Posted in Creative WRiting

31 Horror Prompts for Halloween

Written anything to give you a good spoop yet? Let’s keep trying.

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
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Posted in Creative WRiting

31 Horror Prompts For Halloween – Day 2

Did anyone enjoy the prompt from yesterday? I have to admit, I’m having a little bit of fun making pictures in Canva (someday, I’m going to get the paid version @.@) Until then, enjoy day 2!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

31 Horror Prompts for Halloween – 2020

Y’all know what time it is.

Hey there! It’s that time again! I’ll be posting 31 Horror Prompts for Halloween! I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

Day One Prompt!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

Personal Experiences in Writing


My most recent blog challenge for my Discord Group was the question of how your life and experiences have influenced you as a writer. I think that for a lot of people, this will bring up good memories and thoughts… but for just as many people, it’s going to bring up some hurt and uncomfortable situations.

And that’s actually okay. I think that it’s important for us to realize that the bad things in our lives shape us and who we are just as much as the good things. It is all experiences that we draw on, all things that help us to grow as people and as writers. I know that I grew up in a really religious setting and I was extremely and very very much not a straight person. The trauma and pain that it caused me during a lot of my childhood was something that I draw on a lot when I’m writing situations that are similar. 

It’s not just that, though. I’ve also been in some very emotionally and mentally (thankfully never physically) abusive relationships. Those situations had me at my lowest lows, to the point that I wasn’t happy, and to the point that I could have not been here.

But I still am, and the pain and unhappiness of those situations is also something that I can draw on.

There are some other things that have happened to me that influences my writing as well, and there are actually a few of them that I’m not going to delve deeply into. 

It isn’t just traumatic experiences like that that have shaped me though. Falling in love for the first time gave me so much to draw on, seeing the world, flying out of the country. Having children gave me a whole new spectrum of life that I could write about. The death of my mother brought a pain into my heart that I can express through words.

The thing about life is the fact that we can make what we want from our experiences. Growing up and feeling like I was wrong, like I was a ‘quote the bible’ abomination… yeah, that’s a part of me that hurts. It’s a part of me that was miserable when I was young… but that also means that it’s a part of me that I can express when I write about topics like that, and I can put it out there for other people to read. I think if we can share our experiences and touch another person with them, make them feel like they aren’t going through something alone, then we’re doing pretty powerful things as writers. 

I feel like this is a post that I could have gotten so much more in depth with, really explained the situations and how they made me feel, what they made me think, what they have directly influenced as far as the things that I’ve written goes… but I don’t really want to make it about that.

I want to make it about all of you.

Let me hear your experiences, let me know how you use your life to shape your writing and change the world around you. We all have a voice, and every voice is unique.

What’s shaped yours?

Posted in Creative WRiting

Writing Check-In (9/14-9/20)

Hey there, everyone! Wow, time sure is flying by, isn’t it? I’ve honestly really appreciated having something like MilWordy to focus on, because it’s allowing me to make sure that the pretty crappy things that are happening all around the world aren’t knocking me into complete depression. I can take a few minutes and get some words out (and then go back to the crappy things, ha…) No, seirously though. Writing, and having focus on my writing, is really theraputic for me.

One of the best things, I think, that’s come from MilWordy for me is the fact that I am officially and actually keeping a journal. It’s not something that I used to do… or something that I was ever able to concentrate on enough to do. Around like… day five or so, I realized that journaling would be a good way to get words in the morning, before my brain had really kicked on… and it would be a great way for me to get a kickstart to my day, basically.

I didn’t realize when I did it that it was going to be such a good thing for me, or that it was going to allow me to really get out and vent some emotions that I didn’t even know I was keeping bottled up.

So… there’s a MilWordy thought for you. Journaling… it’s awesome. 

Anyway, onward and upward with the update, right? My current word count is sitting around 140,000 (141,332 to be precise), and I’m really pleased with my progress so far! My percentages are rounding out fairly well — 25% of my overall total is on original fiction that could be published (yes, 22% is fanfiction. Fight me.) I have a lot of the projects going as well (Short stories, roleplay, my journaling, etc)… but I want to make sure that at least 25% of what I write is novel. I actually am going to try to raise that number up to a good 40% before this is all over and done with. I think if I could come out of the other end of MilWordy with 5 good drafts of novels to work with…

Well, that would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it? 

Anyway, my total wordcount for the week is going to end up landing somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 words. I’ve just started for the day, so I have no idea how much I’m going to get. I’ve tried to set myself a minimum of at least 5,000 words, though I know that there will be days when I just hit the actual goal minimum. (Right now, my ‘needed daily to win average’ is 2,482). 

In other exciting news, I managed to carry my 10k wordcount days for 10 days in a row! It was a streak that I wanted to see if I could manage, and I did! It was actually hard the next day to shift my mind to writing less, but I knew that I needed to chill out, if only to reset my ‘you need this many words or you fail’ goal in my head.

That goal is at 5,000. I think that’s a bit more fair, yeah?

I realize that this blog is kind of all over the place — my two kiddos have been extremely crazy the past few days, so I’m seriously lacking in the sleep department. Honestly, though, that kind of makes me proud. 

I’m sleep deprived, but I’m still going.

❤ 

As a side note! 

Please enjoy this small PSA for my writing server if you’d like to join up and track your MilWordy with us! 

Hey! We are a server called That Writing Place! We run sprints, crawls, crits, prompt nights, and we have monthly or bi-monthly contests that include fun prizes! We also have accountability rooms so that you can make sure you have a buddy helping you to keep on top of your words! We have an entire section for NaNoWriMo and Milwordy!

We also have fun side rooms like for gaming, book clubs, and fandoms!

We have a fanfiction section as well, and would love to see anyone who wants to grow, hang out, and generally enjoy other writers join up!

https://discord.gg/ZrXYYuE <— Join here!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

Worst and Best Advice


Today’s challenge is about another reflection on your past. I feel like, as writers, we’ve all definitely gotten some advice from others. Now… some of that is good advice, and some of that is bad advice. 

I want to take you through a bit of each.

We’ll start with the good. I think one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten came from when I was pretty young. I don’t remember who told me — maybe I read it from an author, or maybe it was one of my teachers. But the best bit of advice that I’ve ever gotten was to keep writing. Don’t quit. Even when you feel like you don’t have anything left. Even when your stuff gets rejected, even when you get a negati…

OH! I remember where this came from now. Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wrote Phantom of the Opera fanfics. And once upon a time, she wrote that Raoul turned into a drunk.

The fic? Super popular. 

Along with the super popular came the droves of what we will call the Negative-Nancy-Type. They moaned and cried and said that Raoul would NEVER be a drunk (Suck it. It’s cannon now xD) and wah wah, attacked me, flamed me, started a bit of a war in my comments with people who liked the story… and ultimately got it taken down.

I wanted to quit writing. I was a devastated little teenager who lost something that had over 600 comments. That was a big thing for me at the time.

And then one of my friends told me… no, you don’t give in to that. You keep writing. 

You keep on keeping on, and you show them and everyone else that they can’t stop you. Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re upset.

Push through.

And I did.

It’s something I still try to live by. There are times when life gets you down, hard. You lose your work. Your file corrupts. Someone flames your story, or tries to tear you down.

You keep on. Even if it seems like it won’t get better.

Keep On Writing On ❤

Now then! For the flipside. The worst advice that I have ever heard, and I’ve heard it from multiple people… is to wait for your muse to tell you what to do.

It’s kind of really the opposite side of the coin there, because I swear to you… when the trolls got that fanfic taken down, the kidnapped my muse, poured gasoline over her head… and they sat her on fire. Then they laughed. And they roasted weenies. And they sent me pictures.

The thing is, you can’t wait for some imaginary flight of fancy creature to light on your shoulder and show you the way. You won’t always have the perfect inspiration.

Sometimes you just have to write even when you’re feeling blah. In the end, you are your own muse. Your determination, your ability to keep writing even when you don’t necessarily feel like it, your characters and drive and story should be your muse. Let your talent and your passion be that little flight of fancy. And maybe sometimes you have to drag it out kicking and screaming… but it’s always there inside of you, and you don’t have to wait around, you know?

This isn’t to say that it is wrong to take a break. If you need to, you take time away from your writing… but acknowledge that you’re doing it, you’re making that decision. It isn’t some mythical creature barring your way. If you do that, you can pick it back up when YOU are ready, not when Aforementioned Muse tells you to.

So yeah. Those are my two best and worst tips. I could stop here, but we’ll go ahead and throw out a few more fun tips and not so fun tips I’ve gotten.

On the good side: 

  • Save, and save often.
  • If you get stuck in a scene, make a note, push through, and come back later.
  • Plotting, even the smallest bit of plotting to know your general beginning, middle and end can save you if you’re the kind of person who tries to pants and never finishes things.
  • Scrivener, 4theWords, and mywriteclub are you friends.
  • Fanfiction can really help you grow as a writer.
  • So can RP.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Your writing is always worth it. 
  • Never give up.

On the bad side:

  • You need to make sure your first draft is perfect.
  • You don’t have to read to grow as a writer.
  • All first drafts are complete shit. (Fight me.)
  • You’ll never be taken seriously if you write fanfiction.
  • You can’t write xyz. (Fight me x2.)
  • Unless you’re published, you aren’t a writer.

So yeah. There we are! A few of my best and worst writing tips and advice that other people have told me. What about you? What things have people told you that are just… fantastic, or maybe should go into the bin! Let me know!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

Blog Challenge: Your Writing Journey!

Today, the question that I posed for my blog babies was this! I think that it can be a real joy sometimes to look at where you’ve come from. It isn’t just about seeing how much technology has advanced (which, wow… it super has!) but also it shows us how old we all were when we started writing, where we started… it lets every single one of us see that we’ve grown as writers in talent and in our tools!

So, I’ll go ahead and get this started off. Once upon a time, I decided that I was going to write a book when I was in the 6th grade. Had I ever written a book… or really much of anything before?

Nah, not really.

Did it matter?

Not in the least.

So, I picked up my composition notebook with my Harry Potter bumper sticker on it (Big cringe) and I started writing. 

Did I have any idea of what I was doing?

Nah, not really…

Did I have a story that was half fantasy, half weird love triangle, all dragons and all witches?

Yup.

What, did you think I was lying?

Now, I wouldn’t let the contents of that sucker see the light of day for anyone to read, but I am still extremely proud of the fact that I wrote it. it was the start of a real journey for me. Before that, I’d always made stories up in my head (so. many. stories.), but I never thought that it was worth writing them down. It was honestly a teacher say, “Wow, Amanda, you should think about writing!” after reading one of my school papers that got me to getting. ❤ I think that all writers who got kicked in the pants that way have that one teacher they’re thankful for.

So, wee baby Amanda at the age of 10-11 wrote her first book. And then I realized that I was completely addicted to writing. So… wee baby Amanda who was still a wee baby hopped her butt onto the computer that was in her parent’s room. Windows 98 or 2000 or something really cringe like that. Microsoft Word Version Old (I just went and looked at the file. Microsoft Word 97, my dears)… and I typed out book #2. 

Now, we’re going to take a brief interlude here to say that I was actually extremely efficient at typing even when I was younger. One of the games that I played all of the time on my parents computer was Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 5 (I went and looked up the exact version of it to make sure that I was correct here)… and one of the games on there… you were in a submarine, the music was tense… and there was a little sonar thing in the corner that showed this shark getting closer and closer to you unless you typed fast and accurately.

Submarine Game - Lose - Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 5 - OPL3 - YouTube
You don’t understand how scary it was…

I learned to type like the wind, less Jaw eat my ass.

Okay, interlude over. So… I typed out that second book — my first typed book. And I was even more delighted with myself when I had my Aunt print it out for me at work (she was at a hospital with access to ink xD). I immediately started working on my next book… which I mostly finished >_> And then started in on a big undertaking — my first trilogy. 

At that point, the computer that I’d so meticulously worked on in my parents room had been moved to my bedroom… and I’d frequently sneak out of bed to work on my novel. Because I was going to be an author, of course. Publishing plans and flights of fancy were swirling in my head.

Desktop Computer stock photo © Feng Yu (devon) (#199993) | Stockfresh
And yes, I saved every book I wrote on this sucker to a FLOPPY DISC. Fight me.

Book one down. Book two down. Book three mostly down (because I was too young and way too in the South to let my main character just have BOTH of the men she was dating and I didn’t want to kill one of them xD)… and my writing journey continues. 

I babysat. All summer. I kept my kiddo over night, I worked my butt off for 20 dollars here and 20 dollars there. And I finally, FINALLY saved up enough to have my Aunt (same one who printed out my book for me) to buy me my very own, super cool, super official (you could kill someone with how heavy it was) Dell Laptop.

I was so fucking proud of myself. I’d gotten this thing, and I was so ready to just… write up all of the words that existed in my head.

And I did. >_> I fell hardcore into fanfiction (fanfiction.net, you monster), I wrote 3 or 4 more books… and I updated my Microsoft Word from year to year as the new versions came out.

Fastforward to NaNoWriMo — the year is 2013, Amanda has just created her first writing group on Skype… and she discovers a program called Scrivner.

Boom. Life. Changed. 

I’ve ranted and raved about the program before, so I won’t go into huge detail… but think organization, chapter separation, a place for notes and pictures… everything all in one location.

Before this, my books all had a folder. Each folder had at least 5 folders inside of it. “Notes, pictures, scrap scenes, plots, actual book, actual book take two, etc.” 

I found Scriv, and all of that could fit into one solitary location. It really revolutionized the way that I wrote, and I was so proud of myself. (At this time, I was on my…  like 5th or so laptop and I’d moved across the country from Kentucky to California.). I used that exclusively for quite a few years. And then (another 2 laptops later… shut up, I have bad luck) I discovered the website 4thewords. Now, 4thewords is a cool little interactive website/game where you can write words to kill monsters. 

I had also, at some point, discovered GoogleDocs. 

The evolution of Amanda is almost complete. 

2020… a filthy, dirty year full of filthy, dirty things. But one good thing came out of it. I got a Macbook Air. With Scriv3 and OmmWriter. The latter is a basic writing program that comes with music and typing sound effects. Amazing. Wonderful. Kiss the air. 

So we have Amanda, who uses Scriv, GoogleDocs, Microsoft Word, 4thewords… on her Macbook and on her PC. The evolution of the writer is complete… and somehow, over a fleet of broken laptops, a million different word processor tries, I’ve finished 13 or so manuscripts, I have about 20 others in progress or mostly finished… and I’m still evolving and growing every day as a writer. 

Life’s funny. Interesting, funny, and it’s fun to think about where my writing journey will take me in the next 20 years. (God, am I really that old?)

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

MilWordy Week 2 Checkin! (9/7-9/13)

I need to make a banner for this, Huh?

 Hey everyone! How is your week going for writing? I’m going to be doing my check in — I was kind of trying to wait until I was at least half way through my writing day, since my word count fluctuates so much throughout the day. I’m probably about half way there now, though, so I’m going to go ahead and let you know how it’s going!

I’m at 86,704 words currently — that means that I have actually completed my goal for September before the month is even half done. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so hyper and excitable about getting to participate in a big event like this… or because I’ve been waking up and writing around 5-6 every morning and my kids are calmer in the first of the day. Whatever it is… I’ve been really trucking along. For the past six days, I’ve been getting 10,000 word days… I know, that sounds insane even to me. 

And I’m on track to get another 10k day again today. One entire week of writing 10,000 words a day. A part of me wants to see how long I can keep it up.

A part of me is worried about burnout.

Let me grab some screenshots really quick of the spreadsheets that I’ve been using to keep track of my work. I have it broken down in a ton of different ways — what I’m writing, how much I’m writing — and then on the main group spreadsheet (Shout out to A Fist Full of Stars for making an amazing spread!) I can see how many days it would take me to finish, if I keep up my pace.

I’m honestly addicted to some good statistics, so this is getting to me in a very good way.

(Incoming stream of photos start now!) 

My personal spreadsheet to keep up with exactly how much I do on what every day.
The % of how much each of my projects contributes to my own goal.
The awesome sheet that was made for us to keep track of everyone in my server who is participating.
stats. stats. stats. We have how long, how much you write each day, when you’ll be done… so much.

I could honestly take pictures of my spreadsheets for days. But you guys probably don’t want to see it all… so I’ll leave it with those. But yeah, this is part of my motivation — getting to see the numbers grow and change! I’m honestly really excited about it.

For Week Two, my total count is currently at 66k. I plan on raising that up a bit, though.

I would love to hear and see about how all of you are counting up your MilWordy, and what you’re doing to keep track! Let me know!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |
Posted in Creative WRiting

Blog Challenge: A Good Day

Oh damn, she was too lazy to make a graphic this time.

Today’s challenge: Pat yourself on the back. Tell us about a time when you had an amazing writing session! How many words did you get? What were you working on? How did it feel? Remembering how good this is can help you strive for these awesome days again in the future!

I will casually look at the quote above and pretend that I made a pretty graphic to go along with it. Sometimes, you’re just a little tired and you end up not doing that. Today, my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, and I’m afraid I’m going to need a second or third cup before I really wake up.

Until then, I can go ahead and get to getting on the question at hand. There is something oddly fun about reflecting back on your past and your accomplishments. I think that sometimes, a healthy dose of bragging can actually be good for you. I do not recommend being the type of person who just pontificates daily about how awesome you are — that’s how you don’t get to have any friends.

But… if you want to take the time, sit back, and write a blog about your accomplishments? Hell yeah. I’ve realized while being involved with the writing community that we’re a pretty great group of people. More often than not, if you do talk about those accomplishments and you aren’t doing the above ‘I am the best’ that I talked about… the community just wants to be happy for you. They want to celebrate your accomplishments, even if it’s just those 100 words that you were so excited about finally getting on your fic.

For me, I think that one of the biggest and best writing days (in the singular) that I had was the first time that I did a 10k day for NaNo. I really went into it unsure of if I was going to be able to, and then the words just flew from my fingers. There was something really intoxicating about what I’d just done, and amazing in the fact that I’d gotten so many words.

Yeah, they were first draft words, but they weren’t bad words.

I made a habit of doing a 10k first day for NaNo every year after that, and it’s a habit that I haven’t broken yet, and one that really brings me a huge amount of joy every time I do it, I think more because I’m remembering how amazing and accomplished I felt that first time more than anything else.

I can remember finishing that book in my first year of NaNo — I was on a real high from joining the community, getting to find so many amazing people to write with, and writing my first (pretty fat) fantasy novel. I had my husband take me to staples and we printed it out with a coil binding and plastic covers… and yeah, I was pretty happy about it.

It’s little experiences like this that really help us to strive forward as writers, I think. There are moments when we feel a real sense of accomplishment. When we know that we did the thing, and we can do it again. I live for those moments — even better, though. Now that I am on a big, active writer community (My Discord Server), I get to see other people experience those moments as well. It honestly makes me just as if not more excited now-a-days to see a fellow writer who really got into what they were writing, who is really proud of how well they did.

I love to see it.

So, tell me about a time that you had an amazing writing session ❤ Let me cheer you on!

Until next time, y'all!
Keep writing and writing, and keep being awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group |