Monthly Archives: September 2016

Writing Prompts & Exercises #2: The Discovery

Your characters are out exploring the city at night, or camping in a long overgrown forest, or scuba-diving at a local lake; they travel through a place comfortably familiar to them during the day, only to be rendered strange and magical in the dark. They discover something they had not noticed before, or maybe something that never existed until that moment, that they must leave behind when they go.

WP&E submissions can be any length and cover any genre as long as they stick to the scenario provided. Submit your writing on the contact page, and it’ll be featured next Monday alongside an excerpt of my own writing from this prompt!

September Spotlight: Short Stories

I love short stories because I love to read. I live an awfully busy lifestyle, in between full time work and my own personal writing projects, which means I don’t have a lot of time to read. I have dozens of books piled up on my coffee table and on shelves that I’m itching to read or re-read, but they keep getting pushed aside in favor of my other passions. That doesn’t mean that I have to stop reading entirely though, and I’ve found ways to get around the roadblocks that prevent me from doing so.

I just end up reading short stories. So, so many of them.

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Writing and Story-Building Software and How to Use It

When developing a story, organization is key. It isn’t enough to just whip up a plot and start writing the whole thing out. That could work for some people, but those people are often extraordinarily gifted savants who were born for the sole purpose of writing things, and while we applaud those people for their wondrous talents, we aren’t them. Sometimes, we just need a little bit of a hand getting our stories in order, and that’s okay. It is absolutely acceptable to go back to everything we learned in English class and pull up a diagram of the standard story arc, separate our story into chunks and classify them as “Rising Action”, “Climax”, and “Falling Action”. It’s even better to divide your story into even smaller chunks based on even more complicated story arc templates. Having a hundred notepad files with all your story ideas is literally fantastic.

But no matter how much you try to organize your story on your own, you’re always going to lose track of storylines, forget tiny details or character features, and go off on a tangent so extreme that you’ll find yourself wondering how you’re going to get back on track.

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Portraying Mental Illnesses in Writing

Mental illness can be a sensitive subject to approach, but we can’t deny its presence in our world, and we can’t resist examining it in others’. In media, it is common to see characters exhibiting traits that we might assign to certain mental conditions, but we have to be cautious with how we characterize mental conditions in that we do it respectfully and with understanding as to how people in real life deal with these conditions. It’s easy to see the allure of using mental illness to add depth, vulnerability, or even a means to excuse actions in a character, but rarely are these portrayals ever tasteful.

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