Posted in nano prep, nano tips, nano tricks, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, National Novel Writing Month, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

NaNo Prep Tip #11 – You Gotta Be You

NaNo-2015-Participant-BannerRead, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

-Stephen King

   This is advice that I take to heart. I read voraciously, and I try to read without bias. As writers, we absorb everything that we read. It’s through reading and just writing (a lot) that we hone our skills. We study the art that we love this way. However, I sometimes find that people take this a little too far. It doesn’t just happen with authors that we love. We see people’s style in life, people that we’re around… and we’re impressed. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say.

   Well, I say that originality is the key to your writing success.

   I am in no way implying that you’re going to be able to come up with an all new, completely original idea. I know what you’re thinking. It’s like this…

   But, I had this great idea about people who were living underground and then they–

   No, that’s been done.

   Okay, so maybe I write about mermaids who–

   It’s been done.

   Fine! I have a completely original idea about a hobbit who–


   I’m not saying that you should be discouraged and never write. I’m saying that this is where originality comes in. You are going to write about something that’s been done before. I’m writing about a half-demon stopping the apocalypse and mermaids this year. It’s been done. Multiple times… but what I can bring to the table is something solely and completely unique to me. I can bring my voice. No other writer in this world can tell the story the way that I can, the way that my characters will, the way that my voice can. This is where you shine – this is where you become an author who will stand out. Now, the problem arises when we read and find ourselves coveting the way that an author writes. We love their tone. We love their voice… and so, we try to emulate it.

   We can’t do this as writers. We have to take a breath and realize that our voice is our own, and nothing is better than us using our tone. We will pick up little nuances from our favorite authors, and that’s okay. However, if you do your damn hardest to sound just like Stephen King… the only thing that you’re going to do is make sure that no one ever gets to hear you for what you are, for your originality… and that is a damn shame. You’re the only you this world has… so do everyone a favor and let your own writing flare shine!

That’s all that I have for right now, and I hope that you guys were able to take it to heart! Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Posted in Creative WRiting, creative writing prompts, horror prompts, nano prep, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, writing prompts

October Horror Writing Prompt #20 – The Graveyard pt 3

So, I told you guys I was going to catch up on my prompts tonight. Here is the #20 prompt! I’ll have the rest up before the night is over!!!


The Graveyard pt 3

   I always wondered what caused a person’s spirit to linger. Sometimes it was just an impression – a figure doing the same thing over and over, as though the very motion of it happened so many times that they left it behind. Sometimes, it was pure emotion. Anger, hatred, sadness… and then there were times when it was a full manifestation of what I could only imagine was the person’s essence. Those were the ones I was curious about. Was there really something to that whole ‘unfinished business’ thing that everyone went on about?
I didn’t know.
“It’s at the back of the graveyard. Come on, Kitty.” Michael purred my name, “Don’t be afraid.”
Alex just glared at me.
I wanted to shrug at her, or give her a small smile to let her know that it wasn’t like I made him call me that name on purpose… but I decided against it. She’d been giving me that dirty look for quite a while now, and I knew that nothing was going to stop it from happening.
I forced myself to take a few deep breaths and look at the back of Michael’s shirt. I didn’t want to see the ghosts that were littered around the graveyard, and I certainly didn’t want to let them know that I could give them the attention that they needed any more than they already knew. I hated that they could sense me – that they could tell that I could see them. I bit my lip and gave a small sigh.
“Oh, quit it. You know you’re having fun.” Alex’s voice was teasing, if a bit harsh. At least I knew that she still loved me, even if she did think that I was stealing Michael’s attention. I threw a look over my shoulder at her, only just holding in a gasp at the sight of two male ghosts following in behind her with a lecherous look on their faces. Sometimes I was fairly positive that I was going to go mad. I was so good at keeping my shock quiet – I never had the hysterics anymore.
That would have been reassuring, but I knew that just because you didn’t scream… it didn’t mean that you weren’t mad. Madness is not hysteria. It can be very quiet. Sometimes I wondered if I was already there.
It took us a few minutes to make our way to the back of the graveyard. Hidden amongst very tattered looking tombstones and above ground crypts, Michael seemed to spot was he was looking for. His entire body came to attention and he chuckled.  “Come on, guys. This is it.”
I didn’t want to. Oh, I really didn’t want to. The hair on my arms was standing up, and my stomach was aching. I could feel sweat forming on my forehead already. I’d never felt anything like this before – I’d never felt anything so… evil. Surely there wasn’t anything to this stupid story? I thought that it was just something told around Halloween to scare the children of the town.
I didn’t want there to be anything to this, because if that was the case he was the strongest poltergeist that I’d ever seen, and his stomping ground was the entire town. I didn’t know how he’d react if he found someone who could see and sense him for exactly who he was.
I didn’t want to know.

So, there is that one. I won’t write a lot now, because I’m off to work on the next part!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Posted in 30 day creative writing challenge, amanda mccormick, author amanda mccormick, Creative WRiting, daily word prompts, graveyard, halloween, horror prompts, horror writing, nano prep, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, word prompts

October Horror Writing Prompts – Prompt #18

Hey everyone! It’s less than half a month away til NaNo is here. Who all is extremely excited? I know that I am. That hype keeps getting to be more and more, like something wound tight in my chest. I can’t wait til November 1st comes and it can snap! Until then, satisfy yourself with writing prompts!

Photo Source – Garett Photography


Graveyards! Anything about graveyards that you want, whether it’s a supernatural experience or zombies, or something mournful. Just elicit a horror-eqsue emotion! I can’t wait to see what you do!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page