Mysterious Stranger…Writing Prompt

The writing prompt for today will explore both FICTION and NON-FICTION. It’s fun to mix real life with fiction isn’t it? Sometimes I like to sit in Starbucks or the mall and watch people, I like to make up stories about them and what their lives are like. Try this the next time you’re out and about.

Everybody loves a mysterious strangers and there is inspiration everywhere! A cute barista, an old man complaining at the bank, the eccentric woman who sits on the park bench every Wednesday afternoon in her cat pajamas (if you see this woman it’s probably me) . Think of an interesting stranger you’ve seen around and develop a story.

Be sure to use dialogue,gestures, mannerisms and ways of speaking. Don’t spend much time on physical descriptions. Focus on showing the inner conflict of your muse through their actions and words. Have fun and as always, Happy Writing!

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Who is this person and what is their story?

It’s All About Point of View…

Let’s talk about point of view for this writing exercise, but first things first-what exactly is Point of View?

Point of view refers to the way the author allows you to see and hear what’s going on it the novel, book, short story or manuscript. We’ll focus on four main points of view:

    • First-person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-me-my-mine. The reader is sitting beside the character and is viewing the world through the eyes of that character. The reader experiences the world through the eyes of only one person.
    • Second-person point of view, the author uses your and you, this is rare; authors rarely speak directly to the reader. If you do happen to come across this point of view, you should pay attention because the author is trying to tell you something.  Second-person point of view draws the reader into the story, and makes the reader participate in the action.
    • Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. This is the most common point of view. The author’s voice, not the character’s voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages.
    • Objective-point of view is when the narrator is a fly on the wall or a video camera in the corner of the room. The character’s thoughts are never known. Objective point of view is all about watching, listening and observing.

Try writing from a different point of view and step outside of your comfort zone. This allows you to stretch your abilities and who knows, you may actually really like a particular point of view that you had never considered before. Happy Writing!

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Writing Prompt…

Sometimes it’s fun to think out of the box. For today’s writing prompt we’ll explore writing for a different genre: mid grade. Use the prompt and the image below to write a short, action packed story. Have fun and be fearless!

Joey stood at the bottom of the tree house, his head turned frantically. His best friend Kyle Mitchell was late again. The air was thick with afternoon heat and the humidity was over a hundred. Joey heard the buzzing of mosquitoes and slapped his arm when one landed; a sticky mess of insect guts mixed with blood smeared his arm.  He heard branches crack in the distance and quickly hid behind a large bush. Based on the circumstances, and what the boys had found, it was a wise move for him to hide; he crouched close to the ground and held his breath, he could only see part of a shoe but wasn’t sure it was Kyle’s.

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Writing Exercise…

Today’s exercise is all about SETTING! Use the picture below to describe the setting in your short story. Be imaginative, be bold, use descriptive words and don’t leave anything out. Write setting and only setting, don’t use dialogue and don’t write about any characters, just describe what you see.

This is a great exercise to get your thoughts flowing, to be more descriptive and to transport the reader to the place that you are describing. For example, Why is there a rainbow? Describe the weather-did it just rain? Is the barn abandoned? What does the setting look like? What sounds are there? What is the temperature? What time of the year is it? Where is it in terms of location in the world? The list goes on and on. Write until you have exhausted and described every tiny detail without editing. Have fun with this and as always, Happy Writing!

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All About Books for Kids…Part 1

So what makes kid’s books kid’s books? Well for one thing they’re not for adults;) Books for kids are shorter, they are relevant to their interests and the book is portrayed through the child’s eyes in the way that they see the world. Kids grow quickly but luckily there is always a market for them. Let’s start with the different types:

  • Board Books-“Chewables” is essentially what they’re called. They usually have one word per page and that are the lines of, “Dog,” “Cat,” etc. These books don’t have a lot for a writer to do and are really based on illustrations.
  • Picture Books- 32 pages, 4 of them blank, first page is for a single illustration, 13 double illustrations and then a single illustration on the last page. These books typically start with the writer and then the publisher picks the illustrator.
  • Easy Reader- Teaches the child to read with around 23 words that are very repetitious. These books have the 3 R’s-Rhyme, Rhythm and Repetition! Children will be reading these books, not adults so keep the words easy and the syntax simple!
  • Chapter Books-Ah! Finally we get into the big little kids;) Grades 1-3, these kids are usually learning to read or already know how, but are not experienced. This type of book needs to be fairly simple and short. It is around 6,000 words total and consists of 10 chapters at 600 words each. All of the chapters need to be ACTION PACKED, with cliff hangers and NO BACK STORY! Leave out excessive description, leave out complexity and leave out too many characters. You need a VERY strong narrator. Leave Mom and Dad out of this and let the character be the hero of the story. Kids at this age are searching for independence and make sure you write things that they care about!

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of All About Books for Kids!

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