Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Fairy Tale Style

Princess_and_the_GoblinHave you ever read The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald?  I hadn’t heard of it until recently, but just finished it and found it to be a a delightful break from our current world-gone crazy.  I love this quote from MacDonald:  “I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five.”

I think my reading is about to enter a Fairy Tale phase.  But first, it’s time for some Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you met your writing goals this week, spent your time immersed in imaginary lands, or just took some time to relax and recharge, a few minutes of improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ll be giving it a shot in a suitably atmospheric shady overgrown spot by the river at the bottom of the garden path.  Feel free to search out your own inspirational location and put your imagination to work.


For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how we play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

All right, let’s get started. As you might have guessed from the title of this post, we have a theme today, inspired by my recent reading, though you are free to ignore it.  Here are our specially selected random words.  Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

                Fairy                      escape                  disbelief              green

                Spell                      goblin                   enchant               happily

                Magic                    wander                 forest                    butterfly

                Path                       staff                       stream                  cavern

Okay.  Are you ready?  Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Back already?  Can’t wait to read what you’ve come up with.

Happy writing to all.

Michille: 11 Things Every Romance Writer (Doesn’t) Need

toolboxesAs readers may have noticed, there is a particular blog that I really like (which I’m not naming here because I am going to bash a recent post). So I was extremely disappointed when said blog recently had a post about 10 Things Every Romance Writer Needs. At least one of the blog owners is a romance writer. Apparently the writer of this post is not. At least I would find it hard to believe if he is because the content of the post bordered on insulting to the writers of the genre that essentially pays the bills for the whole fiction market. It is a well-known phenomenon, this casual dismissal of the romance genre, and one that prompted the creation of the International Society for the Study of Popular Romance, the partnership of the Romance Sociologists, and was recently explored by Laura Kahn in her documentary Love Between The Covers. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Self-Publishing 101 – Author/Editor Interview

publish_buttonWe’ve been talking about the nuts and bolts self-publishing for the past several Wednesdays here on the blog.  Today we’re talking with a guest who has experience as both an editor and a published author.

Let’s give a big Eight Ladies Writing welcome to Nan Reinhardt.

* * *

8LW:  Thanks for talking with us today, Nan.  Which came first, your editing or your writing career? Continue reading

Nancy: Week 1 of the Plan: The Big Picture

Woman With a PlanA few weeks ago here at 8LW, I threw out a challenge to come back to the blog over the next few months to work out and discuss writing plans and goals not just for your current WIP or the next few months, but for the next year or two (or five). This week, we’re going to start that exercise by going big.

Like many of us, you might tend to keep your head down, focus on the WIP in front of you, and if you’re feeling particularly well-organized, set a deadline for yourself to finish it. This is a good and noble thing. This might be the only plan you need right now. But today  I encourage to step back from the WIP and think about the big picture. For the moment, let’s just call it your writing career, or at least the next few years of it.

Question and Explore. What is your ‘place’, your destination? Where do you want to be as a writer and a creative soul a year from now? Two years? Five? Before you answer, take some time to really consider this. Drill down into this goal. Let each question you answer lead to more questions. Continue reading

Jilly: Series Title Help

Fighting TalkDo you have a spare five minutes to help me try to find the perfect word or two for the titles of my romantic fantasy series?

I had a brilliant time at RWA in San Diego and I’ve returned to the UK inspired and raring to get back to work on Alexis. Pitching the book was really helpful as it made me pause, take a step back, and make sure I had a clear vision of what story I wanted to tell, in Book One and also for the whole series.

I’ve written linked stories before, but this is the first time I’ve attempted a series with the same main characters and an over-arching plot-line. I have the bare bones of how it’s all going to work, and a bucket full of ideas waiting to be fitted into that framework, but I think it would help me a lot if I had a clearer vision of the books themselves, especially their titles.

So if you’re in the mood for a little brainstorming, here’s the brief Continue reading

Michaeline: Does the Oxford Comma Matter?

St. George, a free black, fencing with D'Eon, an 18th century transgender woman, at Carlton House in front of Prinney.

I pulled this from Wikimedia Commons for the fencing, but the story behind this pic is just too amazing to forgo for a clever caption. Read about it here: https://shrineodreams.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/duel-of-the-outsiders/

Why do people get so worked up over the Oxford comma?

I’ve had time to follow Jennifer Crusie’s blog explosion over the past week or so. She tackled diversity, and then she posted about U.S. Politics. There was an explosion of comments, but most of them were civil, rational discussion about important issues, so perhaps “explosion” is too bloody of a word to use.

But then the discussion of U.S. Politics spun off into a discussion of punctuation . . . and then the gloves came off! I exaggerate; the conversation was still polite, but one could sense something edgier coming into play; lines were drawn in the sand and I thought I could see some glittering teeth peeking around commas and clauses. Maybe I was projecting. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Murder Mystery Style


Merton College © Eldridge Photography

I don’t know about you, but my week has been full of action packed days. Frankly, I’m not even 100% certain what day it actually is, though I’m sure it must be just about time for some Friday Writing Sprints.

There’s nothing like a little Random Word Improv wrap up the week and to provide a nice mental distraction.

Care to join me?

Whether you met your writing goals this week, spent your time learning new things, or just took some time to relax and recharge, a few minutes of improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. I’ll be giving it my best shot while enjoying a cream tea at the local café; feel free to enjoy your own beverage of choice while writing.

Ready? Continue reading