, say I'm writing a story set during the glory of Rome, I would definitely want to research their culture, clothing, social system, etc...but I could also tune into some movies for simple character ideas and even get a feel for their vocabulary. (Careful: sometimes Hollywood takes liberties with their ideas and aren't always historically accurate) 
If my main character was a soldier in the Roman army, there would be plenty of videos to choose from to help me capture a soldier's passion and brutality. You can't always get that kind of emotion from a Wiki page.
Also, Google isn't going to help me come up with a wicked awesome fight scene
Since I am not an actual fighter, I have to settle for the second best thing, watching it! I can then take what I see and recreate an excellent fight for my characters.

Now, I'm not saying you should go and copy the plot and characters from the movies you watch...that is, in fact, plagiarism. 
I feel the need to reiterate, don't plagiarize
Imagine how hard you work to write a story, well that person worked equally as hard for theirs. (Take it from someone who's a victim of this.) Respect each other. 
Get inspiration, but don't steal their idea, if you know what I mean.
Latch on to some details and turn it into your own creation. 
It could even be something as simple as "I love how this bad guy cocks his eyebrow when he's being maniacal". Then come up with an entire story with a setting where that detail could be used. Make sense?
Media is an awesome source for inspiration. Recycle, throw in details from numerous sources (including your imagination), add your own flare and you've got a great idea.

Don't be afraid to use what's around you; after all, you can only recreate yourself so many times. Eventually, you need a boost from somewhere else.

Friday, February 20, 2015

10 Writing Prompts Guaranteed To Get The Creativity Flowing

As a writer, it's hard to stay motivated ALL THE TIME and sometimes your creativity is just blocked. Here are some fun prompts to help get your mind off your main project for a while and try something new; sometimes, that's all that's needed to get the creativity flowing again.

1- Ghostbuster for Hire:
You've been out of work for a few months and respond to an unusual ad online that reads, "Team seeking full time associate who isn't afraid of ghosts". Intrigued, you go to their office and get hired on the spot. Moments later, there's a...

You went to bed, like any other night and were out like a log in minutes. But when you woke up, you weren't at home. You were in a car (that wasn't yours), wearing clothes (that weren't yours) and holding a bag full of money (that wasn't yours either). Suddenly police lights flash from behind...

3-Who Am I:
A shapeshifter deals with an existential crisis after realizing it no longer remembers its original shape.

4- Dream Bender:
After waking from a coma, you discover you have the ability to control the world around you as if it were a dream. The only problem is that you don't know you're awake.

5- The Life of a Small Man:
Rewrite the fairy tale, Snow White, from the point of view of Bashful, one of the 7 dwarves.

6- Switch:
You wake up, go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. A different face stares back at you. Begin your story here.

7- Ride Hard or Go Home:
In 200 words, describe a day in the life of a Valet.

8- I Hope You're Happy Now:
Fill in the blank and use this line of dialogue in your story.
"I hope you're all happy, because now I have to ____."

9- TGIF:
Describe each day of the week as if it were a person.

10- The Flip:
Write about the dragon who rescued the Princess from the Knight.

Here are some excellent resources for fun writing prompts. (These are where I found some of these)
Pinterest - Search writing prompt
Tumblr - Search writing prompts

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"I finished my book...but no one cares"

What to do when you have friends that don't write...

Get rid of them...
...I'm joking. Writing isn't for everyone, but there's nothing more frustrating than being on a high from finally finishing a book, and no one seems to care.
If you're like me, that "book high" is nearly impossible to contain and my book is all I want to talk about. 
(I figured if it's alright for new parents to brag about their babies, then it's alright for me to brag about my story (which is my baby))
So, what do you do when you've finished your book and none of your friends seem to understand? My advice is get yourself a group of writer friends. 
No one understands writing like another writer.

I have three writer friends who each have strengths in different aspects of writing (it just happened that way, I didn't plan it, but its very convenient).
I talk to them about everything to do with writing and they understand! 
They know when to praise and celebrate with me or when to buckle down and help me iron out a kink in my story.
I go to them because it builds me up as a writer. 
Not that non-writing friends are bad, I have plenty of those too, but they are not interested in the nitty-gritty that goes into the book.
Even then, your non-writer friends are not completely useless; I would use them as your test audience. Allow them to read your story (or at least discuss the plot with them), if they stay interested, then you've got a good story on your hands.
Use your writer friends for editing, character correction, to detect plot-holes and they can even help pump up your story.
I love "Book Talk" with those friends because I always walk away from a brainstorming session with even more ideas to bring my story to the next level. 

So, what if you don't have any writer friends?
First, start talking about writing with people in your life (like coworkers, friends, church peeps, club members, etc...) sometimes, there's a fellow writer right under your nose.
If that doesn't work, join an online writing community. A few good ones that I've tried out are Readwave, Writers Cafe and Worthy of Publishing.
These sites allow you to post your writing for others to review and comment, to meet other writers and to even join into fun contests. 
Or, if neither of those work for you, join a writing class. 
Boom, you're suddenly surrounded by more people like you!
Writing is a beautiful thing, don't sell yourself short, get out there.