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September 28, 2013

Writer's Block Help

Do you need a plot twist or a writing prompt?  Hopefully this will help.  It’s based on something my favorite Dungeon Master would do.  Shuffle a deck of cards and pick one.  Each card causes something different to happen to your character.  It could be as simple as a slight change in health points or as drastic as a sex change.  So I’ve come up with 53 potential plot twists (some are admittedly similar.) Most of them apply to any character in your story; major, minor, or main. So grab a deck of cards (or pick a number) and choose three (in case one doesn’t work at all) and find a way to weave it into your story.  Enjoy!

P.S. If you’re choosing three numbers, I don’t recommend choosing numbers that are close together.  For example choosing 21, 22, and 23 won’t give you a wide variety of choices.

1. Joker: Main Character gets humiliated

2. A:  Someone dies
3. K:  Hospitalized or equivalent (i.e. bedridden, sickbay, ect.)
4. Q:  Experience Amputation (simple as an ear or serious as a limb)
5. J:  Poisoned
6. 10:  Tortured
7. 9:  Vandalized
8. 8:  Meet a unique/odd individual
9. 7:  Get in a fight
10. 6:  Incarcerated or equivalent (for children’s/YA stories detention)
11. 5:  Arrested (may or may not be followed by incarceration)
12. 4:  Minor illness (cold, flu, ect.)
13. 3:  Someone gets pregnant
14. 2:  New baby (surprise birth, baby on doorstep, or inherit an older kid)

15. A:  Sustain violent injury (shooting, explosion, ect.)
16. K:  Sustain psychological trauma
17. Q:  Brain injury/Amnesia
18. J:  Loose partial or full eyesight (temporary or permanent)
19. 10:  Loose partial or full hearing (temporary or permanent)
20.  9:  Experience natural disaster (Flood, Tornado, ect.)
21. 8:  Experience unnatural disaster (Car/Plane crash, bombing, ect.)
22. 7:  Lose hair (natural balding or hair removal cream in the shampoo)
23. 6:  Acquire a new weapon (anything from a squirt gun to the Death Star)
24. 5:  Experience culture shock
25. 4:  Get eerily personal fortune/prophesy (you decide if it comes true)
26. 3: Flashback
27. 2: Acquire a new skill

28. A:  Acquire a large sum of money (legally)
29. K:  Get promoted or equivalent
30. Q:  New job/career
31. J:  Get demoted or equivalent
32. 10:  New car or new form of transportation
33. 9:  Receive a rather generous gift
34. 8:  Acquire an inheritance (the size is up to you)
35. 7:  New defensive mechanism/new armor
36. 6:  Enter/play a game
37. 5:  Accusation of stealing/robbery
38. 4:  Win a bet
39. 3:  Lose a bet
40. 2:  Lose a large sum of money

41. A:  Experience love at first sight
42. K:  Accused/caught in infidelity
43. Q:  Get married
44. J:  Surprise/unexpected marriage proposal
45. 10:  Get asked on a date
46. 9:  Experience gender identity crisis or something similar (i.e. Boy has to wear tights)
47. 8:  Romantic encounter
48. 7:  Get a new look/haircut and it looks better
49. 6:  Get a new look/haircut and it looks terrible
50. 5:  Receive a gift from someone special
51. 4:  Get kissed (the reaction is up to you)
52. 3:  Cultural/Family identity crisis (i.e. finding out about adoption, or disagrees with a newly learned cultural norm)
53. 2:  Experience heartbreak

August 2, 2013

IWSG Ooops!

I have forgotten yet again.  I hope come September I actually have something for you all.  I am making progress.  Leaps and bounds even.  I hope all of you are too.

Brides Beware!

Congratulations!  You just got engaged and you’re ready to tell all your friends the wonderful news.  However there is danger ahead.  You are about to face an onslaught of questions that you will not know the answer to unless you are a professional wedding planner or Martha Stewart. 
The first question isn’t so bad.  Most brides-to-be have at least a general idea on how to answer the question “So when’s the big day?”  Some however, don’t have a date in mind.  They just know they want to spend the rest of their lives with this person so…six months to a year?  After I graduate?  Or my personal answer in this lovely economy: “When he finds a job.”
Next you are required to be a fashion expert.  You would figure an appropriate answer to “What kind of dress will you wear?” would be “A pretty white one with a little poof, but not too much poof and maybe a little beading.”  That’s not good enough.  You will get asked “You mean like a Basque waist, or A-line, or a princess cut? Or maybe you mean just at the bottom like a mermaid cut?”  And that doesn’t include accessories like the all-important veil. “A birdcage or a blusher would look great on you!  You’re probably thinking more of a flyaway or a mantilla, right?  You’d never go cathedral though.”  What language are they speaking anyway?
So now that you know you are a failure at all things fashion, you start to think about the flowers you want to have.  “Lilies are so pretty,”  you think.  But what kind of lilies? Orienpents, Aurelians, or Martagons?  So maybe some simple roses instead…Albertine, Ballarina, or Cadenza?  You start wondering at what point you were considered a botanist.
What about food?  Food is easy, right?  You loved the steaks from the caterers that did your cousin’s wedding.  Yet there are still questions.  “Isn’t you’re sister-in-law-to-be a strict vegan?  And your maid-of-honor is Jewish, so is that kosher?  Aren’t you afraid of mad-cow disease?”  It should not be this complicated.
So I recommend either getting your wedding planning degree or get used to saying “I have no idea and I’m okay with that.”  Because everyone will insist that you have to know otherwise your entire wedding is going to be a disaster and your fiancé will leave you because of your incompetence and your family will disown you.  It's a lie.  Just take your wedding planning one step at a time and only take opinions if they were solicited.  Enjoy your special day!

July 6, 2013


           What I wouldn't give for a weekend alone just to write!  I almost got it this weekend but...I'm not even going to think about it lest I board the anxiety roller-coaster again.  My mind is bursting with ideas and that's not even including my WIPs.
            I am so proud of myself for actually making progress on my original WIP The Mythical Male.  I am very hard on myself in the self-editing process so it's not an easy task for me.  I have added a bit to my back-burner story called Princess Knights and further developed both characters and setting for a potential children's series called Psionic Squad.

           My other mini-project stems from a solution to a problem that more or less started my interest in writing.  I've always loved television and movies and I would go to sleep at night putting the characters into different scenarios and making my own plots, often skewing the characters completely.  Well I have some great fan-fiction plots in my head, but many of them involve uncharacteristic behavior and everything is copyrighted anyway.

          Well, a little birdie told me that the book Fifty Shades of Grey was originally a fan-fiction for Twilight, The author just changed the characters and the setting a bit and published a whole new series.   Why can't I do something like that?

          So I adjusted the characters a bit, combined a couple into one person, and have yet to set up a setting, but my plots will work.  Are the plots any good?  Only time will tell.  I have a blurb about each of books in the series, but that's not even on the back burner yet.  I'd say the ingredients are on the counter. 

          So if you have been wondering where I've been (besides the usual work, more work, relationships, ect.) that's what I've been working on.  I hope all my writing friends are doing well and making more progress than I have, but I'm finding my pace.  Happy writing everyone!

May 9, 2013

Sneaky Stress

Ah, the internet.  The perfect place to get something off my chest.  Warning: Foul Language in this post.

      Have you ever NOT realized you were stressed?  I mean yeah,  there's a lot on your plate and and you've been over worked and under-slept but you can handle... WHO THE F*** LEFT THIS OPEN?!?!
      It happens just like that.  You know there are issues, but it's all fine and dandy until one little thing goes wrong and then you flip.  You had no idea you were so stressed out and then suddenly you're giving the world the finger.
      In the past year I have only used my vacation time for sick leave and bereavement leave.  Due to short staffing issues I haven't been able to get a vacation.  Finally I got it.  Two weekdays and a weekend where I can do anything I want.  Well, I have some catching up to do on the most important project of the year, I need to write thank you letters for the gifts I just got, but I should have plenty of time to just sit at my laptop and work on my writing.  Right?
      My power cord chose this day to break.  To say that I lost it is putting it lightly.  First I get a "fits-all-models" replacement from the electronics store.  It barely works.  I go to order a replacement part online with what battery life I have left and something doesn't go right and I online chat for support.  I'm about to complete my purchase by clicking a link in the chat's not compatible with Mozilla.  I finagle it to work in IE and then there's some sort of registration and I ask for help with my chat person and they mysteriously disappear. The session times out and I'm asked for feedback.  Of course at this point I just want to tell them to go [expletive] themselves.  But I honestly rate the support team as knowledgeable and my experience as lousy, but the comment box for "How can we improve?" is smaller than my pinky finger.
       This computer fiasco was just the final straw in a day full of things going wrong on my glorious day of vacation.  So if anyone asks how my vacation is going, I can't be held accountable for whatever comes out of my mouth.
       I know this is probably some of my worst quality writing but it feels so good to get it off my chest.

April 30, 2013

IWSG May 1st 2013

      I have so many things on my mind, but luckily writing IS one.  I've been brainstorming ways to use bits of time for writing.  Half of my writing is on a computer, the other in notebooks.  Only one comes with me everywhere.  I've been looking at possibly paying for a writing app for my phone but I'm weary of paying for an app that may not even be what I want. Any advice?

       For writers who are looking for support this May first; I was recently reminded of one of may favorite quotes:  Do what you love and the money (or success) will follow.  If you enjoy it, why give it up?  Just keep at it.  If nothing else you have something in your life that makes you happy and a dream to hold on to.

        This has been short and sweet and hopefully that means I'll get a chance to visit other IWSGers.  Happy May everyone and keep writing!

April 6, 2013

Writing update

It is about time I visit my blog again.  Here is my news:

1.  For any visitors that have previously commented that I should remove captcha, I did and I think I need it back for a bit. The comments seem a bit...sketchy. 

2.   This isn't "new" but I don't think I've posted it before.  I'm going to try to keep my writing clean.  I'll be the first to admit that it's hard to write an anger-filled fight scene without a few curses flying around, and I'm not always able to do it.

3.  Wring and I had a trial separation and we're still working on going steady again.  It seems to be an on-again off-again relationship right now.

4.  I have almost come to the conclusion that I need to do a major revision of the middle part of my draft of The Mythical Male.  When I feel courageous I may take another look, however that is not a good way to restart a relationship with writing.

5.  I have written a few chapters of Princess Knights.  I'm not sure I can even call it a first draft.  It is a first attempt at telling part of a story in my head.  That I am sure of.

6.  I have an idea and plot for a story that would be tremendously controversial.  How so?  It would be a Christian fiction that would go along with some of what I stated in my post: Do I Dare?

7.  I thank everyone who reads this.  I've been struggling with feeling like a failure in many ways, especially with writing.  If you're reading this, I'm not a complete failure as a writer.  That's a step in the right direction.

March 6, 2013

To write a memoir or not?

      One of the reasons I want to write is that I love telling stories, and as narcissistic as it may be it's even better if the story is about myself.  After all, I lived it.  So some of the stories I've wanted to write lately are personal narratives and memoirs, however I'm not sure if anyone would want to read a compilation some of my memorable moments.  

       For one, my life isn't necessarily all that interesting.  I'm an average American, I tend to keep a low profile, and as a whole it would make a rather boring novel.  However, in pieces there are delightful little short stories, but how interesting are they?  Would a reader find the average-ness refreshing? 

      My second conundrum is how ethical it would be to fudge a few details for a more powerful impact on the reader.  Take for instance my first "memoir" The Haunted Wedding.  I don't like calling it a memoir because in reality I didn't really think I saw a ghost, I just thought there was an uncanny resemblance between the father and son in both looks and actions, but putting it in those terms certainly grabbed the reader's attention. Since the ending reflected the true experience I had, can I still call it "non-fiction"?

     Finally, I'm not sure I should start an auto-biography of sorts because I'm young.  There may be some good stories in my twenty-five short years, but not as many as someone older and wiser than I. 

     So readers, any thoughts?  I always love input so feel free to comment.

February 26, 2013


      Here's the good news:  I have come back from my hiatus!  Now for the bad news:  I am slowly coming back from my hiatus.  To keep things simple (and enjoyable) to start so I don't fall back into a rut, I'm focusing on getting one story from my head on to paper, er...text document.

     As much as I should finish editing my first draft of last year's novel,  I know I won't keep up with my writing if all I'm doing is analyzing how bad I am at it.  Also, my online presence will not be as strong, but more existent than in past months.  My goal is two posts a month and support five fellow insecure writers.

     I appreciate everyone who has stopped by and all the encouragement from my fellow insecure writers.  Hopefully I will have something interesting here soon.  I may just post a bit about the story trying to escape from my head or I may work on a blog-post sized article or short story.  Thanks again everyone!

February 1, 2013

IWSG 2/1/13

             Hello my fellow insecure writers!  I have come out of my hiatus this week for this wonderful group of writers I have learned so much from.
Okay, enough of my happy-go-lucky façade and on to the latest plague infecting my writing process.  There are three forces working against me in my writing process at the moment.  The first is that I am at one of the most difficult points in the composition of my novel: editing.
            As many of you know the editing process (specifically the first edit of the first draft) is the point where writers really feel like they are working for their pay.  It is grueling, boring, and one must push himself to get through it.
            The other force keeping me from progress is much larger and much more powerful; Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.  Aptly named, SAD is marked by depression, lack of energy, and in my case anxiety culminating in depression.  It is mild enough, and under control enough that I can get through each day with a smile that is often times genuine.  However I am often very tired and after pushing myself through my workday I lack the energy to analyze and edit my piece of work, especially because my anxiety and depression easily forms itself into the dreaded anti-muse.
       Also robbing me of my energy is your old-fashioned winter illness.  I have had more colds and illness in the past few months than I know what to do with.  Just as I am fully recovered and no longer need ten hours of sleep a night, I fall sick again.  Never enough to miss work, but enough that work is the only thing that gets done all day.  My laundry and my groceries have suffered as much as my writing.
            New ideas continue to come and I jot them down.  I play out the dialogue and plot in my head as I fall asleep, but sitting at my computer to plug out an idea and edit it is not within my power most days.  Things are already looking up.  I am healthy again, my energy is returning as well as my motivation and I know spring is on its way.  I thank those of you that have bared with me on my hiatus.  I believe when I return it will still be slow, but a bit more regular.  Much like the rest of my life, I continue to learn my way around this world and try to find balance.
            Make sure to check out the other great writers and the wonderful creator of the Insecure Writer's Support Group by clicking the icon at the top of the post.