This Month’s Writing Theme: Tradition

Traditions are what bring us together and keep us together, especially during the holiday season. Many have traditions they love to share with others, while some have traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.

This month’s writing theme is Tradition. What are yours? Do you like them or loathe them? Is there a tradition you know of that you would like to adopt?

Copy of NaNoWriMo

 

Example: As an example I’ll tell you about a tradition we have in our family that started the Christmas of 1998. 

Due to one of my sister’s indecisiveness, our father thought it would be funny to play a prank on her for Christmas that year. He got a large box, wrapped it and had everyone shake it to guess what was inside. To me it felt like bouncy balls, but that would be a silly gift for her. 

What was inside… well I won’t tell you, but we have been passing it around ever sense. Each year my sisters and I will gift it to another sister and disguise it within the gift like my dad did. 

It’s become a tradition in our family to pass this thing around each year and come up with different ways to disguise it. 

If I’ve caught your interest and you’re just dying to know what things we’ve done and what it is. Visit my Patreon Page

October’s Writing Theme: NaNoWriMo!

It’s getting to be that time of year again! That time when aspiring and published authors alike bunker down to hammer out another novel in 30 days. Drinking caffeinated beverages and staring at a screen for hours and days on end, typing until their fingers get tired. Yep, you guessed it!

NaNoWriMo is back and authors all over are preparing to sit and write that first, fourth, or eighteenth novel and I say “Way to go! I will be right there with you!”

NaNoWriMo

Though we may not write for the same genre or be in the same state, you know there are others like you trying to get that piece they’ve been thinking about for weeks, months or even years finally down on computerized paper. (Or notebook paper and then the computer) No matter the process, your endeavors are inspired by others who came before along with those joining for the first time.

So this month’s theme is all about NaNoWriMo! Are you going to join the thousands of writers readying to type their hearts out starting November 1st? Do you have a plan for a story you want to write? Are you preparing for when you’ll be at the computer for long hours, stocking up on your favorite snacks and drinks. (Man, I wish I had a mini fridge in my office for this purpose. 😉 ) What type of story do you plan to write?

 

Example: Although I haven’t planned hardly at all for this years NaNoWriMo, I do have an idea of what I would like to accomplish. As you may know, I’ve been working on my Conquer the Darkness Series which follows the struggles of seven women who’ve experienced some really terrible things and how they not only meet each other, work together and overcome their past in the present, but they find friends, happiness in the darkest of times, and love. 

Anyway, there is a couple in that series you know are together and there are hints to their story along the way, and I’ve been thinking of writing it for a while. So for NaNoWriMo this year, I’ll be writing Andrew and Laurie’s story!  

If you haven’t started the series and I’ve caught your interest, visit my website to download book 1 and the prequel for free! 

Update: Ive decided to start a whole new series and put that one on hold as I feel I’ve been looking at it so long, I need a break. I’ll get to Andrew and Laurie’s story, don’t you worry.

What do you do plan to do for NaNoWriMo? What genre are you writing in? Come be my Buddy on NaNoWriMo and let’s write together! (Just visit my profile – KellyJeanTaylor – and click ‘add as buddy”!  I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

 

September’s Writing Theme: Favorite Character, Power, Creature, Etc.

Most of us have favorites: Our favorite food, our favorite drink, favorite candy, movie, song, etc. This month’s theme is to write about your favorite. Your favorite character, your favorite power they have, your favorite creature, or anything of that nature. Read my example below and comment!!
Favorite fantasy items

 

Example: This one is actually really hard for me because I don’t have favorites. If you ever asked me my favorite thing, I would tell you I don’t have one. My daughter asks me that all the time. “Mom, what’s your favorite movie.” I’ll say ‘Dragons’ just so she’ll have something. My kids know I LOVE “How to Train Your Dragon”, but then I think about it and I also love LOTR, The Hobbit, Big Hero 6 and I just couldn’t choose one. 

I love the fantasy from LOTR and The Hobbit, the characters and what they bring to the group as a whole, the fight to keep going when all seems lost. It’s inspiring. Big Hero 6… I was so emotional during this one and the fact that Hero comes out to find a way to keep his brother’s memory alive while not only catching the man responsible, but also saving a life in the process is a fantastic story. Dragons, I absolutely love the diversity of the characters personalities. Not to mention that there’s dragons!! 

So, what is your favorite character, power, creature, etc and why?  I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

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August’s Writing Theme: Writing Process

The writing process of an author/writer differs from person to person. Some will plan, outline, plot, and develop their novels down to the last quirk, research piece, aim, goal, setting detail, motivation, conflicting action, etc. Files, folder, documents, mind maps, aesthetic board, Pinterest board, Social Media polls all in place and filled with information for their novels, while others fly by the seat of their pants. Those are the ones who don’t plan, don’t map; they sit down and start writing. Then there is revising, editing, and publishing to worry about.

This month is all about your writing process and sharing what you do with others who are endeavoring to write, but have no idea where to start. Share yours below.
Writing Process

Example: When I first began writing, I would outline my story and then start writing. After taking a course by Nick Stephenson called Story Engines. I’ve found that fleshing out story details have helped me immensely with my writing and my storylines. He and fellow author Joe Nassise take you through their process on creating phases, answering questions,  scene list, and so much more. 

I’ve tweaked it to suit me and I’ve haven’t looked back. It’s a bit pricey, but well worth it. They also have a program called Your First 10K Readers that takes you through getting your first 10,000 readers. Although, I haven’t implemented all of there methods, it may be very helpful to you. 

Here is the basic categories for my process: 

  • Premise Worksheet
  • Final Premise
  • Initial Scene List
  • Single Sentence Summary
  • Scene Questions
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Rough Story ArcPreparation Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Reactive Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Proactive Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Conclusion Phase
  • Synopsis
  • Product Description

I also have a very detailed worksheet I use to flesh out my characters that is three pages long. 

Now, even though I do this, my characters ~ like small children aways seen to veer from the path I choose for them. So, yes there are some things that aren’t in the finished product that are in my plans, but that’s the way writing it. 

Just for fun, let’s add in what changed throughout your story as you wrote it.

Example: I had one of my characters change occupations a quarter of the way through, not like she quit and changed, but out of the blue, one minute she’s a secretary and another she’s a nurse. I’ve also had new characters join the story when I had no intension for another character to enter the book at all. 

What does your writing process look like? What changed throughout your story that wasn’t intended? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

July’s Writing Theme: How Do You Stay Motivated?

If you are like me at all right now, you’ve been struggling to write just a few words. Life gets in the way, things happen, but when you are ready to get back to it; the words just won’t come. So, for this month’s theme we are writing on how we stay motivated. It doesn’t have to be just about writing… How do you stay motivated to exercise, to get that project done, to do anything! Visit my example below and comment!!
Stay Motivated

 

Example: The past few months have been a real struggle for me and I alway seem to come back to the same thing to get me motivated to write again. A group called WordNerds!  They are an energetic, quirky group of women who love writing and offering help with questions. During NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo they have virtual write-ins which you can revisit any time on youtube or their site. They answer any writing or book related questions in-between sprints and I am always able to get words down even if its a replay of the write-in. 

Though I am trying something new along with their write-ins. They recommended a site called 4thewords.com which is an online fantasy game where you go on quests, defeat monsters and collect rare items all by writing your novel, short story, etc. I am having a blast with this so far. Check it out at the link above. 

What do you do to stay motivated or to get back into writing after a long break? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

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June’s Theme: Summer Activities Your Characters are Enjoying.

For this month’s theme, I thought we could do something a bit different. Instead of writing about what you are doing for the summer, I thought it would be fun to tell what your characters are doing for the summer. Are they traveling? Are they working? Will they be taking some much needed time off? What will they be doing the hot days of summer? Give your character’s story below!

Summer Activities for Characters

 

Example: The characters of Conquer the Darkness are all enjoying some much needed time away from the group and with their mates in different destinations. Raylynn, Jynx and their son Jordan have gone to the mountains of Colorado to frolic in the woods. Blessing and Knight have returned to their home town to check up on his law firm and her bookstore. Jazzmine and Brady, well, are still getting used to being together so they have decided to stay at the West Branch and make sure things are continuing as they should. Cloe and William have decided to go south and visit the sandy beaches of Florida while the triplets continue to search for answers between playing video games. Much to Noreline’s dismay. 

So what are you characters doing this summer? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

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May’s Writing Theme: Where is Your Progress At?

Since we are one quarter into the year, I thought we could write about (and analyze) where we are, where we are going, and what we have done to get us to this point. So for this month we are writing our progress on whatever you have going on right now. Writing related or not. We are here to support you!

Where is

 

Example: For my example this month I will refer you to my blog as I have already given my progress for the quarter there. My Progress So Far… Check it out to see where I am and where I plan to go to reach my goals.

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April’s Writing Theme: Favorite Spring Activity!

Since spring is here I thought we should write about our favorite spring activity! What is your favorite? Is it a family activity? A solitary activity? A traditional activity? Tell about your favorite activity. Below is mine!

Favorite

My Example: Every year during late spring/early summer our family will sit down and create a list of all the things we want to do during the warmer months. Creating this checklist of items we want to do is a wonderful way to get the creative juices flowing for places and activities. As a writer, it provides more experiences to gain material for stories and create memories at the same time. It is something we love doing and my kids love checking off the things we get down each season.

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This Month’s Writing Theme: Lucky!

March is the month of leprechauns, gold chocolate coins and luck. So this month we will be writing about how you or one of your characters has been lucky. Is it shear dumb luck or defeating something by the skin of their teeth? What event were you lucky at? (Please no gambling references, we want actual events.) Have fun and get lucky!

Lucky

 

My example: I have a character who while in the process of trying to save another gets shot. Though those around her try to save her with what means they possess, her life slips away. Her friends finally able to remove the bullet try hard to revive her. As time slips by their newest comrade watches on with worry and a sense to help. A split second decision to use her newfound powers, the new comrade strikes causing a shock to rocket through the unconscious woman’s body, as her heart begins to beat once again.

So, the split decision of one saved the life of another .

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February’s Writing Theme: A Love Story

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s dive in and write a love story! Write how you met your significant other, or how you dream of meeting them. You could also write a romantic scene with a couple. It could be a romantic date or just one doing something sweet for someone else.  What is your idea of a romantic day with your love? Have fun and make it elaborate! I can’t wait to hear about it!!

Write A Love Story

 

My Example: The day was cold, snow covering the ground with ice sheets. A day spent watching young ones play while you stood frozen in place from the cold, but something catches our eye. A streak of black then blue racing over the hill near your home. Turning toward the source we see a little boy dress in warm clothes and an older man dressing in shorts and a blue tank top racing down the hill, one on blades the other in sneakers.

To my surprise nearly 20 years later I would be married to that man I thought was crazy for dressing in such inappropriate attire for the wintery weather we were having and I couldn’t be happier.

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