Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Childhood Nightmares

As children, things that go bump in the night can be very real. I have one sister who refused to sleep next to the wall for years following a Twilight Zone 1962 episode Little Girl Lost where a girl slips though the wall next to her bed into another dimension. When her father hears her cries and figures it out, to his dismay he realizes the hole is closing. Can he pull her back to her life in the real world in time?

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt

Travel back to the fears you lived as a child. Pull one of those from the memory shelf in your mind, dust it off and pump it up with a dose of high adrenaline imagination! Now take that fear and put it in a setting where it can grow. Write a scene that makes your fear real to anyone who reads it. BOO!

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

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy) - Check out the latest 5 star review at Amazon
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Beyond Writer's Block

Some writers say there's no such thing as writer's block, but for others it is a REAL dilemma. Today's prompt offers three ways to get beyond writer's block.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

If you're experiencing writer's block, choose one of the following to inspire your muse:

Challenge yourself to write 100 words a day for 7 days on any subject
Choose a character from your work in progress and interview them
Write a scene from your work in progress from another character's POV (point of view)
Choose a scene from your story and rewrite it at another time of day

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

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy) - Check out the latest 5 star review at Amazon
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Three Word Writing Prompt


Following a three word prompt is a great way to discover a story you never knew was in you. While the words may seem unrelated at first glance, once they find their way into your prose you may be surprised by the world and characters they generate.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Use these three words in a short story:

  • smile
  • test
  • dog
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To support the author of this blog, Donna Sundblad, consider buying her books.

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy)
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Friday, February 13, 2009

F E A R


Fear. A real emotion that affects people in different ways. Sometimes it's a motivator and for others it may paralyze.


Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Today's prompt is to write a four-paragraph scene dealing with fear. The first paragraph should begin with the, letter "F", paragraph two with the letter "E", number three with "A" and the concluding paragraph with the letter "R".

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

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy)
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Family Photo Prompt


Family photos freeze a moment in time--though many of them are quite unnatural, little hits can tell the real story. Today's prompt takes an old family photo. Your challenge is to tell a story based on what the photo shows you.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Write a short story based on this photo.

If you're wondering where to start pay attention to the following:

*Whose coat is buttoned and why?
*Are shoes shined?
*Where are their hands?
*Who is smiling--or trying not to smile?
*What does the body language tell you?

Every family has it's little secrets and those who know them can tell a very good story. Have fun!

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

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy)
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Unexpected


Today's prompt is inspired by the news. Did you hear the story about the man making his first skydive who found himself strapped to an instructor who died midair from a heart attack? Talk about the unexpected!

The skydiver drew from what experience he did have to survive: army training not to panic and what he learned from TV about pulling toggles to steer the parachute.

What can we take from this true story?

Fictional characters draw on past experience to make it through the unexpected.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:
Place your character in an everyday situation where things go wrong. This will be a "growing" experience. It stretches them beyond their original parameters and leaves them changed. It also creates conflict within the plot and draws a reader in to find out what happens next.

Choose one of the following situations (or one of your own), add an element of the unexpected and bring your character through it. Create the element of conflict and tension and bring it to resolution.

*First date
*Learning to drive
*Babysitting
*First day on the job
*Deep sea fishing

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

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy)
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Story Starter


Engaging the senses as a writer is an important element whether you're writing fiction or non fiction. Some senses are more neglected than others. One of these is hearing. In chapter 3 of my book, Pumping Your Muse, I include an exercise to help develop sensory balance in your writing. It doesn't always come naturally, but with practice it will.

Consider this: If you write a scene with no sound...no smells, it's not a realistic world and you give your readers and incomplete experience.

Today's prompt is a "First Line" prompt that includes a sound. As subtle as this sound is, it can be used to create suspense, introduce humor...well I won't say more. I want it to be your idea. The flavor of the story will depend on the characters. Who is making the sound and who is hearing it. I'd love to hear what you do with this one!

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Footfalls shuffled across the hardwood floor.

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

Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
Windwalker (Fantasy)
Beyond the Fifth Gate (Fantasy)