Michaeline: The World of Your Story

 

A large young woman holding a saucer of tea. On the table is a samovar, watermelon, fruitcake, apples and grapes. Next to her, a cute kitty rubs her shoulder. Affluent and full of sunshine.

Boris Kustodiev’s A Merchant’s Wife’s Teatime from 1918 shows the kind of sunny August afternoon I wouldn’t mind living in forever. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

I’m always a bit in awe of people who write intricate, dark, depressing stories like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. They do such a good job, but . . . they have to live inside that world in their heads for however long it takes to write the book.

I guess that’s why I prefer to write things with ultimately happy endings. I have a good real life, and I’m content, but in a story, I can stir up just a little trouble, just a little drama, and then resolve it all with cake and a brighter future ahead.

I wonder how many people set their stories in the Now. When I write these days, I studiously avoid plagues, invasions of insects, racism, floods, global warming and riots. They may creep in, but they are not what I set out to write.

But even before these wild days came upon us, I rarely wrote in the Now. I mostly wrote in the near future and far future, and a little bit in the distant past (80 years or more before Actual Writing Time). I am not sure why . . . maybe because I’m still processing the Now, and am not sure what to write about it. The distant past just needs a bit of research, and the future can be fudged. I don’t trust my perception of things enough to write about the Now.

But that’s me. I think people may want to read things about Now in the near future; they’ll have a basic set of reference, and can compare their experience with the author. They’ll have processed things. They might take joy in what the author got right, and they might have a sneaky bit of schadenfreude for what the author got wrong.

What is your Now like right now?

I saw a fun game on Twitter by Amber Sparks, who Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Give the Devil His Due!

Welcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it, a chance to have fun with words.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, it will improve your daily word count.

All right, let’s get started. This week’s words were inspired by a television show I’ve been watching recently and the Work In Progress of our own Eight Lady Jeanne. Do with them what you will.

 

Today’s bonus word is:                   apocryphal

Today’s bonus phrase is:              “sympathy for the devil”

Here are the rest of today’s randomly selected random words: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Now with an Irish Flavor!

irish-harp-clipart-1Welcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it, the participatory portion of our blog.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, once you get in the writing frame of mind, you’ll be ready to write your way through the day.

All right, let’s get started. This week, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, our words have an Irish flavor. Hopefully you’ve recovered from any celebrating you may have done yesterday so you can fully enjoy them.

Today’s bonus word is:                   Claddagh

Today’s bonus phrase is:              “What’s the craic?”

Here are the rest of today’s randomly selected random words: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Welcome to the Regency!

1801- August-1801-morningWelcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it, a great way to finish off the week.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, you might learn something new.

All right, let’s get started. This week we have a “Regency” theme going on. The words are meant to invoke images from a bygone era of women in flowing dresses, men in cravats, and the excesses of the aristocracy. How you choose to turn the words into a story is completely up to you.

Today’s bonus word is:                  diaphanous

Today’s bonus phrase is:              “all the crack”

Here are the rest of today’s randomly selected random words: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Welcome to the 20s!

FlapperWelcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it, an excellent way to flex your creativity.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, you might just wind up with a new story idea.

All right, let’s get started. This week we have a 1920s theme going on. The words are meant to invoke images of women with bobbed-hair, marathon dancing, gin-joints, and the exciting feelings of the 1920s. How you choose to turn the words into a story is completely up to you.

Today’s bonus word is:                  Spifflicated

Today’s bonus phrase is:              “bee’s knees”

Here are the rest of today’s randomly selected random words: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Welcome to the 60s!

1960sWelcome to another installment of Random Word Improv, or as I like to think of it, play with a purpose.

Whether you wrote a lot, a little, or none at all this week, a few minutes of Improv is a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page. As a plus, you might just stretch your creativity in new and interesting directions.

All right, let’s get started. This week we have a 1960s theme going on. The words are meant to invoke images of free-love, Volkswagen minibuses, Woodstock, and the more positive feelings of the 1960s. What you choose to do with them is completely up to you.

Today’s bonus word is:                   counterculture Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Now with Random Holiday Words!

stopwatch graphicAnother week has come to a close and what better way to wrap things up than with a little random creative writing.

If you are here in the states, your days are likely to be filled with shopping, turkey, and interesting family gatherings in the days to come. What better way to give your mind a break than with some writing sprints.

For those of you knee-deep in NaNo, especially for those whose story has turned stubborn or is refusing to cooperate, if the Story Prompts Michille posted yesterday didn’t get you out of your rut, perhaps Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – More Randomness!

stopwatch graphicAnother week has come to a close and what better way to wrap things up than with a little random creative writing. If you are one of the many participants knee-deep in week 2 of NaNo, this can be the perfect opportunity to take a little break from your story and recharge your creativity.

I’ve been staying on track with my NaNo word count so far (knock wood) and I am hoping to keep my winning streak alive. What better way to kick off a writing session (and increase your word count) than with some creative writing.

Since we’ve been having such success with it these last few weeks, how about Continue reading

Jilly: What If? London Fantasy Edition

What If? London Fantasy EditionJust for fun, is anyone up for a game of creative ‘What If?’

I trip over story ideas all the time. It might be something I read, or a shop window display, or a person I see in the street. If something catches my interest I squirrel it away, even if I don’t know why. I have a phone full of notes, a scrapbook crammed with articles ripped out of magazines or newspapers, and a bookmark on my laptop called ‘story.’

The end is in sight on my time-sucking, non-writing-related project, but I won’t be ready to dive back in to Cam and Mary’s story for another week or two. I could use the odd snippets of time I do have to think about them and plan ahead, but I’ve found that doesn’t work well for me. I get frustrated if I know what I want to write and I can’t get the words down. Focusing on my WIP will only make me cranky with my non-writing friends and crankier still about my lack of progress.

I need to keep my imagination ticking over though, in ways that bring me pleasure and remind me why I love writing. Little boosts of story that will deliver me to Cam and Mary primed and ready to roll. Reading has been good, but Elizabeth’s Friday Improv challenges have been better, so today I decided to take a leaf out of her book, pull something from my ‘story’ archive and Continue reading