A flower here and a flower there enriched the endless greens with jewel-toned glitter. The path less traveled had narrowed over time to a jagged walkway framed by a canopy of twisted branches that, for the time being, held as much green as below.
Truthfully it didn’t matter what time of year, nature crafted a sturdy tunnel that started on the edge of an open field with brush up to only a meager portion of its entirety. It grew in a tangled mess of every sort of plant imaginable—or rather it blossomed those imaginations that saw it. A never-ending effect drew from the tallest trees and their branches that curved over from old age.
The dirt stretched in anything but a boring line. The edges hidden under brush curled around rocks big enough to sit on and tree trunks left for dead after occasional destruction clean up, but mostly it sat and blended back into nature.
The sun struggled shining through the puzzle of leaves and left an eerie kind of magic underneath. Heat escaped the air that joined the dim light, often providing a refreshing break.
Drops of sweat she felt gathering along her humidity-curled hairline disappeared hardly minutes into her walk. A blessing in disguise to name it all was an understatement.
And it was all hers.
Thank you for reading! It is super nice to take a break and write with no plan. Sometimes it even evolves into a plan. 😉
Also, any tips with commas would be great. I find myself guessing time and time again if I’m doing them correctly.
I used to be so concerned with making sure my story was unique and something that hadn’t been done before. I didn’t want anyone to think I was copying another author.
Guess how many stories I wrote in that mindset.
I can understand now that it was a silly notion.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
It’s a quote by Pablo Picasso I had learned about during my second round of college. It was also a huge slap in the face (but in a good way…?) because I realized how much I was limiting myself. I was scared of treading into someone else’s territory, only to realize that that is literally the only way to do it.
Obviously, “stealing” someone’s idea is a horrible thing to do, but stealing their idea—their baseline, simple idea—is how all great artists start building their own foundation.
A boy goes to school, meets some friends, and always gets in trouble.
That’s Harry Potter, right? Well how many other storylines just popped into your mind? How many can be pulled from that simple idea? It’s literally endless.
A group of friends trust each other to the end and can get through anything.
Also Harry Potter, but also the Maze Runner series, the Hunger Games series, and a whole lotta YA fiction.
The point of this post is to reassure that when you are struggling to perfect that plot, it is okay to turn to google, Pinterest, Tumblr, or any other creative site for ideas. And it is okay to take them and mold them into YOUR story.
I just spent a ton of time on Pinterest to fill in the plot for my hella long, multiple book series thing I’m trying and boy, it was a blessing. It helped so much.
Now please don’t plagiarize… aka don’t be a dick, but use your fellow writers. Don’t be afraid to take a basic and simple idea and transform it into your own beautiful masterpiece.
I am feeling the inspiration tonight and decided to do something a little crazy because who doesn’t need some crazy in their life?
I’ve decided and already started to outline the LONGEST story and character arcs I’ve ever attempted. Let’s just say I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series and need to give an entire universe and meaningful relationships that make me cry a shot.
I used to think I could only work on one story at a time, but then I realized that is not how my brain works. This attention span is short, people. I get so excited with so many things, so what is stopping me?
I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the work, of the time commitment, of the lack of recognition (sorry, a little selfish with that one), of judgement, of failure.
Of course, everyone is afraid of what they hold the most passion for or it would never be worth it.
I feel lucky to start this journey with an open mind, with many lessons learned, and with an acceptance that I have many to learn, but most recently, I’ve learned that no one is ever ready for the first step, probably not any of the steps. So, here we go.
So, if you have any tips or tricks on taking a massive, not nearly planned out enough story and turning it into an outline somewhat acceptable enough to work with, let me know.
Otherwise, this is my first update of many on this new ride.
Welcome to this week’s post! Today we are tackling one of those goals of mine—video editing. I’m excited to figure out the ins and outs of making a quality video and that starts with practice, so here’s my first video: My Writing Routine!
This doesn’t go very in-depth because my writing routine isn’t much of a writing routine… haha, you’ll see. I do have a few things I need. 🙂
Anyway, please enjoy the video! (And if you’re on Youtube, don’t be afraid to subscribe!)
I discovered that a writer’s journal or writer’s notebook was an actual thing probably about a year ago. At first, it seemed like a daunting task because I immediately related it to a bullet journal where you have to be incredibly organized, efficient, and creative to keep up.
Normally, I would say I’m all of those things, but when it comes to writing I’m a damn mess.
Despite initial worries, I went and bought a cute notebook at Target, because I am always up to buy a cute notebook at Target, and the journal began.
And it’s a damn mess.
BUT, it’s also the most organized I’ve ever been with my writing. With a million never-ending ideas running through my head, getting a specific journal for them all was one of the best decisions I’ve made. If you are a messy writer that uses notebooks, your photo, scraps of paper, other notebooks, your planner, etc. to write out story ideas, I would 100% recommend buying a big ol’ notebook and consolidating (for the most part—I still don’t write every little idea in there).
Some of the things I put in my journal are:
These lists can range from why you write, to conflict ideas, to character traits, or to things that inspire you to write. The purpose is to give you endless inspiration for when you’re feeling wiped. The more lists, the more you have to look back on.
This is where I make a mess. Sometimes more than just a simple idea comes and I have to write it all out. This is an example of what one of my short stories (Where It All Went Wrong) started out as. It’s all over the place, but it’s there and I won’t forget it.
I try to leave a page for each idea and sometimes that’s not enough space or too much, but it’s a little way I can try and stay organized. Mostly I try to put down the general idea of the story with any specifics I have at the time. I’m notorious for just starting a story with no plan, so this helps give a little direction.
There are many more ways to fill a writer’s notebook, but these are my main three! If you have your own journal, what are you favorite ways to fill up the pages?
It was so wrinkled, wrinkled to the point where it was soft. The words were almost completely faded. The corners were starting to tear.
10 tonight at the park. I’m leaving.
Charlie had been staring at the note for hours. When she found it, it had been crisp and clean, folded neatly on the table of her usual spot in the coffee shop.
She hadn’t see Evan all day, only his note. They had talked about his plans on leaving and he practically invited her the other day, but stumbled over his words and changed the subject to those cute little dogs he would miss.
She would miss them, too.
Charlie was sure she wanted go. As soon as she got the note, she ran home and packed, but now, standing at the door of her house, she froze.
The note she had written for her parent was on the kitchen counter, waiting to cause a scene, but Charlie couldn’t help but want to rip it up and throw it away. She wanted to go back upstairs and unpack. She wanted to save everyone the trouble and leave things how they were. She wanted everything to stay the same. She wanted it to be easy.
Charlie sighed and put down her bags. Her keys clinked against the counter as she dropped them and she walked over to her note for her parents. Her head rolled, stretching out her neck as she grabbed it and walked towards the garbage.
“Some things just have to change,” she whispered and stuck the note to the bulletin board directly above the trash can.
ALL DONE! Yay!
I love this story because it’s simply about taking a leap of faith and doing something to better your life. For Charlie, it was trusting her new friend, Evan, and leaving her small town behind.
At one time, I had planned to expand this into a series. Their little escape would be a roadtrip filled with odd jobs, old motels, and a lot of adventure. Maybe someday, I’ll have to revisit the idea!
“What’s so funny?” Evan jogged back over, holding the poop bag an arms distance away.
Charlie giggled. “Worst part of the job?”
He scratched the back of his neck, looking to his outstretched arm. “Yeah, I don’t really like it.” The plastic bag swung in the air as he tossed it over to the garbage can. It went in with a swish.
“Don’t worry,” she flicked her hand in the air and the crossed her arms, “it was cute.”
Evan’s eyes narrowed with a smirk. “Really?”
Charlie’s laughter stopped short and her eyes widened. “Um, yeah.”
The full silence sat in the air for a few minutes. Charlie looked everywhere, but Evan. Evan looked only at Charlie.
“Good,” he finally said, grin wide and alive. “I’m glad someone enjoyed it.” He stepped closer to her. The dogs sniffed and jumped at their ankles. “Hey, would you like to get coffee with me sometime?” His words were rushed.
“Oh,” she gasped,”I, will, I guess I could?” She cringed at her response, but Evan didn’t seem to mind.
“Great!” His shoulders bounced. “How ‘bout Tuesday at ten? Wait, do you have school?”
“No, I graduated last spring.” Evan’s face twisted in confusion. “I was home schooled,” she added in quickly.
“Oh,” Evan drawled, his head rolling in a circle, “that makes sense. I graduated last year, too.” He pointed at her. “I think I would have remembered you.”
Charlie smiled and let her hair fall in front of her face.
He looked back with a silly expression. “Well, Miss Charlotte,” he stepped backwards, “I will see you in a couple of days.”
She waved and watched him walk away. Her name didn’t seem that bad when it wasn’t coming from her mother.
Two episodes left! Any ideas on what will happen between Charlie and Evan?
Morning came and went and now the sun is high in the sky. Charlie, who had been awakened by her very persistent mother, was dragging her feet to a coffee shop a few blocks over. Her eyes were slightly closed and her head drooped forward.
A black poodle trotted into Charlie’s vision with its ears bouncing and its tongue hanging.
She giggled and bent over to pet the tiny animal. She scratched the dog on the head over a small white spot, earning a pleased yip from the curly mess.
“Spot,” a young man groaned, bent over, leaning on his knees. “Why do you always have to run?” He let out a ragged breath and ran his fingers through his wind-blown hair, while his other hand tightly held two leashes, each leading to a Chihuahua.
Charlie stood up and greeted the stranger with a smile. She had grabbed the lost leash on instinct and held it out in her hand.
“I’m really sorry,” his cheeks were splotched red, “she really likes to run.”
Charlie giggled again. “It’s okay.” With a shy smile, she dropped her head to hide her cheeks that matched his. “I really like them. Dogs, I mean.”
“Yeah, they can be pretty cool when they listen.” His voice was smooth and friendly, drawing her sight back up.
She nodded and stared at him for a moment, not quite sure what to do next. His disheveled clothing was layered with different patterns in the same colors. His hair was sticking at odd angles, but it seemed to her that it was probably always like that. She noticed that his eyes were a bright green because they were staring directly at her.
Charlie shifted her weight and pulled on her sleeves, coughing into her shoulder.
“I’m Evan,” he said with a bright smile.
Charlie found herself nodding again, her voice lost.
“I would shake your hand, but…” he lifted up the leashes.
Charlie’s head went up and down, but she smiled this time.
The silence stretched on and Evan scratched the back of his neck. His eyes darted from her to the dogs and back again, before looking all around. “Well, lovely weather, isn’t it?”
Taking a deep breath, Charlie realized she couldn’t just stand there forever and squeezed her shaking hands. “I’m Charlotte,” she said, “but please, call me Charlie.”
Evan grinned, reconnecting their gaze. “It is very nice to meet you, Charlie.”
Thank you for reading! We are almost half way done with this story!
Pencil to paper takes more time than touch to keyboard.
Mistakes are more prominent, but so is style—the way letters fall on the page over smudges left behind.
Hands start to hurt and the pencil is repositioned. Different styles fill the page the longer time is spent.
But it’s nice.
Bringing back a raw form of writing in between monotonous hours staring at a screen. It’s peaceful and true and always a statement of you.
I actually did write this in a journal with a pencil (aka mistakes were made) before I decided to make it a blog post. 🙂
I think I get more creative when I switch mediums. The first story I ever wrote had the first draft in two notebooks, a planner, my iPad, and my computer. It was interesting to piece together, but came along much smoother than if I had to put it all in one spot.
How do you write? Bouncing around or one solid system?
Mirror, Mirror: What if your mirror started talking to you?
The time it spent Holland to get home was cut in half compared to the usual. She expertly handled the awkward half walk, half run all the way to her house.
She practically face planted into her front door, gripping the handle to unlock it. The strength used to push open the wooden door caused it to bounce against the entryway wall. Holland kicked behind her to close it and the door clicked shut.
Lights remained off as she ran through her kitchen and living room and straight to her bedroom. Holland stumbled into her room, kicking off her shoes and bypassing the light switches. Her bedroom window was open and let enough sunlight splash in.
The rolling chair for her desk was slightly pushed away giving Holland enough room to dive and slide in to work. She yanked open her laptop that sat neatly on the old wood desk and immediately launched the internet. She typed in any keywords that could relate to mirrors, but all she kept finding were the same old tales she heard as a child. She couldn’t even find information on the lessons she learned in secondary.
Holland groaned and threw her head back. How could the internet fail her now? She leaned forward, placing her elbows at the sides of the computer. Running her hands down her face, she decided to try one last phrase.
It was a last-ditch effort for any sort of story about the supposed parallel universe. She scrolled through the pages of results, almost mindlessly. She knew it was useless, but at the same time she didn’t want to give up.
With one last sigh that let all of the air out of her body, Holland scrolled to the bottom of the page. She gave a fleeting glance, instantaneously going to close out, but something caught her attention.
The reflections that talk back: Your other self.
The headline was the only wording in the last result on the page. It was colored a bright blue.
Holland clicked on the link and it brought her to a simple grayscale website. It had a thin black border around the entire page. There were no other links, no menu, and no pictures. There were just words, a story, not even two paragraphs long.
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there were objects with such shine and gloss that they reflected the utmost beauty onto the land. The magical items were called mirrors. They showed us a picture that was almost identical to the world around us, but held so much more depth. In fact, stand in front of a mirror and see not yourself, but someone who looks like you, talks like you, but lives a very different life in a very different place.
Our reflections are truly wonders of the world and they will continue to teach us of fantasies we’ve never dreamed, adventures we’ve never been, and tragedies we’ve never seen.
Holland slowly drew her hand off of her laptop. She stared at the screen rereading the passage again and again. The story started out like any other, explaining the wondrous world of mirrors. The fairytale-like stories that she had grown up with were always filled with joy and curiosity. Holland had never seen one that alluded to anything bad whatsoever and maybe that was why the last sentence made her skin crawl.
A shudder escaped her body and Holland slammed shut the computer. She shook her head and hastily left her desk. Her bed was unmade from this morning, so she ran right in and covered up in a cocoon of blankets. It was a bit earlier than Holland liked to go to bed, but she needed to shut off her mind for the night. With what had happened today, she couldn’t wrap her head around any sort of conclusion. Her bed was a sanctuary of fluffy pillows and soft blankets. It was all she needed to fall into a deep sleep and temporarily forget her reality and that is just what she did.
I read this prompt and knew immediately that I had to grab an excerpt from a story I haven’t finished and am not sure I will finish. We all have those, don’t we?
Anyway, some back story is that mirrors were banned “because vanity”, but really because scientists discovered our reflections were people in a parallel universe and needed our help in a war. The government wanted no part, so they got rid of mirrors before scientists could figure out a way to open a portal. Holland grew up in a world with no reflective surfaces.
…I’ll probably hit this story up again someday. Revisiting it definitely reminded me of the excitement of it.
Today’s prompt came from thinkwritten.com! They have an awesome list to get the writing flow started!