Author Archives: Madison

Therapeutic Writing Resources

When we write, sometimes we can sit down and start tapping out our steady stream of consciousness without having to sit back and think about what we’re really writing. Other times, we stare at the screen and find ourselves procrastinating, getting distracted, opening up social media and scrolling for a half hour before remembering what we had set out to do in the first place. If this sounds a lot like you, fear not: the rest of the internet has a tendency to face these problems as well, and they have come up with a few great solutions to the issue of constant distractions and the inability to focus.

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You Will Find it: On Searches and Revelations

Like most people, I spend a lot of time searching. Not just searching, but wondering, imagining, calculating, figuring it out; peering into the mysterious void of my future, taking the pieces of everything I already have and trying to weave something new out of them.

It’s not just my future that gets me thinking though. It’s everything. And when you find yourself constantly trying to predict or understand everything, it gets a little overwhelming. A lot of the time, it becomes intimidating, and it turns into grounds for a downward spiral into believing that everything is a mess and nothing will ever come of it.

I just want to go forth and say that it isn’t true. At least, I personally don’t believe it is.

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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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Writing Prompts & Exercises #1: The Late-Night Drive [Submissions]

Hello everyone! Submissions from our first WP&E are in, using the prompt “The Late-Night Drive”. I’ll admit I had tons of fun writing this and got a little carried away in length, and I was very excited to read our single other submission!

“Untitled” by CJ

Peaceful quietness enveloped the young man’s small lab as his hands made small movements, working with vials and tinctures that condemned he was up to no good. A wall of strange creatures that ranged from snakes, frogs, and scorpions down to the most minuscule of things like insects made muffled sounds behind their extra barrier of thick glass. Not because he was afraid of them, but because he enjoyed silence. It was the frogs that bothered him the most, usually. He set the vial he was working with aside while moving his left hand up to reset his glasses, and turned in his stool to view the monitor for results.

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Writing Prompts & Exercises #1: The Late-Night Drive

Your characters find themselves on a long, late-night drive/flight/journey. Maybe it’s just two close friends, or maybe it’s a group of five or six on an unexpectedly long road trip. With no other distraction besides conversation and the landscape passing by, your characters are bound to get to know a little more about not only their companions, but themselves.

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!

This WP&E is closed – check out the submissions!