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Showing posts from August, 2017

Innocent One

All the drugs were stowed under Avivit’s bed. “Why do we have to hide them here?” the young girl whined. “Why can't we hide them under Jimmy’s bed?” She dove under her pillows.
     “Shut up,” her much older brother hissed. “All we ever hear from you is what you don't want.” His rancid breath carried a heavy smell of liquor.
     “If you care so much go complain to your mother,” her father told her. “You know not to disturb us when we’re on a job.”
     Avivit pulled her blanket around her and got out of bed, leaving the small, dimly lit room. She found her mother at the kitchen table, sitting beneath the bare light bulb, counting cash next to a half-empty bottle. Avivit noticed this. Her mother must be sad.
     “What's wrong, Mommy?” she asked.
     Her mother turned her tired eyes towards Avivit. “Oh Av,” she said, “what are we going to do? Even we can't postpone the landlord forever, and if your father’s deal doesn't come through, Guy’s cronies will be after u…


The rest of the Writing Mafia apologises for the turtle. It is not human and fails to empathise with other humans. We are not accountable for any emotional damage it causes you.

I, as a perfectionist writer, enjoy nothing more than deleting everything and starting over...aside from world building of course.

STEP 1  SPREADSHEETS The most important part of world building is staying consistent. ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT. Nothing ruins everything more than inconsistency. What's the best way to keep organised? A large database with rows and columns. Hey! You! Do you know a way of keeping several different graphs in an orderly way that I can access online? No? Well you're an idiot because the answer is Google Sheets. What? You want to know what to put in your spreadsheet? Well Mr(or Mrs or Ms) I can't think for myself. I have sub parts to tell you what to put in them.

SUBSTEP 1 FIRSTLY there are two thing this sheet needs to do. Provide a reference point while writing so you can stay …

An Author's Guide to Playtime (Where Grace gets very dark)

Here is a guide for all authors about how they can have fun when playing with their toys. 😇
Stage One First of all, you need to make your reader fall in love with your characters. This can be achieved by: The character having an awesome personality. e.g. Halt (Ranger’s Apprentice), Glory (Wings of Fire), Percy (Percy Jackson), Connor (The Land of Stories) Making your character relatable. e.g. Greg Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), August (Wonder) The character having gone through a lot so the reader can sympathize with them. e.g. Felix Salinger (Once, Then, Now, After), Newt (The Maze Runner), Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) A plot twist shining a new light on your character, causing the readers to fall for them. e.g. Severus Snape (Harry Potter), Evly (The Land of Stories)
Stage Two This is the time when you wound your victim (cough, cough, I, of course, mean the character, not the reader at all...). Mwahahahaha! Now, there are several ways to break your readers' hearts. Some are: Kill…

What We Can Learn from Morgan Rice's 'A Quest of Heroes' - A Book Review

I deliberately didn't call this a spoiler-free book review because the book in question is genuinely bad enough that I would spoil it for anyone just to spare them the pain of reading it. And I can just hear you thinking, Surely you're being a bit harsh, no? No! No, I am not. A Quest of Heroes, or as I prefer to call it, 'A Beginner's Guide to Every YA Fantasy Trope Ever', is extraordinarily awful. So, what could we possibly learn from it? Lots. I might as well have dubbed it, 'How Not to Write a Compelling Story', so let's learn from Morgan Rice's mistakes and glean what lessons we can from this pile of chaff.
1. Avoid overused tropes. Yes, I know I've discussed the value of cliches briefly on this blog in my very first post, 'Originality in Writing is Overrated', but you can take it too far. A Quest of Heroes features a young boy who is disliked by his adopted family (but he doesn't know he's adopted), has special and unexplaine…

Write Whatever You Want

This is probably the most obvious thing you've ever heard/read about writing: write whatever you want.

This is it. You've finally motivated yourself, and a startling burst of courage makes you place your fingers on the keyboard (or pick up your writing instrument). The white blankness of the page awaits you.

And then suddenly, you're doubting yourself. Thoughts like these begin to bombard you:

Can I really write this?

Is it worth publishing?

What do I even write? 

I'm just going to straight up say: Write.

Write whatever you want to write. Your thoughts, a random story, a poem about the tedious job of staring at blank pages all the time. It doesn't matter.

Just write.

Write about anything you're passionate about. What motivates you? What do you want to say to the world?

Write about anything you like. Even if the topic isn't in demand. Even if no one's interested in it. Keep those words flowing.

If you think your words can help humanity and the earth, write.

Help! I Need A Sidekick!

Your protagonist is in need of a sidekick. Maybe they are in need of a foil, or someone to get them out of trouble.

Sidekicks can be very useful. They provide your protagonist with someone to talk to, and they can assist in moving the plot forward. Be careful they aren't too boring or pointless.
Here's a few ways to make your sidekick interesting:
1. Foil characters can be fun sometimes Nanny Ogg from Discworld (right) is possibly one of my favorite sidekicks. She adds an excellent air of comedy as well as being a helpful foil to the grim and fearsome Granny Weatherwax. As well as being a witch, Nanny Ogg has been married three times and has numerous children and grandchildren, an unusual talent for cooking, and an evil cat called Greebo. Despite being a sidekick, she provides much insight to the character of Granny Weatherwax at the same time as having an equally colorful personality.
Make sure your foil characters are interesting too, instead of just being writing devices.

Writing with Colors

As a writer, it's very important to use colors to describe things. I've written a short story about a girl at her grandpapa's ranch. Notice how I use colors to make the images more vivid. This helps readers get a better picture. It also helps you get away with not using dialogue. I stepped into the hay field, longing to run my hands over the bristly heads. I wanted to run through the endless golden sea of hay. I wanted to leave my mark; my path; my trace. But that would ruin this beautiful sight. I pick a small, dying head and put it in the pouch Grandpapa gave me. It was soft, brown, and made with Indian leather. I moved along toward the pond.

When I reached the pond's edge, I noticed a small thicket of blackberries slowly spreading around the side of the pond. As I reached out to pick a berry, I remembered my grandpapa laughing with my about these berries. He told me that was a silly name "blackberries" when they were really "purpleberries." He t…

The Writing Famine

Colette apologizes, Grace - the original author of this post - has been temporarily removed from this post. Mostly due to the fact that she was not writing anything. Which might have been the point. Since the page is titled "Writing Famine" the page may have been meant to experience a famine of words. In which case it ought to be blank. So Colette will stop writing and allow the page to properly experience a writing famine. There will be no more words.

Colette couldn't do it. She has thought of another topic for this page - what if it was supposed to be about the lack of writers, or about writer's block? If so, the page cannot be blank! So she had to write this. She is also aware that Hannah has covered this topic, and she was talking about the lack of creativity. So, as Jo said: we are forgetful people and need to be reminded of things. Therefore Colette will remind you that you never know, if you feel there is a lesson the world can be taught through your writing,…


I watched my daughter's sightless eyes close as I pulled her blanket around her tiny body. Even as she drifted into sleep, her smile tried desperately to rid my face of its scowl. The white men had done this to my Amika. They brought the disease that left her weak and blind. They brought the weapons that killed my father. They brought the culture that destroyed mine. They forced me away from everything I knew, they starved my family, they took away my reason to live, they broke my spirit. They left me in this cursed land in a tiny shack with nothing but my blind daughter. I, Malik, can never forgive them. I, Malik, will pay them back. I pulled the new bracelet off her thin little hand. "It feels just like my Cherokee beads, Papa," her innocent voicehad said. The African beads from our slave girl Naira did indeed look similar to the Cherokee beads in Amika's hair. I had tried to take them from her earlier, but the confused and hurt look in her blind eyes stopped me. I…

So You Think Gale Was Cute?

Having recently finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy, I enjoyed characters such as Haymitch, Peeta, and Rue, and was perturbed by other characters such as Coin, Snow, and Gale. But wait. Surely, you're thinking, there's a mistake. Haymitch and Gale should be swapped. No, this is no typo.
I can't account for the fact that I like Haymitch, but I have reasons for disliking Gale. I present you with…


SPOILERS AHEAD (For Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter)

“I'm in pain, Katniss,” he says, “that's the only way I get  your attention.”

I have many things wrong with this. This is desperate. This is self-centered. This has the tone of a pathetic, begging fool. Saying you're in pain is an extremely obvious way of trying to get attention, so he's not even subtle. In fact, he points that out in his next sentence. So he has no subtlety, and thinks mainly of getting her attention for himself…