The following writing prompt was handed down to me during a workshop. I went ahead and extended it to include ‘hesitation’ and a title. Use it to form some specific details about this character. Could be a short paragraph, story, or the beginning of a novel.
=) Good luck!
A Pointless Game of Fetch
A young woman has been waiting by the phone for a while. She hesitates in picking it up. Is she calling someone important? She dials, and the answering machine picks up. She leaves a voice message. What is that message?
"A poet should always have a beginner’s mindset when writing."
This perspective will help the image form in our poetry clearly and specifically. The use of the five senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight, can provide enough details so the reader can picture what’s happening. For example, he said to think of a poem as a photograph and not as a snapshot. You can describe a photograph, whereas the latter doesn't provide the whole picture.
The next time you sit down to write that inspiring thought, make sure to use as many senses as possible to form the picture you want others to see. Oh, and it’s okay to let your imagination guide you.
Take a look at the published poem, “Matches.”
Keeping secrets is not all fun and games, as they say, but it does bring up interesting ideas for stories.
Who knew that nice young man at the shop killed three people?
Who knew that teenage girl lied about her teachers to get better grades?
Who knew that grandma stole jewelry using her electric wheelchair as a getaway vehicle?
And who knew keeping secrets could be so stressful?
The following short story deals with a secret. Enjoy!
Oh! You can jumpstart your own story with the title to this one:
“I Know I’m Supposed to Keep This a Secret, But…”
I’ve waited for this trip to Hawaii for a long time. Too bad my cousin was not available to go along with me. The beaches were supposed to be better than ours, so they say. The crystal clear waters allowed people to swim along with many sea animals. The wonders of nature were expecting one happy tourist.
I relaxed my head on the travel pillow I blew up while I waited to board the plane. My seatbelt was fastened, and the plane lifted off the runway into a crowded, clouded sky. This part made my insides tumble. Lift-off always did. At least the destination was free of complications, so the pilot states.
As the plane steadied itself, and the flight attendants did their thing, I took a deep breath for a nice long nap. That was until my neighbor tapped me on the shoulder.
“Excuse me.” The girl with peppermint glasses turned to me.
She had been watching the stewardess the whole time we got on this plane. This better not hinder the quiet.
“Yes?” I sighed.
She leaned closer, and whispered in my ear, “I know I’m supposed to keep this a secret, but I absolutely must tell someone.”
Oh, God. She’d better not say I reminded her of someone.
“This plane is not heading for Hawaii.”
“What!?!” I sprang from my seat, but the seatbelt restrained me.
“Sh, please, I don’t want to cause a scene.” She waved her hand.
“I’m sorry. A minute there I thought you said this plane was not going to Hawaii.”
“That’s right.” She licked her lips.
The sentence she dispersed from her lips hadn’t sunk in my brain. Her tight round face looked satisfied, as if her nuance halted some indigestion. However, she neglected to give a reason for the change. Why should I bother? She seemed a little tipsy. Yet, what if she’s right? Did I accidentally board the wrong plane?
“Well?” I asked.
“Where is this plane heading?”
“I’m not supposed to say.” Her eyes shifted. “I could die.”
Heaven forbid this girl to die!
“What are you trying to pull? You obviously need medical attention-”
A voice blasted through the speakers: “Passengers of flight 007. Welcome aboard! Please buckle yourselves up and allow us to transport you to dimension Westcorph. It was a lovely Earth, but it has outlived its usefulness. No need to become hostile. Just fasten those seatbelts and prepare for our stop in minus 30 seconds.” 30, 29, 28…
I looked back at the frantic passengers. The flight attendants put on gas masks! They held laser weapons in the shape of torpedoes. After an explosion that shook the plane and left vibrations in my teeth, the girl tapped me again.
“I told you so,” she scoffed.
Shay Casper’s debut novel, The Witch, is filled with excitement and magic. Geared to both young adults and adults, The Witch will keep you interested in what happens to the characters. Today, our special guest, Shay Casper, shares some insight on how her novel came to be.
How did you get your story off into print?
I got “The Witch” into print by sending it off to several publishers, my publisher (Atmosphere Press) being one of those. Atmosphere Press contacted me, telling me they liked my story and would be willing to work with me.
I wasn’t sure my story would be accepted by any of the publishers I sent it to. Being brave enough to hit “send” on the email was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
Tell us a bit about your writing process?
My writing process starts with an idea. I turn that idea into a rough outline of several big events that I think should happen. Then, I go through the character creation of the main characters, making sure that each of the characters fits the plot and timeline I’ve chosen. Then, I begin writing the story, filling in the gaps in my outline with anything that my characters decide they must do to enhance the plot. After the entirety of my book is finished, I go through extensive grammar checks.
Follow Shay and support her by making a review or purchase.
Shay Casper Facebook
The Witch Shay Casper | Atmosphere Press
The Witch Amazon.com
Recently, a good friend of mine (who happens to be a writer) interviewed me for his podcast on the Martin Lastrapes Show.
We talk about the writing process, Wing Clipped, and more!
Don't miss out. Listen here.
That's not all =) My poetry was published on Words & Whispers. Read here.
I always thought that after you finished writing a novel, your work was concluded. Instead, it was time to celebrate and start submitting to different publications, agents, editors, and publishers. It’s a good thing I started reading about the profession and realized it took more than just getting words on a page to flow.
Writing is a lot of work: you have to edit, revise, rewrite, cut, paste, get feedback, read it backwards, read it aloud, etc., etc., etc.
But one thing I found unfair in the writing biz was how… with all the mix of self-publishing and traditional publishing, the writer was left to deal with promotion on their own.
First of all, does that make sense? Writing is a lonely occupation (sitting around a computer all day constitutes being alone). One could be on their "island" for more than eight years and then be told to go public (or have started on the road to it). Shouldn’t there be more help with promotion? After all, writers want to write. No wonder a lot of writers end up selling e-books and promoting them on their website and other social media instead of attending public venues.
Of course, it should not deter you from completing a novel. There are things we do to get ahead and be noticed. So, cheers for arriving at the promotion stage. There’s only one way to go now. If only I could get off my island, I would join you!
Maria A. Arana, Editor
Hi! Welcome to my blog where you'll find tidbits of interest to me, tips on writing, and publications.
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