Posts tagged short story
Reading for Writing (A Reading Challenge)

Guilty. Between writing, blogging, graphic design, household duties, raising two kids and the vague hope of a social life, my hands and schedule are decidedly full. Reading tries to climb up the priority list, but usually gets knocked down by the multitude of other responsibilities that require attention. And yet, reading is something I love--something I hate to go without. When I don't read, the impact on my creativity is tangible. My efficiency as a writer obviously shifts, and I think I know why: There exists a connectedness between we who work in words. It's as if we're all sharing our creativity: reading others' pieces to spark our imaginations, and then in turn producing material that will stir some other writer's thoughts. We require inspiration to inspire--like we must take in a breath in order to breathe one out. Unfortunately, the business of life often gets in the way and we're left wanting for air, wheezing out our lines and pages.

I've decided to make an initiative for myself and anyone else who needs to take a breath: It may be a small step, but I'll be reading one new book a month. The emphasis is on "new" because I have a funny habit of reading the same few books repeatedly. Why, I couldn't say, but my husband teases me mercilessly over this quirk of mine. Hopefully, exposure to some new material will inspire me even more than (or at least as much as) the books I've come to know as old friends. If you're having trouble finding time to read, and especially if you're also finding your work to be lagging (as I have been), try jumping in on this challenge with me. I'll let you know what I plan to read before I begin, and it'd be awesome to have a discussion about the book when the month is up. Feel free to join me.

As for the month of September, I'm open to suggestions. What've you got?

Today's Prompt: Write a short story set in a world in which people only communicate through the exchange of written fiction (books, poetry, short stories, etc.)

Happy Writing!

IMG_6414

Tasting Life Twice

img_5830 When I read this quote, my first thought was of writing and reliving the times in our lives we would like to taste again: any memory warm, savory or sweet. To be able to experience these memories through writing is a gift, to say the least--but sweetness is not the only taste. The majority of people who write don't just taste the "good stuff" twice; they taste bitterness. They taste straight cocoa powder and drink vinegar and week-old spoiled milk. And they do it on purpose. Having already tasted it once, they do it all again for the sake of the stories that need telling.

If you ask me, there's a bravery in that: knowing from experience something will turn your stomach, but revisiting it just the same. It takes courage to live painful experiences all over again rather than shutting them away where you never have to think about them again. I consider that courage a gift as well, right along with the ability to taste the sweet times again. Without it, our writing would be superficial. Stories can't be made of love scenes and happy endings-- there would be no depth. We have to include bitterness if our readers are going to relate--if we want anything good to come of our writing at all. And that's the goal, isn't it? For our writing to have an impact somehow?

So I, for one, am glad to taste life twice, even if it includes some sour bits.

Today's Prompt: Write a short, murder-mystery style story that takes place at an upscale wine tasting.

Happy Writing!

blogsignature

Write the Book You Want to Read

ToniMorrison Today's quote is simple and sweet. Write the book you want to read. If there's a story you've thought of and wished existed, the burden falls to you alone. No one else can tell your story. Until you write it down, the only place it exists is in your head--and it's not doing anyone any good in there, is it? So get it out on paper and share it with the rest of us. ;)

Today's Prompt: Write a story from first person perspective, with other characters, but absolutely no external dialogue. The entire story must be told strictly from within the character's mind.

Happy Writing! blogsignature

Writing for Money--or Not (Quote of the Day)

Watercolorquote Can I get an amen? There's this weird notion amongst people that if you get published, suddenly you're rolling in the dough. Nope. First of all, that's a fallacy. Second of all, you don't write because you want to get paid. It wouldn't matter if you never made a cent. You write because you can't help it; because there are characters and words in you and they have to come out, one way or another. Ultimately, you don't write for the money; you write because you have to.

Today's Prompt: Write a story surrounding a character with these traits:

  • 30 years or older.
  • No stable profession.
  • Addicted to get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Has one talent: a knack for losing money.

Happy Writing!

KC

Quote of the Day--Henry David Thoreau

lovequote

I chose a quote about love today because this subject is the most difficult for me. Stereotypically, as a woman, I should easily be able to write a great, lovey-dovey, emotion-loaded scene, right? No. Wrong. I would much rather write a scene of someone being literally cut off at the knees than write a kissing scene. Don't worry; I can do it. It's just not quite as easy for me as many other types of writing. Oftentimes I have a hard time suspending my disbelief enough to write someone falling in real-true-honest-to-god-love within a handful of book pages. Realistically, it always seems like it should take longer than it does, which is something I feel while reading as well as writing. Ironic, considering that my husband and I got engaged 1 month after we met...

Anyway, I've decided to take this quote and apply it to my writing. "There is no remedy for (writing about) love but to (write about) love more." Practice makes perfect; isn't that that thing everybody says? So if you're like me and have a hard time writing about love, let's practice together.

Today's Prompt: Write a story in which the main character meets someone completely new and proceeds to fall in love--believably--in ONE PAGE only.

May the Force be with you.

KC