Tag Archives: writing prompt

Said? Update the vocab!

I don’t know about the rest of ya, but I feel a little like I am writing a Dick & Jane primary book when I use ‘Said’ too often in my novels… but then, some peeps believe that ‘Said’ is the only way to go… but just look at all these alternatives… why limit your writing???

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I absolutely love Pinterest… there is so much to find… with this list, you can show your characters even more clearly… I have used about half of these naturally, but there are a lot of choices that I never thought of…

as for the authors that believe that ‘Said’ is the best way, I have some favorites that I love to read… even though I disagree, their stories are still enjoyable and re-readable… I love to read my favorites over and over… Slow writing is usually the only way to make me lose interest… so if my go-to authors want to stick with ‘Said’, then to each their own…

I believe that each author needs to follow their own path… there are some rules that all of us need to follow, but the bottom line in writing for me is to always enjoy the creation…

anywho… I am off to play with some of these said-replacements… Happy wordage everyone…

if you want to check out some of my writing you can go to either My Book Site or my Author Page on Pronoun

 

Don’t be sad yet #RRBC

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the 30th…. sigh… on the up side, we are steps away from falling leaves and cool breezes… ahhh…. I am giddy just thinking about it… I would say that my love of Fall is all about my MS, but the season has always been one of my Faves… so I was wondering??? could there be a connection between my birthday (in October) and my love of the season… hmmm… what about y’all…

on the down side, the end of August means the end of our block party…

but not so fast, cause the fun isn’t over yet… today we have one or two… I say or because the second site’s link isn’t live yet… but if you want to go over to RRBC later, maybe things will have changed… just head to RRBC to check out the line-up…

but to wet your whistle, start with this lovely 😛

 Michelle Abbott

DAILY GIVEAWAY: 

(1) $10 Amazon Gift Card;

just visit and leave a comment… and you are entered to win… wooo who

OMG… four stops #RRBC

Block Party 2016 banner

look, look, look… four stops…. are they insane… are they trying to overload us with excitement… and who is that second person down… oh look… that’s me…

and first up we finally get to see Brenda Taylor’s site… so glad she is still on the block party… and look at all those other awesome stops…

Brenda Taylor

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: 

  • (1) $10 Amazon Gift Card,
  • (1) ebook copy of a “HIGHLAND PEARL,” and an ebook copy of a “HIGHLAND RUBY”;

 Finder’s Keepers Series/Tracey Clark

DAILY GIVEAWAYS:

(1) Either a bracelet or earrings OR keychain with bookmark;

 Wendy Scott

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: 

  • (2) e-book copies of “HIEROGLYPH,”
  • (5) e-book copies of “FAIRY DUST,”
  • & (1) ebook copy of “LODESTONE”;

Jim Cronin

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: 

(3) $20 Amazon Gift Cards

Just click the links…. enjoy the post… and leave a comment… that’s it… fun and games, and a chance to win goodies… how awesome is that… alright I am off now… hope to see y’all over on my book site… happy wordage

4-30-2016 #Writing Prompt – Wrap ups

woowho…. so, this is the last day of CampNaNoWriMo … if you didn’t participate this time, not to worry… camp happens in april and july … and NaNoWriMo comes every November … the best part about camp is get to choose your writing goal… so those of you that don’t feel you can read the 50k goal (a must in nov) can still win all the goodies available …

but back to the writing prompt… Wrap Ups… since this is that last day, I decided to give you all a quick prompt, and then a guide to improve and play with your novel once the first draft is finished… sooo the prompt??

take one of your secondary characters and work on dialogue and actions… you can use them to more the story along, add humor, lighten the mood after a serious moment, spark a fight or cause the MC to need to save them… again… 😛

lol… I love sarcasm… now for the warp up – prompt… use the following pinterest pics to work on showing vs telling … body language and word usage… I also suggest The Emotional Thesaurus and other similar books…  I also like the ones on positive and negative traits…

now… instead of grouping photos like I have been, I am putting each one up by itself… I’m not sure if this will make things easier, but hopefully, you will able to save them and then print them out if you want…

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Body description…

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some of these are good for non-fantasy characters… if you know your characters job you will be able to picture what they look like, what type of gestures they may use more than others…

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don’t make your  characters perfect… good or bad guys, add a flaw or two… muhahahahaha

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work on word usage in your wiritng…

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what does your MC’s pain feel like…

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there are all kinds of ways to take your novel to the next level… these are just a few of them… I hope they helped… just remember to enjoy your edits… I have found that playing with showing vs telling and using examples like these help make the editing process fun… and I seriously hate edits.. lol 😛

that’s it for this month of nano writing prompts… here is your pinterest prompt to wrap things up… happy wordage, tracey

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4-29-2016 #WritingPrompt – Location

today’s writing prompt is very important… if not for your story line then to help get you in the head space to know what you characters will do and say… where they will go, what areas can provide the prefect backdrop for dialogue, or what hiding places are available for you villains… today we are using Location

I had the opportunity to travel to Europe as a teen… and hopefully one day I will work those wonderful destinations into my novels… I find that experiencing an area firsthand helps to bring it to life when you are writing… in this day and age, the internet can do a lot for you, but being there and experiencing it for yourself is always better…

make it fun… before you go into your edits, take a road trip tot he area you want you MC to come from… not only will you be able to add important details to your story, you just might be inspired for your next novel… going before you write is good, but it is never too late to take that trip… not until you put ‘the end’ on the last page…

now I have some USA maps here, but that is because that’s my home country… it is always easier to start with what you know… what you love…

what area does your MC come from… what landscapes and hometown treasures can you incorporate into your story… people love to learn little know facts, especially if they are weaved into a story without becoming an informational text… you have the perfect opportunity to show something/someplace that you love/enjoyed through your novels…

for me that will always be Kentucky… I love my state… from the caves and the lakes, the horse and the bourbon… the waterfalls, changing leaves in fall, and the Appalachian mountains…. I love it all…

I had someone ask me once ‘why Kentucky?’ for my story… and I had to ask ‘Why not Kentucky? Kentucky rocks…’ lol… so where is your MC from…

okay… that’s it… tomorrow will be our last writing prompt as Camp NaNoWriMo comes to a close… for now… here is your pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey

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Magical Eyes

oooo…. this is another month with five Fridays … and this seemed like the perfect writing prompt to share… I know I already did one on eyes… but fifth Fridays are all about beauty and I found a few more eye pinterest pics… I wanted to put them human/animal side by side… it is easy to see that a human can have ‘animal eyes’ and an animal can hold human intelligence in there gaze… 😛

I love visual aids for descriptions… no matter if I am sketching out something for myself, or stealing some cool pics on pinterest… like these… eyes and people/animals come in so many shapes and colors… it doesn’t matter if you are writing something otherworldly, or creating something from the more contemporary genres… eyes are still magnificently varying, no matter what you write…

sooo have fun with it… anyone can write about blue or brown eyes… give me eyes so dark they resemble chunks of coal… or eyes the bluest of blues, like a clear summer day…. because even when you change it up with ice blue, it is great to have a picture to look at so that you can continue past those two little words… an icy blue so pale the whites seem to merge and mix with the shocking color… and animals… give your human shapeshifter the eyes that their animal would have… not a must, but it could be fun and shocking for your characters…

whatever you do, have fun with it and happy wordage, tracey

4-28-2016 #WritingPrompt – Communication

today’s writing prompt is Communicate… how we communicate with the world, with team members, with ourselves… how we use nature and animals in communications… and how that can be used in our writing…

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it seems that the alpha male always comes with a way to silently communicate with team members, but how do we writers communicate his actions so that the readers can visualize what is happening in the story… I saw these and just had to share… if you can practice a few of these hand signals, it will help you to write them down when they are needed in your story…

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or morse code… your MC could be trapped in a  building, locked in a room with no way out, but their are pipes leading through the building… pipes that can carry sound to the rescue party searching above them… muhahahaha… or a victim you MC doesn’t know is there, can tap out an SOS…

I have never done this before…but on tv, it is described as longs and shorts… so G would be two long, one short…. and so on… you victim/MC could use a walkie/some kind of radio to tap out morse code with the  static… or the bad guys could be communicating over the radio… they could hijack a radio station, and every hour on the hour they could have ‘technical difficulties’… but really it is a message in the static/song cutting out…

so we have hand signals and signals in sound, but what if you can’t see the signal???

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Your MC could make/use invisible ink to pass secrets/coded messages … or maybe your MC finds a messages that was used by the bad guys… or your MC finds a coded text in invisible ink on something really old… is your MC a treasure hunter???

other than invisible ink and morse code, your characters could use wind talkers or cryptography… when it comes to cryptography, I get a little lost, but I wanted to include it just incase you guys find it interesting and want to add it to your story

wind/code talkers on the other hand, have always been close to my heart… my background is Cherokee, not Navajo, but I have always respected these brave souls… they helped this country, even after all that they had lost at the hands of the white man… now I am as pale as pale can be, but my grandfather had a reddish brown tan to his skin all year round… my contemporary series is full of men with American Indian genetics… I love the skin tone and wanted them to have that year round beauty…

alrighty… two more forms of communication to go… what if you character is deaf or mute??? you still need a way for them to add dialogue to your story… knowing a little more about sign language can help you to show what is happening in your novel, instead of just telling…

and last but not least (I am sure there are many other forms I have missed) nature… let your character track someone or something through the woods…. let nature speak to them… use broken leaves/twigs and especially animal tracks…

that all for now… I hope something has helped to fire up your imagination… now for the pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey

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4-27-2016 #WritingPrompt – Mystery

From Mr. Bean and Hitchcock … to Rearview Window and A Beautiful Mind… Mystery plays a big part in our entertainment… so for today’s writing prompt we are going with Mystery… even if you don’t consider yourself a mystery writer, there is a lot to be said for adding just a touch to your normal genre…

do you need a death scene that isn’t immediately solved… here are a Murder riddles that should be easy to work into your novel…

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After you have brushed up on mystery elements and vocabulary… I have found this helpful worksheet, your own personal cheat sheet to writing your mystery… one thing that I heard over and over when I first started writing… ‘try what you think you will enjoy, and then try genres outside your comfort zone’… because you never know what you will like… and if you try multiple genres in short story format, you’ve lost nothing… and very little time… consider these shorts appetizers that have to the ability to wet the palate of potential readers…

and as always… read, read, read… so that you can get a feel for what works in the community of reader for that genre… most writers will tell you that they accumulated a stack of rejections before they managed to start to gain readers/an agents/or a publisher… today it is insanely easy to publish what you write… but we still need to find people willing to read our work.. no matter if you are an indie writer, a traditional writer, a self-published writer, or a hybrid author… we need readers… I don’t know near enough about PR but I do know one thing… your book must be worthy of the genre, otherwise no one will get past the first few pages… so find your style, try different things, and then get someone that has been in the game a while to help you label your genre… (Omg… do I hate picking the exact genre and sub-genre for my novels…) there are a number of choices out there these days, and that is great for readers, but my head hurts just thinking about typing… grrr…

alright, alright… I am being less than helpful… maybe a couple of you guys can write in and tell me what genre you think I write (if you’ve read one of my books… Shocking Finds, or an ARC for one of my upcoming novels)… I could soooo use the help peeps… but back to our Mystery Prompt… though reading the genres you enjoy writing is important in my book, I also think that you should check out movies from mystery genres… sometimes the visual can be even more helpful than the written…

and my final mystery suggestion… have fun with your learning… throw a murder mystery party… or go online and play one of the many mystery hunt games… soon they will be nicknaming you Sherlock… muahahahaha

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and here is a pinterest writing prompt to kick off your mystery writing… start you story with a misunderstanding that leads to the unknown… happy wordage, tracey

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4-26-2016 #WritingPrompt – Alibi

muhahahaha… will your villain get away with murder??? today’s writing prompt is Alibi… if your story contains a crime, especially murder… be sure to add in a few of the fun facts that will help to make your story believable…

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I’m not suggesting that you overload your story with facts… unless you’re writing for CSI fans, you might lose readers…

but if you come across a fact or two that make you stop and think “wow… cool…” then definitely add it to your novel… then drop in a few of the other facts that will help to move the story from ‘oh, crap… a murder…’ to ‘you’ll never get away with this sucker’

your MC might focus on one piece of evidence while others gather the rest… but that one piece, maybe something that seems unrelated, will play a part in catching your bad guys, or stopping the villain from getting away… or maybe it will be something that they notice and focus on while thinking/talking about something else… then, bam, they remember and save the day…

maybe your MC is new to crime scenes, shocked by the wounds to the body… or in paranormal, shocked to see something that doesn’t make sense… or maybe they are really good at figuring out the crime, but the crime scene is something they can never get used to…

but if you add a fact to your story, make sure that it is correct… I love learning something fascinating from my stories, from a fact about car safety to the number of cave systems in the state of Kentucky… but we’re talking about alibis here… and your villain can’t have a false alibi you break down if you have your facts wrong… and discovering a fact like DNA or a blade wound that matches a purchase made by the bad guy can force your MC to take another look at them, despite their alibi… and then they can work to break it…

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I haven’t checked out this checklist yet, but it sounds interesting…

you can find facts, then find ways to screw with them… like how could a bite mark mislead an investigation??? or you could look at the ways a crime scene can be delayed, so that the time of death is off… something the villain could do to have time to set up his alibi… play with your crime and have some fun with it…

alright… that’s it for today… here is your pinterest writing prompt… something that has nothing to do with crimes/alibis… does your MC have a routine they go through every day, or once a year before swimsuit time??? does it make them happy/full of energy, or crabby/full of complaints… happy wordage, tracey

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4-25-2016 #WritingPrompt – Killers

what do your villains look like??? where can you find inspiration??? today’s writing prompt is Killers… muhahahaha

Mythology can give you either an overview or a how to guide… what are you looking for??? are you writing paranormal/fantasy??? or contemporary??? even the contemporary writer can read through myths and legends and then make the stories more realistic… or for the fantasy lover, you could find something that will help you tape into your imagination…

reading about serial killers can help to take your villain from bad guy to down right evil… they guy (a 16 year old kid actually) that killed as if he was a vampire… now that story is down right scary… and just proves that even reality can come across as mystical and unreal…

what do these killers look like… well, hell… from dad of the year to the happy couple, from demonic ogre to knife wielding teen… these are all pictures of actual killers… so how will the average person pick them out of the crowd??? they don’t and that is how you make your villain real…

okay… this was a relatively short one… but here is your pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey

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4-24-2016 #WritingPrompt – Naming

OMG… you book is about to be published (traditional, self-pub, indie, etc) … which means you are about to give birth to dozens of characters… which is why this writing Prompt is so important… Naming… how do you decide on the perfect names…

unlike other parents, you already know a little about you babies… will they change over time?? sure… but to start with, you know what they look like, what state/country they were born in, how their basic personality affects their actions/thoughts/speech … you know their genetic background… like if their mother was from Russia???

or maybe your character was born in Ireland… would they have one of the names that just scream ‘hello, I’m Irish’, or would it be a more universal name…

how would you visualize your character as a child, when physical characters are more set… before things like hair dye and makeup come into play… I think that seeing your character as a child can help to describe those features… once you have a basis, you can age them, give them individuality, add in the features that mark adulthood in most people

when you know more about your character’s heritage, you can envision their habits… a Russian would always know the best borscht vodka and what the heck was in borscht, an Irishman might have a hot temper and a fast right hook, your Frenchman would definitely be found in the most sexually compromising positions… and your Germans??? they will always have a bottle of Schnaps handy, they will enjoy building/fixing things (maybe make them good at woodworking, and lets not forget Octoberfest (cheers)… and one more German trait that I found extremely odd as a gal from the US, esp one from Ky??? the men sit while peeing…

(lol… just had to add the german shepard… I found more of them than names/babies on pinterest for germans)

but back to the peeing issue…dude… half the men I know not only stand up, they will walk outside and just let the urine flow… okay, that definitely a hayseed way of life…

which reminds me… finding the right name can come from anywhere… religion, dead languages like Latin, or a generalized way of like… in the country you would expect Samantha (Sam), Andrew (Andy), or Katie… pick a name that speaks to you… but avoid going to grand (though some names are just fun.. I have a Sabastian, Joffrey, and a called Hawk… I may have gone too grand, but it didn’t feel that way… I just loved the names) … and definitely avoid the boring… boring means it didn’t speak to you and your reader will easily forget it…

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okay… one more and then i’ll quit, but by no means to the possibilities end here… don’t be afraid to stereotype your characters… you want the reader to visualize them… get a feel for the world they are reading about.. I mentioned the French (they love love), but they are also rude… sorry dear Frenchmen, but when I was in France I realized that quickly… the Germans and the people of Switzerland were laid back and kind… heck a little old lady (not speaking any English) in Switzerland gave me some of the fresh blueberries she carried, a big smile on her face… The French love beauty and fine cuisine, but can be a bit snotty…

alrighty… I focused on names by country, because that is one of the easiest… but find your own way… a way that speaks to you… and have fun… these are your babies… now here is your pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey

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4-23-2016 #WritingPrompt – Realization

Today’s writing prompt ‘Realization’ (at least the way i’m looking at it) can move your MC along, cause growth… self-realization can either hobble a person, or inspire them…

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when your character learns something about themselves that they had overlooked, or ignored most of their life (like my MC-Marin… and the verbal abuse she learned to avoid and expect from her aunt as a child… ) not all realizations have to be big, but each one can change your character/challenge them…

other than emotions, your MC can face and deal with fears… a fear is only silly to those that have never felt one… facing and pushing past a fear can be uncomfortable to dang near impossible… is there anything that you MC would rather sky away from if possible?? check out the writing prompt on fear if you need some help freaking out your MC… muhahahaha…

also… realizing there is something that your MC truly hates/enjoys can help you to put them in uncomfortable situations, or put them in a relaxing/rejuvenating space where they can think… or… a place to ambush them… muhahaha… apparently I’m feeling a little evil today…

realization can come out of nowhere… you can have another character point something out to your MC, but you can also do self-realization… it all helps your characters to grow…

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Alrighty… here is your pinterest writing prompt… I see it as the way that your MC can hide aspects of their character from others, or even from themselves… and break… 😛 happy wordage, tracey 

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4-22-2016 #WritingPrompt – Manipulation

Muhahahahahaha…. Manipulation is today’s writing prompt… something that you can write as coming from one of the good guys, or the evil foe determined to mess with your MC… from the a mother’s shaming to the seductions of a man-eater… and as the writer, you are the ultimate manipulator… shaping words to create greatness… 😛

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good mother to bad, there is a certain amount of manipulation to be expected… a mother shapes a life… it is a responsibility that can result in a leader, a caring artist, an adventure seeker, or…. a closed off individual, afraid of the world, or lashing out at others… but a child will always look for a mother’s love, no matter if it is there or not… how was your MC’s upbringing…

there are many different ways to manipulate… I found these guides on pinterest… from the everyday manipulations to the killer trying to get what they want… any character can help to manipulate your story forward… you get to decide if it is an everyday little manipulation or something that will bite them in the arse if they are caught… and of course there are the bad guys… they are always manipulative… though not really in pleasant ways… 😛

what happens when your MC realizes that they have been manipulated??? how do they respond??? is the bad guys someone they trusted, or someone they can identify with??? depending on the characters involved and the previous relationships, manipulation can be quite dramatic…

I love a little manipulation with my entertainment… and the greatest manipulator of all time???? Red Reddington on the Blacklist… I love watching James Spader move the people in his life around on his on chess board… heck, I just love James Spader… Red is by far the best example of a good, bad guy… he actually makes me want to cheer him on when he shoots someone… lol… I am a vicious thing today… 

alright… thats it for today… here is your pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage… tracey

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4-21-2016 #WritingPrompt – Eyecolor

some of these facts/pictures were just soooo cool I had to share and make today’s writing prompt Eye color… I mean… look at some of these peepers… *now, I suggest, you confirm that all colors are indeed possible… but hey, if one or two turn out to be no gos… you could always write paranormal… oh, wait… I do… muhahahaha… but some of these gene mutations are so rare that less than a dozen people world wide end up with these colors…

this is the one I personally want to look up more info on before I use it in a contemporary… it is almost like the reflectiveness of a cat’s eyes… if this is real, I have one thing to say… how cool… and… what little boy would love this…

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I have seen a person with one brown eye and one blue, but never anything like this… very cool… some more beautiful than others… I know that my hazel eyes would be more brown when happy, but turn on the water works and suddenly the green rise to the surface… most people just have to worry about hiding a runny nose and red eyes if they don’t want anyone to know they have been crying… 😛 try lying about your tears when your on eyes are screaming liar, liar, liar…

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okay… wow … just wow… *the person that put this on pinterest used a lot of F-bombs… not me peeps* (my character may use the word, but not excessively) anywho… back to the eyes… i would love these eyes… and the byproducts of no saving and what not… i have to say… BEST MUTATION EVER!!!

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even eyes that don’t come with a mutation have the potential to be amazing… don’t just have blue eyes… throw you MC some Steel Blue peepers… or branch into the other colors… blue is used a lot to show beauty, but as you can see, each color hides its own gems…

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okay… we are ready for our writing prompt from pinterest… i will add that my grandfather had green eyes with red dots (couldn’t find a pic of this) and i always thought his eyes were cool… happy wordage, tracey

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4-20-2016 #WritingPrompt – Suspense

imagine a quiet, reserved girl with a serious love for football… now put her in the bleachers of her favorite team…  what do you get??? A RAVING LUNATIC …. LOL … even a passive fan can be swept away by the suspense and adrenalin permeating the air… and that is our writing prompt… Suspense… you can find it anywhere… but following the sports example, think of the coach at the game… they have practices and clawed their way to the top, and he can see everything that can go wrong… he see his best running back take off, but right on his heels it the entire opposing team… what if he trips??? will he make it??? that moment can make a person scream their head off, or hold their breath in fear… what does suspense do to your character???

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Hitchcock, Alfred / Topaz (1969) | Pers: Alfred Hitchcock | Ref: XHI001BO | Photo Credit: [ The Kobal Collection / Universal ] | Editorial use only related to cinema, television and personalities. Not for cover use, advertising or fictional works without specific prior agreement
throw your character into a moment that causing that feeling of suspense or fear to grown inside… that moment when it makes no logical sense for their palms to sweat, their heart to race, or for chills to race up and down their spine… throw them into what-if? moments…

I love movies that get my heart racing… not necessarily straight up horror flicks, but the ones I consider oxygen depriving… and if I get to look at Brad Pitt as well, all the better… muhahahaha… before you start your suspenseful scene, run out and buy a movie that throws you into that place… it will make it easier to describe how you MC is feeling… you can imagine her actions and reactions…

and of course… read books known for high suspense… this isn’t my chosen genre but these came highly recommended… oh, dang… ‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle’ isn’t a book… *innocent face*… fine… but that part where the wife has an asthma attack and the nanny has screwed with her inhaler…. omg… and then the scene in the green house… the entire movie had me holding my breath… thank heavens for the mentally slow handy man… 😛

okay… here is your Pinterest Writing Prompt… happy wordage everyone, tracey

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4-19-2016 #WritingPrompt – Odd Couples

for today’s writing prompt let’s consider ‘Odd Couples’… the seven foot character with a soft side and the under average sized guys with made fighting skills… the adult always having to go to the kid for computer answers… the six foot woman in love with a four foot man (yes, some will see that as odd) but the point is, how can you use their differences to add a little levity to your story???

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 finding pictures of humans with blaring differences was harder than I thought it would be, but the animal world had so many examples that I ran out of room… lol… I love these pics… so my suggestion is to take the ‘basic instincts’ writing prompt post to match up animals and then transfer those traits to a few of your characters… (paranormal or not, this could work)… and come on… these pics are great…

I did managed to find a few well know, and newbie pics for humans before I got tired of looking… but here they are… think of the Fonz and his loyalty to a band of nerds… yes it hurts, but they were a bit nerdy… and Green Acres??? the greatest mixed pairing of all time… lol… 😛 think of it this way… every comedian needs a straight man…

for mixed coupling, I love looking at the Avengers… this is a group of varying personalities, some blaringly different, and yet it still works… tortured soul, wiseass, and the boy next door… just to name a few… if you dig enough, you can find your own examples, and then apply that to your writing…

Alrighty… I think that is enough for now… here is today’s pinterest writing prompt… maybe you can have a pair of villains with differing personalities… 😛 happy wordage, tracey

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4-18-2016 #WritingPrompt – Life Horrors

As writers and readers, we want greatness in our novels… and as hard as it can be, taping into the horrors of history and life in general can elevate our writing from good to great… and if there is one thing the world provides in abundance, it is the horror of life… I heard a quote on Criminal Minds once: Life is a Horrible Thing to happen to a Person… the atrocities of life are all around us… and as writers, we can tap into that to make our stories the ones that readers come back to again and again…

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Something close to my own heart, and bound to make me madder than a wet hen… the Trail of Tears… I don’t know how my ancestors avoided that horrible walk, but am extremely grateful… (Ky born and bred) … but now we have *lets not name that horrible presidential candidate* People spouting hate and ideas reminiscent of Hitler… and I ask, will the white people never learn… if I could I would smack my Irish side silly… 😛 … but seriously… the horrors the Indians endured (and omg, you should read up on Canada) is heartbreaking… all because a greater power didn’t understand their ways, and wanted to punish and take from them…

stories can be found in most countries about hate and fear… yes, fear… because it is human nature to hate and fear the unknown or different… and it is a sad fact that the larger the group of like minded people, the greater the risk of harm … it is a fear that can span generations… your MC could be from either side of this sad plight… after so much pain caused by slavery and the KKK, fear is alive on both sides…

The Armenian Genocide in Turkey is another source of pain and backstory for your MC… especially those writing historicals, or paranormals with characters that have longer than average lives… women tattoo and forced into marriages or sex slavery… or the Christian woman that were nailed naked on crosses… there are so many horrible things in this world… don’t be afraid to use them…

and of course… Hitler… one of the well known horrors, but there were soo many other stories happening that didn’t focus wholly on that evil man… there was the Bitch of Buchenwald (not sure of spelling)… she had Jews killed if she admired their tattooing, and then had the skin made into lampshades… but there was also the woman that managed to smuggle out thousands of Jewish children using her social worker connections…

and that is the point… by writing about the horrors, you get to have an MC that is capable of being the hero… of adding emotions and depth to your story…

okay… enough of the heavy talk… here is a pinterest writing prompts… when you are done looking up all those ugly facts about life so that you can create the perfect story, sit back and relax by starting out your MC with a spring activity, something they can do while you add a little dialogue to your story… happy wordage, tracey

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4-17-2016 #WritingPrompt – Base Instincts

Writing Prompt of the day… what is you MC’s Base Instinct… people are made up of certain traits that will always win out… like the Huskie… if you treat him as a partner, you will get a loving and loyal dog… try to force him into submission and you’ll have one cantankerous beast…

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 it might be helpful to go online and take a personality quiz with your MC in mind… as you can see, each personality has a number of hidden traits you might want to explore… this is just one of many Sites you can go to, to test your MC’s personality…

Traits and reactions can be varying from character to character… just because you have two different Character with the same personality type, that doesn’t mean they will act and say the same thing… I love the picture of yoda and the hulk… both have a type of rage that can come out of no where but I would never say they are they same Character… would you???

Her are some examples for the paranormal set… or hey… sometimes it is just easier to see straight forward reactions to different stressors when you are dealing with an animal… think of your MC as an animal with the same personality type, and see how that changes your take on their thoughts and actions…

is your MC the typical female/male personality type??? starting from type and moving backwards, it might be fun to create an off the wall character from the minority of the sex… play with your characters… how can you make them stand out???

knowing your MC’s personality type can help you move your story along more quickly… sure there are little reactions that will be out of character, but a lot of what your MC says and does is, in a way, pre-destined by their personality type… just like human beings that you deal with on a day to day basis…

okay… enough of that… the main point is that Personality type or not, the MC lives and breaths at our command… muhahahaha… so start with a type and then see where you can take it… and now for the Pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey…

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4-16-2016 #WritingPrompt – Improvement

Writing Prompt word of the day…. drum roll, please… okay, okay… but what kind of Improvement… heck, peeps.. we writers know this word inside and out… we improve with each book we read, with each story we tell, with each workshop we participate in… even beta reading for another author helps us to improve … we may see things in others that we didn’t realize that we also needed to work on… like weak word usage… or overuse… this is where the find and replace buttons come in handy… muhahahaha

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from the MC point of view there is always something to work on, especial if you write a recurring character, or a series… working on showing vs telling is important… but that’s more of a writer improvement… but then, our characters depend on us to be at the top of our game… lol… (HA… that is what edits are for) … but working on realistic emotions, thoughts, and dialogue improve both our writing, and the Character on the page…

the next couple of lists, well if you want to use them to improve your own life have at it… but from a MC pov these are excellent ways to affect change… I really like the one for getting out of your comfort zone… if you combine this prompt with the one about fear, you have a way to help your character grow, and to possibly take your story in a new direction… or heck… maybe you just want to mess with your literary peeps… either way it can work to make a better story… woo who…

there are people out there (or so I have been led to believe) that enjoy exercise… and it is usually on a lot of new years resolutions … but what about your MC… if there is action in your story at all, your character needs to be in shape… do they enjoy the task, or would they rather run the other way when the bar bells are brought out??? are they leading the exercises or the are they the on being forced (ummm… to enjoy???) the activity?? lol

and finally, home improvement…I think I will have one of my MCs build a shed (an ugly shed that they are insanely proud of) and then when the action starts, bye bye shed… my love interest/hero with be secretly happy to see it go… du du duduuuu…. yep… MC is so gonna make an ugly shed…

what can your MC do for home/yard improvements… and are they any good at the task…

finally… here is your pinterest writing prompt… I loved this, and just had to include it… happy wordage, tracey

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4-15-2016 #WritingPrompt – Character

I thought we could focus this writing prompt on character… and not just your MC… to me, adding character to something, or someone, means ‘to make stand out’… something with character is something that will be memorable… it is okay to go a little over the top with your MC’s actions and emotions sometimes… I mean, which would your rather have happen??? your reader closes the book and forgets half of what they read, or they end up replaying one of the scenes in their head while they anxiously await the next book???

try to picture your favorite actors… what  movies or tv shows did you rewatch time and again just to see the perfect moment … that scene that had you wiping your eye, or laughing out loud… oh, hey… looks like my mind is on eye candy… 😛

but from pretty boys to astounding acting, bringing their looks from normal to amazing for that scene, actors/actress can give us a visual aid to improve our book characters… we need our reader to be picturing Matthew McConaughey when they read that scene about our MC saving the day…(sorry guys, but there are some alpha males in my latest book, and I keep thinking of him in Sahara) … but what about Sean Connery … omg, the man is older than dirt and still he has character that pulls me in…

but you need to make sure that your entire book has Character… the good guys, the saviors, the kid that sounds the alarm, even the jewelry/setting/housing/food that makes your MC stop and go huh… but remember to flesh out the bad guys … it is soooo easy for me to merely say, Mr. X is trying to kill them… now lets focus on the hero… but the hero doesn’t have a true purpose unless we understand and grow to hate Mr. X… so be sure to make ever scene count… add a little definition to your people and places… just don’t over do it, guys… there is nothing worse than your reader becoming bored with page after page of room layouts… (hey, I actually read a series that every book was description, descriptions, descriptions… and book two would repeat *at length* what was said in book one… give me the cliff notes, please… I ended up skipping ahead to get to new info… )

Check out Bryn Donovan’s Master List of Physical Descriptions to help add a little more character to your characters… and here is your pinterest writing prompt… we all need more women of power… even if it is evil power… muahahahaha … happy wordage, tracey

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