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Today, we’re going to take things a little differently. The thing about blogs is that it isn’t all prompts! Sometimes, it’s doing things like tags, like challenges, or answering questions. So… for your challenge today, I want you to write a post giving your very, very best writing advice. Pretend you’re speaking to the writers of tomorrow, or your younger self… or whatever you need to do. Put a lot of thought into it, and make it more than a few sentences!

❤ This is going to reach out to a bunch of people, and putting all of our advice into one post is going to make for some amazing resources!

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Author Amanda McCormick

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Hey, everyone! So, the turnout for my first blog challenge was fantastic! I loved everyone’s responses and am hoping to get the same kind of turn out for this entry in the challenge!


Prompt #2: Make a list of five things you’re afraid of happening to you. Then write a story in which one of them happens to your character.


That’s right! We’re going a little personal this time. Honestly, it’s a good thing. When writing, being able to pull from personal experience and emotion will make for a fantastic story! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with! Remember, you can join in on this challenge at any time ❤ If you do, just link back to my page, and I will make sure to add you to the list of responses when I get mine posted up!

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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I guess I should probably get to posting my own response for this blog challenge #1, shouldn’t I? The prompt was to write a story including the following three elements: A stolen ring, a fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger. So… let’s get to it then, shall we?

–WARNING: Mature Rating–

“You shouldn’t have taken it, Kaleigh!” My voice was damn near an octave higher than usual, and I could hear the fear tremoring through the tone in nearly palpable waves. I knew it was stupid — legends were just that, stories that had no proof of truth. Maybe I was superstitious, or maybe I was smart. I wasn’t sure — but my girlfriend was looking at the ring that she’d snatched with reverence in her eyes. The stone was almost garnet, but the color was even deeper than that.

It almost swirled red like blood. From the moment that I’d seen it, I knew it was trouble. Every story that I’d ever heard as a child said that to take anything from the catacombs was to court a demon. The fact that we’d even come down here at all was almost more than I’d been willing to do, but Kaleigh had wanted to, begged me to… and in the end, I’d given in to her demands.

“Oh, Sarah, stop it. Nothing’s going to happen. See,” she wiggled her curvaceous body back and forth, “I’m still alive and kicking. There’s no demon.” And then, with a happy grin, she picked my hand up before I could stop her and slid the ring onto my left hand. “And now you have the prettiest damn engagement ring that anyone could ask for.”

I opened my mouth to protest, and I started to yank the band off… and then what she’d said hit me.

Engagement ring. My eyes widened, and my breath caught in my throat. She was asking me what I thought she was…

“Really, baby?” My nervousness was still there in the background, but I couldn’t hold back the smile that split my features. Suddenly, the whole idea of the curse wasn’t so bad.

“I love you, Sarah.” And her lips crushed against mine in a hot, excited kiss that made me all but forget the sensation in the back of my mind that something was going to happen.

I didn’t notice him until the next day. I was walking home from work when it happened; the dark shadow was a few blocks down, making sure to stay in the darkness so that I couldn’t make out his face. I had to assume that it was a he, because the figure was big and hulking. It was either that, or some Amazon Warrior had decided to follow me. My eyes continued to flick behind me, and I twisted the ring on my hand nervously. With my other, I quickly reached into my purse and wrapped my fingers around my mace.

I’d use it if I had to. Hopefully, whoever it was following me was just walking the same way that I was, and there wasn’t anything to worry about.

When I turned around again, the figure was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief, but it quickly turned into a scream that caught in my throat when I turned back in the direction fo my path. Before me stood the man that had been following me — of course, saying the word man was a very loose term.

The creature hulked at eight feet tall, and its skin was a solid, liquidy black that left him looking like he’d rolled in wet ink. Its eyes were slits, pointed and catlike, though blood-red in color.

The same red as the ring that I wore, which burned hot on my finger.

Its body was huge, though it wasn’t muscle so much as presence — and its spindle like fingers that stretched out towards me had two too many digits. I stepped back, raising my mace and spraying it, though I already knew it was pointless. Whatever I was seeing, which threatened to tear the sanity away from my mind altogether, wasn’t human.

I was hoping I’d simply gone crazy, but I could smell sulfur in the air and feel the cool sting of the night air sucking out the oxygen in my lungs from terror. I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t crazy.

The thing didn’t flinch when I sprayed it. Those long, needle-like fingers wrapped around my throat and lifted me into the air as though I was nothing more than a rag doll.

“You are the one who took my ring.” And though he spoke, the words that he said were whispered in my head. What came out of his mouth was dark, vicious speech that no human had heard before.

“N-no. I–” I struggled to choke out the words around its grip, to let it know that I hadn’t taken the ring at all… but my fiancee’s face sprang into my mind, and I knew that I couldn’t betray her. “Take it back.”

My hands struggled to pull the ring off, but it wouldn’t budge. It felt glued to my skin, and I yanked and pulled until my finger was raw and bleeding, and the thing was laughing richly in my face again.

“It’s too late for that now.” It leaned in, inhaling my scent and grinning — its teeth were stained the same inky black as its skin. “You smell like fear. I want more.”

Those red eyes flashed bright, and for a moment nothing happened. I felt it slowly — a soft trickle of eight legs trailing along my neck. I knew the sensation, and I brought my hand up to smack, a scream trying to rip from my chest around the choking sensation on my neck. I saw the fat, black spider a moment before another crawled along my arm. I tried to scream again, and I flailed in his arms like a thing on fire, a wild cat caught in a trap. I wasn’t afraid of many things, but spiders… spiders were on the short list. I screamed again, and felt something tickling on my tongue. Huge, fat, it crept from my throat and against my lips, all fangs and legs and itching, scraching hair.

I screamed over and over again, but the creature holding me seemed to drink the sound down, and soon there were spiders pouring out of my mouth, my nose, my ears. I could feel them trickling from between my legs — they were coming from everywhere. And then, with a rip of pain, they began to spill from beneath my nails, until every part of me was alive and crawling with them.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think — terror made my heart throb so painfully in my chest that I thought I would die from it; the hot stream that soaked along my leg was evidence to that fear… and just as I felt I was going to faint from it… suddenly…

They were gone.

I was limp in its arms now, and it brought me forward to cradle me almost affectionately against its chest. Its words were a dark rumble, and its fingers held me tight when it spoke.

“Oh, this is going to be so much fun.” And, paralyzed by his touch, by my fear, by my trembling body and my aching throat, I couldn’t manage the strength to break his grip and get away as he took a few steps and walked into a swirling dark shadow, passing us through the world of humans and into his realm.

Uh… dang. That was dark guys. I apologize. Still, really fun prompt! I hope that you guys enjoyed it! I am going to be running this challenge for the foreseeable future, so if you want in on this awesomness, just start responding and link back to my page! You’ll get free shares out, and become part of our writing network for better exposure, blog comments, and just all around fun!

My Awesome Participants!!!:

http://www.readlistennibble.com/home/2018/6/5/blog-challenge-prompt-1

https://www.myloeyeager.com/2018/06/09/mirandas-ring/

http://torylynnwriter.blogspot.com/2018/06/escape-working-title.html

https://hrstephens.com/2018/06/08/the-duke-and-the-thief/

https://heretherebegames.blogspot.com/2018/06/egos-blog-challenge-1-all-for-wish.html

https://havenofchaos.org/2018/06/08/when-a-stalker-follows/

https://wp.me/p9W30w-1G

http://flyingkittystudio.com/?page_id=43

https://plotbunnywhackamole.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/ring-phobia-stranger

https://thewritingkennel.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/blog-challenge-2-tyra-part-3/

https://giannarobbin.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/challenge-prompt-1/

 

Stay tuned for the next portion of my blog challenge! I’ll be getting it up tomorrow! Until then,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

 

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Here we are, guys! I asked everyone to do an introduction of themselves for the first step of this blog challenge, and now we’re going to get into the actual juicy bits of it! For starts, we’re going to open with a writing prompt.

Writing prompts are very important, in my opinion. They help you to expand your writing capabilities, and they help you to put yourself into a situation that you might not have put yourself in otherwise. Some of my best novel ideas came from a writing prompt that took on a life of its own!


So, for our first prompt:

Write a story including the following three elements: A stolen ring, fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger.


And there we have it! There is our first prompt. When you’re done, make sure to link back to my blog so I can round them all up and post them when I post my own response! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

New beginnings are always tough, but I’m more than experienced in starting over. I’ve done it a thousand times before, with a thousand different faces.

I guess that sounds a bit… well, odd, does it? Don’t worry, I’ll explain myself. If you want to understand, though, you have to abandon all of your conceptions of what is real and what is not. You have to give up on your silly, human notions of what is possible and what isn’t.

I am not a possibility — I am an inevitability.  I am what your life will eventually come to, whether you will it or not; I am that long sleep and an earthen embrace.

I am death.

Of course, your very conception of what I am is skewed. I am not a creature who roams in a robe with a scythe. I am not a singular entity. There are thousands of my kind, and we all reap the souls of the humans around us. We are unseen, but sometimes felt — you equate us to ghosts when the memory of your loved ones resonate within us. You equate our presence to the chill that spills down your spine, and to the shimmering shine that you call ‘orbs’ within your photos.

It isn’t just a ghostly presence, however, that you can attribute me to. Humans have trouble understanding when someone that they know had a sudden change of personality — humans blame it on an imbalance of hormones, on shock, on trauma. Sometimes, it is these things… but…

Sometimes, it is one of my kind.

New beginnings are always tough, but I’m more than experienced in starting over… because I’ve lived a thousand lives. When a human succumbs to death, I sometimes choose to slip into their skin, to assume their life. Their soul flees and flits, I absorb it into my being… and I become who they are — who they were.

Sometimes, I enjoy living life just as much as you do. I want to feel; I want to experience. When a young girl has suddenly become sexually promiscuous without cause, perhaps I am to blame. When a rich man tosses aside his fortune to travel the world and live life to the fullest? That’s me, too.

And when a seemingly innocuous and innocent individual suddenly goes on a murderous rampage.

Well, sometimes I like to cause a hassle to my brothers and sisters.

Guilty as charged.

Just a writing prompt I did for my discord server! I’d love to see what you guys could come up with for this though!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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Hey everyone! I decided to do a little challenge for my Discord Server, and it’s going to be posted here so you can all participate as well (though, feel free to clicky click here and join the server if you’d like). Anyway, I’ve talked to the members there quite a few times, and we frequently discuss the fact that having a social media presence is important if you plan on publishing. Whether it’s traditionally, in which case showing an agent that you already have a built-in audience is beneficial, or self-publishing… which, of course, having a built-in audience speaks for itself! Social media is important.

So, I decided that I would help the members of my group (and any of you who want to participate) by giving blog topics/prompts/etc to write on! So many people have trouble keeping up with a regular blog, so… I thought I’d make it a little easier by giving prompts and challenges for people to complete in order to help them jump-start their very own blog!

I’ll be pulling from multiple places: My mind, first of all. That means the occasional Currently, WIP, what are you reading, etc, blog!

https://www.creative-writing-now.com/short-story-ideas.html <– I’m also going to grab at least one of these every few days. I love writing prompts, and I think it’s a great way to showcase your talent.

https://randomwordgenerator.com/phrase.php <— I am also going to pull from here for more randomized prompts!

Hopefully, all of this will help anyone who is having trouble coming up with thoughts and topics to get a blog going. The most important thing is repetition, consistency, and building a habit! I’ll keep this running for as long as people keep asking me to! Until then (I should be starting this in June, so go ahead and drop a comment, Discord Messsage me, or email me if you want me to involve you as well!)

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

 

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Hey everyone! It’s been just a bit, but I had a thought as I was working on 4thewords today — I have a maximum amount of words that I want to get written every day, and I usually end up hitting that max… but… something you might not know about me is that I’m actually pretty bad at social situations. Like, I have a battery, and if I use it all up… well, I have to let it recharge for quite a bit of time.

Yesterday, I was out all day. In the morning, I played Pokemon Go for hours to get a black Charizard (Yeah, I’m one of those nerds xD I don’t care to tell you as much.) After that, I was home for a few hours (getting some work done), and then we went right back out to a BBQ to hang out with some friends that we haven’t seen for a while. We were there for 6 hours.

My battery not only died. I think it exploded. I don’t have a battery… I’m having to reorder one, and it’s taking a month to ship, I swear.

Honestly, though, I’m so peopled out and exhausted today that I just kind of wanna hang out with my baby and play some video games. So… I’m doing the minimum.

4thewords has given me a perfect minimum. 444 words. I have to do that many to get my streak for the day. Sometimes, doing the minimum is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes, you have to take care of yourself and not push it. It’s important to have multi-tier daily goals. The small one that you know you can get, even during a bad day… and then a big one that you strive for.

I have 444, and I have 2k. Today is a 444 kinda day. It’s still so important to have a daily goal and to hit it every day, because that’s how you form the habit of writing… but it’s also important to have in a net of self-care. It’s about finding that balance.

So, find your balance! Set your goals. I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

So, that’s my bit of advice for the day ❤ I hope it helps, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! If there’s a subject you want me to touch on for the next blog, leave it in the comments or email me!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Deciding a project is always hard to do… and I’m having that issue right now. I’m doing my commissions, and I’m working on getting a very good rhythm going with those. I’m pleased on that front… but I’m still torn about which project I want to select as the novel that I really focus down on and polish until it shines.

And that’s just the thing — sometimes it isn’t always an easy decision. And sometimes you need to get some outside advice. I’m going to finish rewriting one into first person, and I’m going to add the last few chapters onto the other… and then I’m going to give the manuscripts to some very well trusted people to ask them which one they think has the most potential. It’s honestly so important to have people that you can trust, and people who you can go to for an opinion. It’s not me going for a critique, or for editing. It’s not even me going for constructive criticism (which is so important, trust me), it’s me trusting a small group of people who I know can read the book without me having to edit it and tell me, “Hey, this idea is better.”

You need to surround yourself with people who understand your needs, and who understand your desires. Look for a writing group, make some writer friends ❤ You won’t regret it!

So, that’s my bit of advice for the day ❤ I hope it helps, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! If there’s a subject you want me to touch on for the next blog, leave it in the comments or email me!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

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*Eyes header* Daily writing… oh, I’m supposed to be doing that, huh? I’ve finally hammered myself out a proper schedule that I want to start with again, and I am determined to keep with it. That is one of the hardest and best things that you can do when you’re really trying to establish a writing habit.

You (and when I say you, I mean me xD And it might work for you, too) need to have some sort of game plan when it comes to your writing if you are trying to take it seriously and make it a job. I’m not saying that you have to have a strict and stringent amount that you always stick to. I’m not saying that the world will implode if something happens and you can’t do it.

But having a plan, mapping it out, figuring out your goals for the day? It helps a lot. It gives you boxes to check when you’re done and a feeling of accomplishment when you’ve done it.

It’s more than that, though. I’ve talked about goals a lot, but they aren’t just to show you the finish line so you have something to work towards. They’re there to show you when it is okay to stop, and when it’s okay to not feel guilty that you’re done. That sounds weird, right? But, as someone who writes for a living… I pretty much feel guilty any time that I’m not writing. I could have done 5,000 words for the day, and if I take time to play a video game for a few hours (Hello, Stardew Valley Beta, you beautiful thing you) I feel guilty. I think to myself, “I should be writing right now. I could get more words.”

You can’t do that to yourself. Yeah, writing can consume your mind. Yeah, you can draw storylines from things as silly as Stardew Valley… but, sometimes, you have to give your brain a rest. Sometimes, you have to know that it’s okay to stop. That’s what goals are good for. If you hit that 1k, 2k, 3k goal — if you hit that 250 word goal — if you hit that 1 page goal…

You did it. Congrats. Yes, you can keep going. Yes, it’s awesome if you do. But you don’t have to. You can rest, and you can rest without feeling guilty.

I don’t know if this is a problem you guys run into a lot, but I know it’s something that I’ve had issues with more than once.

So, that’s my bit of advice for the day ❤ I hope it helps, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! If there’s a subject you want me to touch on for the next blog, leave it in the comments or email me!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com