Posts Tagged ‘National Novel Writing Month’

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Hey everyone! How is the NaNoWriMo Camp experience going for you? So far, it’s been pretty fantastic for myself. I’ve decided I’m probably going to do my blog updates every other day, because it seems easier for me to keep up with. I’ll give you a little info about what’s been happening with me for the past few days, and then talk for a second about a few other things!

So, I’m still caught up on my words (though I need to update my wordcount on NaNo.) I actually didn’t do my words yesterday; instead, I did them all today. It was fairly easy to do, and it was nice not to have to stress about it. I’m happy with my decision of what I am working on, and my word count limit.

I think that everyone needs to know that they can reconsider the amount of words that they’ve set for themselves if they realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. It’s important to have fun with Camp, it’s important to feel like you can get your words, that you can do a good job ❤ Because you can! And when it comes down to it, what you’re accomplishing now is pretty damn amazing, no matter what you set your wordcount to!

Other than that, nothing really eventful has happened. I’ll post my writing prompt for tomorrow for everyone to partake in, if they so choose. I may post more than one a week on here, but I’m not sure yet.

Now then, onward to the other thing I wanted to discuss, I’m probably going to post a blog about my thoughts on a netflix series called 13 Reasons Why soon. I may read the novel first o-o I’m not sure. I kinda marathoned it in one day, and now I’m buzzed with thoughts and emotions. So, just giving everyone a heads up that I’ll be interrupting my regularly scheduled NaNo program for that ❤

That’s all for now though ❤

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

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So, here we go with Camp NaNo (she said, posting her day 1 report a day late. But, alas… that’s just how it goes sometimes. The good new is, I cranked out my words. I set my goal pretty small – 15,000 words for the month. I’m sure I’ll pass it up (I hope I will), but I figured that would be good… since I’m pregnant and in the process of moving before the end of April.

I’m still super excited to try!

I did make a decision about what I wanted to do for Camp though – I was really willy nilly about how I wanted to tackle it. At first, I thought I’d do rewrites on my novel Cerulean Darkness… and then I thought, “No, I don’t want to rush rewrites and end up having to completely rewrite the rewrites… maybe I’ll just finish my novel Limbo during NaNo!”

And then I thought… “But, I don’t really want to rush through that, either. I’d rather have something that I don’t have to rewrite 100% after I’m done with it.”

So, I sat and I wondered for a minute what I wanted to do… and then I realized that it didn’t have to be so complicated. It’s CAMP, damn it. You’re supposed to have fun at Camp, and I have full intentions of having fun with what I’m writing. I’m using this as a platform to get me back into the habit of daily writing, and I’m not going to make it something that stresses me out so that I don’t want to do it.

So, I decided on 30 writing prompts, one for each day. I’ll probably be posting some of them up here for you guys, and I’ll certainly post some of the prompts up (from day 3 on, since I’m not gonna be able to today) so that anyone who is struggling with how to get your words for camp can follow along! The point is to get yourself writing, and the point is to hit your goal! So, I think that’s what we need to do, and I think that we all need to just have a lot of fun doing it! I know that I, for one, am actually excited about the prospect of getting things started. I’m not even going to sweat it if I don’t finish the prompt – I’ll hit the word count that I can hit for the day, and I’ll leave it. If nothing else, I’m going to have the beginnings to 30 pretty rad stories, and I’m super fine with that.

I’d love to hear how Camp is going for you guys, with day 2 closing out. I’m at right around 1000 words so far, 500 a day. I’m happy with it. I’m really satisfied.

Let me know what your projects are, or if you wanna follow along with the writing prompts every day! Regardless, I can’t wait to hear about it!

So, until next time! Keep read and writing, and keep being the awesome people that you are!

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Life and Writing

Hey guys, it’s been a while, hm? Just as the title implies… I really just wanted to let you guys know that I haven’t abandoned this channel. I have some… very interesting… things happening in my life right now. They’ve been stressful and lovely and all around distracting, and I haven’t been able to be around as much as usual.

However, the main distraction hump is over (for now), and I have full intentions of explaining fully (later), but… for the moment, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m back, and starting next week, I’m going to try to hop onto my proper blogging schedule again. I may adjust what I do on some days – I’m actually thinking that for December, I’m going to post a 4 part Christmas Story over the span of the month… that sounds interesting, right?

I’ll still be doing my writing prompts as well.

Honestly, I just wanted to let you guys know that I was still around, and certainly still kicking. Things have been crazy, but I haven’t let that stop me from getting my 1k a day. Albeit, I’ve only  been doing 1,000 words a day, but it’s still my words, and it still counts. I’ve actually been struggling with it a bit, which is one of the reasons that I’m really excited to get back into the habit of my blogs – these actually helped me a lot. I need to settle back into a proper writing schedule, because I allowed myself to slip after I won NaNoWriMo.

Speaking of NaNo… oh my, I need to do a full-length post on what a struggle that was this year. It was stressful and hard, and full of twists and turns… along with a few ups and downs. I lost things and I gained things during the month, but I can’t say that it wasn’t worth it all. NaNo, however, will get a post all for itself – that’s not for this particular blog. I haven’t even added up my monthly total of writing, so I can’t do a November Writing Wrap-Up for you guys… like I said, the month was crazy.

But yes, I have been writing… expect some Christmas Story to be posted (and don’t expect it to be a regular fuzzy feels, because apparently, I can’t manage that). I’ll be around a lot more come Monday, and eventually, I will get to a post to explain away everything that went down in November, so you guys can understand my chaos xD I’ll try to get up the first part of the Christmas story over the weekend ❤

I’d love to hear how you guys did during November though – NaNo War stories make me feel less alone xD

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

 

 

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Hey, everyone! I’m here with my update from Day One of NaNoWriMo. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, I was attempting to do my First Day 10k. It’s my new little habit that I’ve developed over the years, and I find that it’s extremely  helpful in making sure that during those weeks of NaNo when you’re starting to get tired, you have a little cushion to lean back on. Since I like to finish my novel during November (and most of my novels are around 100k), it’s extra useful for me.

So, yesterday was a really productive day. I certainly could have written more, but the thing about my writing is… I want to make sure that it’s usable. I write 10k, but I do it with the intention of being able to use at least 9/10 thousand of those words. I never write with the intention of ditching 20% of my work (I think that’s what a lot of professional authors actually recommend.) If anything, I write more of a skeleton than a full body. I want something that I can add to, not something that I have to hack apart.

Er.

I’m not a serial killer, I swear.

Anyway. I accomplished my 10k First Day yesterday, so that my Day One total was: 11,151 words! 

I was super pleased with my progress. I finished my introduction chapters for both Kyle and Thara, and then chapter two for each of them as well. The thing that I’m learning is… this is going to be one of the more complicated books that I’ve written. In case you weren’t sure about what I’m writing, I’m doing a novel that’s basically built to be flipped over – I’m writing the same story from two character’s perspectives.

I’m doing that in Scrivener, because I have to keep the chapter that I wrote previously up for the sake of making sure that I keep the story the same. I hadn’t realized that so much work would go in to making sure that each character told the same story… but it’s going to be really interesting to write, and I’m experimenting with how I want to handle it. I’m thinking if I want to write all of one person’s story first, and then go back… or if I want to keep going chapter by chapter.

There’s even a part of me that’s thinking of going scene by scene within the chapters… I might actually try doing that today – but I will certainly keep you updated!

But, aside from that, I really want to  know how everyone else’s NaNo is going! We ran a lot of crawls in my Discord group yesterday (click if you’d like to join), and it really helped a lot of people hit their wordcount. So, that’s going to be my little tip for you today. It’s a reminder of a tip that I’ve given you a thousand times before.

Get Involved In The Community. 

It will really do wonders for you, if you can find people to do sprints and crawls with, I promise. You’re going to have people keeping on pace with you, and people who care about if you’re making your goal or not. It’s going to make you feel nice, and it’s going to give you some accountability to make sure that you keep going.

Anyway, that’s all that I have for you today. I hope that everyone’s NaNo is going well, and I’d really like to hear about it in the comments below!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

 

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Hey, everyone! It’s Thursday, Friday, because yesterday my 4thewords app ate all of my words on this blog (my fault, not the sites) and that means that it’s time for another tips and tricks Blog for NaNoWriMo! Is everyone excited? It’s less than a week away now, and I’m honestly starting to get extremely antsy for it. As usual, I have a thousand ideas racing around in my head, and I’ve been tempted to completely throw out what I thought I was going to work on to plot something all new. That’s actually where my tip is going to come from today.

Follow your muse.

No, I’m not talking about only writing when your muse feels like it, because she’s in a flowing white gown and the lighting is just right, and the moonlight is poetic enough that maybe, maybe, if you ply her with chocolate and sweets and coffee she’ll come out so you can play.

I don’t believe in letting the muse be quite so in control, to be quite honest. So, before I dive into the tip that I actually meant to give you, I guess I’m going to give you another one. You can’t only write when you feel like it – especially for NaNo.

You’re working on a novel – you’re working on something that’s clearly important to you. Your writing is clearly important to you. If someone really loves sports and wants to excel, they practice. Even when they don’t want to. If someone really loves music and they want to excel, they practice. Even when they don’t want to. 

If you really love writing, you should practice. Even when you don’t want to.

Are you getting where I’m going with this? I’m not saying that you have to write all of the time – I’m just saying that if it is something that is important to you… it’s probably something that you should put effort into practicing. And if it’s something that you want to do professionally? It’s really, really something that you should put a daily effort into. Yeah, the professionals don’t have to write all day every day… but you know what? They had to practice to get to where they are. They had to figure out how to hone and perfect their craft, and they’re still learning as they go.

So, that’s my little piece of advice that I actually didn’t mean to give in this blog. Treat your writing with the same respect as you would anything else that you want to get good at – yeah, it is something that is based on your creativity; take your muse hostage though. Tie that bitch up and stuff it into the closet, and only feed it after it has given you what you want, mkay?

In all seriousness, don’t wait around for some magical being to strike you with creativity. Don’t only write when you feel like it. Write even when you don’t – write when you don’t think that you can write. Eventually, even though it seems like it was hard at first, it will become a habit, and it will become something that you can do, even on those terrible days when you don’t feel like it. You’ll do it because you can, because you practiced, and because writing every day is something that is a part of you.

Okay… I’ve completely derailed from the actual reason that I was writing this blog. You know how I just told you to put your muse in a hostage situation…? Well… uh… you do still need to follow it though. What I mean by that is that you should pay attention to what your brain is interested in, and what you want to do for your writing project. I’ve had a lot of people in my writing group this year who have already talked to or approached the subject of the fact that they aren’t sure what they want to write this year. They had an idea that they developed at the beginning of October.

The problem with coming up with an idea at the beginning of October when you’re a creative person is that your brain has a lot of trouble settling on just that one idea. So you plot, you plan, you get pictures, you make playlists… and you find that you still have two weeks until NaNo begins and a million ideas kind of nagging at the back of your mind.

Yeah, I actually had that happen to me last year. I had my novel idea all set out – RipTide was going to be about post-apocalyptic mermaid things. (Yeah, bad explanation, but the explanation isn’t what this blog is actually about.)

Half way through doing my 31 Horror Prompts for October, I came up with this story about a boy whose mother sold her soul, and his soul, in order to get pregnant and be able to keep a baby. The whole fate of Heaven and Hell rested on his shoulders, and I wrote this really awesome scene about an angel who didn’t look anything less than a monster.

Oopse. I didn’t mean it – I really didn’t… but somehow, that one scene that was only a few thousand words ended up starting a novel idea that I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to write it. I couldn’t stop my mind from developing a plot… so, instead of freaking out, instead of spending all of November wishing that I’d worked on Angelblade instead of RipTide… I made a decision.

I worked on both.

Sometimes, you  have to follow your muse. I’ve told this to everyone who has asked me advice on this particular subject.

What do I do if I have two projects that I really want to work on?

Work on both. I promise, your mind will usually sort things out for you. I did about 15,000 words on Angelblade, and about 80,000 on RipTide. My mind figured out what project it really wanted to focus on… but by not putting myself into a box and only letting myself go the conventional route of one book, I didn’t have regrets, and I didn’t stop RipTide half way through November because I was so frustrated with the fact that I didn’t just write Angelblade instead.

So, yeah, that’s my NaNo Tip for you today – listen to your muse, and follow it… but don’t let it dictate when you write. Your muse is there to give you ideas, and it’s there to gentle urge you along… but you are a writer, and you don’t need your muse to write. You can do it just fine all on your own.

With NaNo only a few short days away, I hope that everyone is prepared! I’m probably going to do daily update/tip blogs come November, and then in December, we will get back to our regularly scheduled blogging program. I’m really glad that you guys are enjoying these tips and tricks, and if there’s anything that you wanted me to talk about, just leave it in the comments below. I promise, I’ll do my best to help you through whatever it is that you need help with.

So, until… not next tip. There won’t be another Tips in October. Guys… NaNo starts this coming Tuesday. So, the next NaNo blog you get from me will be my Day One Update.

That’s pretty damn exciting.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

header-nano-tipsHey, everyone! I’m here with another Tip for you in preparation for NaNoWriMo! It’s going to be here before we know it, so we’re all doing those last minute searches for everything that we can that will help us to defeat the monster that we’re about to engage! Actually, that was 2 years ago, right? Slaying dragons. This year we’re… blasting off?

Are we defeating aliens?

I don’t know. It doesn’t matter… the point is, we’re so close to NaNo that we’re all scrambling for those last minute tips and tricks that will help us to accomplish our goals.

I’m going to give you some advice that comes from someone who has participated in NaNo multiple times. It’s some of the best advice that I can give:

Plan on getting ahead.

Seriously – the first week, you’re going to be more energized than any other week that you’re doing NaNo. Your story is going to be fresh, you’re going to be extremely hyped… you’re going to be on this cloud of, “Wow, I’m an author, I am writing a book and I’m amazing.”

Come week two, you’re going to be tired, your fingers will hurt… your body will be wondering why there’s so much blood in its caffeine stream. By week three, you’re going to have done that cardinal rule that you shouldn’t do and look at what you wrote. Lamenting will happen, you’ll wonder why you’re even doing this! And then the last expanse of NaNo will get here, and you’ll get re-energized, re-excited. You’ll realize that you’re writing a novel that you’re almost finished with! You’ll charge through that last little bit like a pro… and you’ll finish NaNo with Pride!

But, let’s get back to that first week. That first week is really where you set the stage – you’re going to be tempted to have bad days, more than likely… so the best thing that you can do is prepare to get ahead. Set your goals higher in week one – it doesn’t have to be by much, but setting them to something more than just the 1,667 while you have all of that extra energy and excitement is really a great thing to do.

For myself, I try to have a 10k first day. It sounds extreme, but it honestly isn’t. If you have good friends, or an internet writing group (check on joining my Discord in my signature if you don’t <3), you can do sprints all day. You don’t realize how much you’re writing until you’ve done 5 or 6 sprints, and you’re already well past your word goal for the day and you still have energy.

I, personally, start writing at midnight and try to at least make my wordgoal of 1,667 before I go to bed. That way, when I wake up the next day and start writing, everything is new and fresh, but I’m really adding extra on. If I can manage that 10k first day, it gives me so much wiggle room. It gives me a chance to breath… and a chance during week 2 and 3 blues to have those days where I can’t write as much as I would want to.

Ride that first week energy, and ride it as hard and as far as you can. have 2k days instead of 1,667 days. Hell, have 3k days, or 5k days! Do as much as you can, and know that you’re getting ahead on your novel.

And remember, when you’re having those second and third week blues… you’re doing something amazing. You are creating and entire world with just your mind. You’re doing something that so many people can’t do, and you’re an astounding individual for it. Just keep on keeping on, and know that you can always come to my blog to hear words of encouragement, because I belive in you. I really do. You’ve got this.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

horror-promptsOkay everyone! I know I meant to get these out yesterday, but I am getting to it today. I apologize for the enormous story influx that is going to happen. Let’s get started with Prompt #20!

Morgue

The morgue was colder than he remembered – he’d been in it a dozen times before, keeping his eyes half closed, averting his gaze from the bodies that laid out on the cool steel tables. He didn’t want to look death in the face, and he didn’t want to realize that half of them were already decayed.

Television had given people a misconstrued idea about the state of bodies when they came to the coroner’s office. So often, they were in perfect, pristine order. So often, people found them before they’d even had a chance to fall apart, to bloat, to rot.

He knew better – he’d known better since before he could remember. He’d been in the morgue when he was a young thing, with his father. They lived atop it… and the business was thriving. There was no amount of people who weren’t ready to go to their grave, their tomb. There was an endless amount of people milling around each and every day who were preparing themselves for death. They didn’t realize it, but they certainly were ticking time bombs. Every human body was simply waiting for death – whether it was in their sleep of old age, or full of gore and pain… it was coming for everyone.

Sometimes he wondered why he walked through the morgue – sometimes, he wasn’t sure why he willingly gave himself nightmares. The darkness didn’t conceal the smell that spilled through the chilled air, and nothing could still the haunting sensation of walking amongst so many dead bodies.

There were times when he thought that he could hear them breathing.

Still, he did it – he walked with no real purpose, other than to immerse himself in their presence. They meant nothing to him – they were just a feast for worms, people that he didn’t know… but he felt the need to be around them.

He felt the need to look at them, to know that they were cold, and there.

A small, shuddering sigh escaped him – his eyes lifted when he came to the end of the room. Metal table after metal table was lined up. It had been a busy day for his father – a car pile up on the highway had brought fresh bodies to the chilled room; it smelled metallic, like blood. It smelled like death and pain, and he knew that the smell would linger for a few days. Even though all of their blood had been removed, even though the traces of it had been washed away… it would still linger.

It was a permanent thing in the chilled air, and it was a scent that sometimes caught in the vents and wafted into the house above the morgue.

His eyes spilled over the rows of metal – over the bodies that sat atop of them. Some were unscathed – they’d died of necks snapping or some other, internal issue.

There were others though that were in pieces. He could see them, laid out neat, like someone might play with a dollie that they’d ripped apart. It was hard to tell where the whole person had been, sometimes.

His back pressed against the cold wall, and another small, shuddering sigh escaped him. He was here – like he always seemed to be. He was here, and it didn’t make things any better. He held up his hands, ethereal, ghostly.

He held up his hands that hadn’t been in corporeal form for a decade. His father’s hair was white, but he still looked like the teen that he’d been when he’d fallen ill. His father had tried, but in the end… he’d come to this room, too. In the end, he knew that everyone ended up in the Morgue.

So, uh, that was randomly dark, and I super apologize. Still, I wonder if the son of a mortician would end up haunting the morgue, instead of somewhere else. It’s interesting to think about, and it’s certainly something that I may end up touching on later. As with a ton of my stories, it’s something that I’m probably going to revisit. That’s the beauty of doing writing prompts, though – so often, you think that you’re just going to write a tiny story, and you end up writing something huge that turns into a short story, a novella… even a novel.

I’ve had it happen multiple times, myself.

I’d love to hear about when it’s happened with you guys as well. Writing is such a beautiful and amazing thing, and it can take us on so many paths. NaNoWriMo is soon approaching, and I know that not everyone has their novel idea – if you don’t have it yet, feel free to use anything that you get from these prompts and expand upon it.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

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It’s time for another tip blog for NaNo, and I do realize that I’m going to end up posting some of the same tips that I posted last year… but that was last year, and this is this year… and honestly, I go through the same prep process with new things added to it every year. So.

For today’s tip, I’m going to tell you something that I know I’ve told you before, but I find it so important that I don’t mind telling you again. The National Novel Writing Month website actually tells you this as well.

Make yourself a cover!

I don’t care if it’s really good, if you go into the Artisan forums and ask someone to make it for you, or if you just go to a free domain photo site and make something in paint. The point is, people who have covers have a might higher percentage of winning than people who don’t. I don’t get the exact science behind it, or the reason… but I really do find it to be true.

limbo

(Above is a cover that I made myself for my novel in 2014)

A Cover, at least for me, means that I have a vision of my project. It means that when I’m looking at it, I can imagine what it will look like when it’s put into an actual novel format. I’m not saying that the cover that you make is going to be the cover that you keep – if you’re pursuing traditional publishing, I’m pretty sure that you won’t even get a say in what that cover is when you first publish. But for now, and for your mind? It’s going to be there for you. You’re going to see it as a book, not just as that thing that you’re trying to throw together in a month as best you can.

For me, I try to always use public domain photos, or something that is free to use. I don’t like using people’s pictures without their permission. The place where I made my covers (yes, you heard me right, plural) for this year is publicdomainpictures.net. Everything there is public domain, so it’s been pretty fun. I wouldn’t, of course, self-publish anything without doing further research… but for the intents and purposes of making a cover that I can use for NaNoWriMo? It’s a great site. There are quite a few places where you can get free to use photos if you do a google search – any one of those is a wonderful place to start, if you’re going to make your cover yourself!

Once you’ve found a picture that you like, it’s extremely easy to take it to a place like Lunapic, or even your own windows programs if you prefer. Add some text, including your name and a title. The great thing about it is this – you don’t have to feel like you’re tied in to the title that you choose. If you decide to change it later, this isn’t a professional cover. This isn’t something that you paid a ton fo money for… this is a cover that you made. This is just something that you did to give your mind a visual of what your book coudl look like.

Nothing is set in stone, except for the fact that you have the determination to turn your story into a novel!

So, that’s all that I have for tips today. If you guys want, i can do a blog on how I made my book covers! I’d love to share. Other than that, keep in mind that NaNo is in about 2 weeks now. Get your outline pounded out, get your prep-prepped! It’s going to be time to go on a pretty rad adventure soon!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

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Hey, everyone! It’s Day 18 of October, so it’s time for the 18th Prompt in my 31 Horror Prompts for October. I’m going to do something a little broad spectrum here. Instead of giving you a prompt so to speak, I’m going to give you a topic. I want to see what kind of emotion and reaction one word can elicit. So, this is a one word prompt, and I’m excited for it.


Prompt #18

One Word Prompt: Death


And there we are. Are you going to write about Death as an individual, are you going to write about the death of a character? There are so many directions in which you could take this, and I’m honestly just really excited to see exactly what it is that you do. I think that sometimes as writers, one word inspiration prompts can be interesting – it gives us a chance to see how every writer can view the word differently. It’s something that you can do with your NaNo Novel as well. If you’re stuck, pick a word, and settle your scene around it.

Anyway, I’ll hop away to get my actual NaNo prep Blog written up!

Make sure if you reply that you link back to my blog, so that I can see it!

I’m going to make a list of all of the responses at the end of the month, so we can have a big compilation of horror stories, for anyone who is really in the Halloween mood and wants to get their fix.

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
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My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

horror-promptsFirst of all, hello everyone! It’s the 18th of October! We’re cruising right through the month, and right through these writing prompts. I have to say that I’ve really been enjoying them, and I especially love a good photo prompt. I didn’t realize that the picture that I selected for Day 17’s writing prompt was going to be so inspiring to me, but it was! Without any delay, here is my response!


Cold as Stone

It was weeping, but no sound came from its chest. The statue was something that had always drawn her to the cemetery. Maybe it was strange that the statue had enraptured her to such an extent – she didn’t know the man who the woman cried for, though his portrait was on the grave where she knelt. Kayla didn’t know anything about the body six feet beneath her, but she knew that the silent figure of a woman mourning so heavily for the man that she loved was compelling – she knew that she had come back to this exact spot int he cemetery multiple times, without real reason.

She was settled next to the grave, with her back to the hair and her head twisted up to look at the figure whose face was hidden with hands. Kayla couldn’t help but to imagine that it was a beautiful face though – something that was full of solemn and silent grace and beauty. Something that was deserving of forever being immortalized in a statue.

She wondered, had the man had the statue commissioned before his death? There was no wife laid to rest beside him, though it was clear that any woman who knew him would have died years and year ago… so, where had the woman come from?

Was it someone from his past? Kayla couldn’t believe that it was simply a statue that he’d asked to be made without any influence. She could see the soft curve of her jawline, and the way that her hair fell this way and that, so that she was sure it would be lovely, had the woman been there and standing in front of her. She bit her lower lip, bringing her fingers down to her sketchpad.

It had been fresh when she’d come to the graveyard for inspiration – now, it was filled with dozens and dozens of renderings of a face that she couldn’t see… and none of them seemed good enough, none of them seemed as though they’d caught the beauty that hid just behind a veil of mourning and sorrow.

She wasn’t sure that she was going to be able to leave until she got the face right – the chill crisp of winter was coming, biting at her fingers and making her wear a heavy coat that inhibited her movements but left her warm enough to crouch at the edge of the grave with her sketchpad and furious fingers that never seemed to be able to get it just right.

Her eyes twisted upward again, and a soft and impatient sound escaped her lips. She always had to leave before the light faded – she couldn’t draw in the dark, and the graveyard didn’t have lights in this section. The area that she was in was old – older graves, an older time, when people had brought lanterns to light their way in the night. She’d decided that tonight was going to be the last night. She had to leave for school again soon, and she couldn’t stand the thought of leaving the statue before she’d gotten the face right. She could have taken a photo, but it wouldn’t have held the same impact. It wouldn’t have meant the same thing, and she knew it.

That was why she’d brought a lantern – she could have had a flashlight, but it seemed as though it wouldn’t have held the same soft glow. She needed the setting naturally, and she couldn’t help but to wonder if someone else had stood, crouched beside the grave with the soft light of a lantern playing on the pale, cracked surface of the marble that made up the statue.

She wondered if the woman was even more beautiful by the light of the lantern, when the moonlight was kissing against the pale stone and giving her a nearly angelic appearance.

Kayla was going to get to find out soon, because she only had about fifteen minutes until sunset, and she knew without finishing it that the face that she was drawing now wasn’t right, either. It was too angular, too harsh. They eyes weren’t soft enough – the lips weren’t full enough. She couldn’t explain it. She didn’t understand what kind of siren song kept bringing her back to this grave, to the statute… but whatever that song was, it wasn’t going to let her go until she’d completed her task.

And it wasn’t giving her any detail or clue as to how to do that, other than to let her know that she was doing it wrong.

Again.

Still, she finished out the lines of her sketch, sharp jaw, high cheekbones.

Imperious eyes that seemed to be judging her for the fact that she wasn’t doing it right.

She was caught up in those eyes that she’d drawn for a moment, almost too lifelike… and for just a moment, she thought that she’d at least gotten that look right, which only made her shiver more to think that the woman who was so beautiful and so full of heartbreaking mourning could be judging her so harshly for being incapable of getting her drawing correct.

“I’m sorry.” She murmured the words softly, and then flipped the patch to a clean sheet in her sketchbook.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to start drawing yet, though. The sun was setting in streaks of crimson that stole away the last of the day’s warmth and left her exposed fingers nearly numb – it cast shadows along the tall monoliths that shot up from the reaches of the cemetery. Kayla’s eyes weren’t for those shadows, but instead for the blank piece of paper in front of her. One thing that she knew she had right was the shape of her face – oval, soft. She could see it through the fingers that covered her countenance.

Kayla had to put the sketch book down for a moment to light the lantern that she’d brought with her, just as the last vestiges of the sunset faded away, leaving her in the darkness. It only took a moment, and then she lifted her eyes to the statue in front of her.

She dropped the match in her fingers to the ground, and she would have screamed, had her breath not been stolen away; those fingers that had always curled across the statues face had moved; slightly, but they’d moved.

Cold, marble eyes stared at her now, and she found herself completely enraptured. She didn’t look down to see if the match had set flame to the grass or snuffed out. She didn’t look to set the lantern down – she was caught in that blank stare, and the sound of stone shifting as the fingers moved again.

They pulled completely away from the face, and she felt tears spring into her eyes; it was as beautiful as she’d imagined. Soft, full lips curved into a slow smile, and narrow brows arched in elegance and amusement. The white of her eyes bled slowly to color, crumbled away and left behind shocking stains of bright green that was more like fox-fire than any hue she’d ever seen before. Those full lips turned from colorless to crimson, a red brighter than any natural lip color…

And that hair, that marbled hair that she’d imagined falling in elegant curls over and over again spilled from its twisted stone bun into waves of darkness that spilled over slender shoulders and half covered full breasts that rose and fell with an intake of breath.

It was impossible, it was completely and utterly impossible, but the statue before her stood from its crouched position – grace and elegance… and a ferocity that Kayla hadn’t expected. Her knees felt weak, and her body collapsed beneath her, so that she fell to the grass. The match burned against her knee, scalding through her leggings and searing her skin before her weight put it out.

Above her, the woman that had been stone and was now flesh smiled a smile that revealed teeth slightly sharper than they should have been.

“I was wondering when you’d linger after dark.” Her voice was just as impossibly beautiful as she was, and Kayla was reminded of a siren; she was sure that the tones that she heard could lure a man into the depths of the ocean. It drew her face up, made her jaw slack. Her fingers were numb, or she would have reached out to touch the woman before her.Her pale skin shone like the moonlight, and she stepped from the platform until she was standing directly in front of her. She bent down, picking up the fallen sketchbook and carefully dusting away the dirt that had stained the blank page.

“You were always so close to capturing my face – so close, but never just right. I have to say, I’m impressed.” The tone wasn’t condescending, but instead filled with piqued interest, like an art collector who had seen a piece that they wanted. Only, she was no longer looking at the sketchbook, but at Kayla’s upturned face.

“I…” She couldn’t summon words. She couldn’t summon coherency. The impossibility of what was happening before her was a pounding thing in the back of her mind, but the fact that the woman in front of her was so beautiful was more overwhelming than even that fact.

“Stand up, Kayla. We have all night,” a pale, slender hand shot out, extending to Kayla as she knelt on the ground. Those impossibly green eyes were sparkling with something – it told Kayla that reaching out and taking those pale, elegant fingers would change everything… it told her that if she turned and ran, she could go back to whatever life she’d had before.

But she couldn’t.

Her hand shot out, and she had a moment to realize that the woman’s skin was as cold as stone… and then the siren smiled, and Kayla was lost.


So, there it is. Honestly, this is yet another one of those things that I’m probably going to carry on into a longer story. I feel like I’m writing about some gargoyle that is much different than everyone perceived them to be. A Gargoyle-Siren.

Yeah.

That’s kind of what happened.

If I hadn’t already settled on my novel for NaNoWriMo, I might change my plot to this… but I’m going to stick with my Sci-Fi that I have going. I hope. I think. But I do love me some sexy supernatural goodness.

Anyway, I’d love to hear if any of you responded to this particular writing prompt! Make sure to link back to me!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

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

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!