Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time Rift


Wormholes, portals, time rifts, tear in time and other magical gateways make for interesting possibilities in the world of fiction. Today's prompt will make use of this concept.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:
Develop a character within a short scene of two-three paragraphs. Then with the use of a portal of some kind transport them to another time. It can even be the same place, but doesn't need to be.

This prompt will most likely require a little research if you want to be authentic.

If you wonder where to start here are a few ideas to play with:

  • WWII soldiers carried to battle in the Civil War
  • Career woman of the 1990s transports to New York of the 1890s
  • A tired mother of three has the chance to visit her great-grandmother
  • A middle-aged business man without family and few friends travels to the future
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To support the author of this blog, consider buying her books.

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)

Windwalker (Fantasy)

Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Create Mood with Setting


If you write character driven fiction, it's easy to overlook setting details that add to your character's mood. Today's prompt will practice pulling details from the world around you and using them to set the mood. For example, yesterday I noticed a bird:

Charcoal clouds blanketed the sky where it met with the pale yellow horizon. The silhouette of a single bird flapped steadily toward the light. Does it feel as alone as I do?

When I saw the bird, I didn't feel alone. I thought the bird might feel alone. No flock. It did make a great story starter. This opening creates a lonely, perhaps dark feel but offers hope (the light).

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Practice looking at the world around you. Look for small details and pull them into a sentence or two to create mood in the setting. Save your story starters to use when you need a jump start for a new story.

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To support the author of this blog, consider buying her books.

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)

Windwalker (Fantasy)

Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Don't Go There


How often have you read a book or watched a movie where a character heads into the dark cellar, up to the rooftop, or steps outside to check out a noise and your mind screams, DON'T GO THERE. If that has happened to you, then the writer has done their job. They've laid the groundwork to create that tension and conflict. Today's prompt will help you practice those skills.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Create a scene involving risk. If you don't have an idea, use one of the following story prompts:

*Character peers through a crack in the curtains
*Door banging in the wind
*First babysitting job
*Meeting a blind date
*Look for missing pet
*Running from one bad situation into another
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To support the author of this blog, consider buying her books.

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)

Windwalker (Fantasy)

Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

For more about the author of this blog check out Theinkslinger.net.



Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Late


Collecting details from real life offers realism to your writing. The trick is to learn to pay attention to those details so you can incorporate them. In the busyness of the holiday season, it's easy to get caught in traffic, a long line, or have the phone ring when you're walking out the door.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Keep a notepad with you and keep notes on running late. (This can give you something to do when your stuck in traffic, or even waiting in line.) To collect the details, answer the following questions:

  • How do you feel physically?
  • What thoughts run through your mind?
  • How do you feel toward those around you?
  • How do you treat those around you?
  • Do you do or say anything you regret later?
  • How do you deal with the stress?

These kinds of details can help deliver an active, engaging scene even when you're character is standing still.

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To support the author of this blog, consider buying her books.

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)

Windwalker (Fantasy)

Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

For more about the author of this blog check out Theinkslinger.net.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Light and Shadows


The use of light and shadows makes for an interesting setting. Today's photo prompt doesn't offer a lot of detail for setting. Use light and shadow to create a paragraph or short story based on this Pumping Your Muse photo prompt.

If you need help, ask yourself these questions:

Where is the person going?
Where are they coming from?
How do they feel?
What do they smell?
Why are they there?
Are they from this world?

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Also check out my fantasy novels: Windwalker and Beyond the Fifth Gate.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Three Word Writing Prompt


The first story and only mystery I ever had published came about from a three word prompt. Three unrelated words become embedded in the story threads. Readers will never know where your inspiration came from!

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

  • Nose
  • Yellow
  • Sour
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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Character Interview Questions


When you start a new story, or get bogged down in a work in progress, this prompt can help you get to know your characters on a new level. It may also reveal the detail that sparks your creativity, and not only develops your character, but adds fodder to pull from as the plot unfolds.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Character Interview Questions:




Relational:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Who do you look like? Your mother, father, or someone else?
  4. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  5. Are you married or single?
  6. Do you have someone you care about?
  7. Did you or do you know your grandparents?
  8. Is anyone in your family famous?
  9. Are your parents still living?
  10. Are you adopted?

Personal:
  1. What do you like to drink?
  2. Are you a morning person?
  3. What are your hobbies or interests?
  4. What do you do for a living?
  5. What is your education level?
  6. What's your favorite food (or drink)?
  7. Do you travel much?
  8. What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
  9. Do you like to read?
  10. Where are you going?

Which Describes You Best?
  1. Nervous or calm
  2. Teacher or student
  3. Leader or follower
  4. Brave or fearful
  5. Religious or superstitious
  6. Humble or proud
  7. Tall or short?
  8. Long hair or short?
  9. Honest, stretch the truth when necessary, or all out liar
  10. Introvert or extrovert

If you have other questions or suggestions to add to this list, please be sure to comment.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse ebook. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. 

Monday, December 01, 2008

Verbal Brushstrokes


Have you ever happened upon an artist with their easel set up painting the local scenery? Today we're going to do much the same with verbal brushstrokes.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:
Today's photo prompt is an exercise in introducing your setting. Over and over, we are warned to show not tell. Today's prompt is no different. Show this scene on paper. Feel free to incorporate characters, for one of the best ways to actively introduce detail is through a character's eyes. Within the scene you develop answer these questions:

*Why are they there?
*What do they see?
*How do they feel?
*What do they smell?

Of course you can answer plenty more questions if the scene takes off.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse for Kindle. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel.