Posted in Creative WRiting

Writing Preview – Quinn’s Sorrow

Writing Preview

I wasn’t quite up to getting my Alphabet Tips blog done for the night, though I’m getting there and I should have it posted in the morning. I thought, instead, that I would share a piece of my writing with you all. Sharing your writing is truly frightening, daunting. It’s all the pressure that people won’t like it, that you made a mistake, that it isn’t perfect.

So, instead of fretting about all of that, I’m not going to read it a dozen times before I share it. I’m just going to write, and let it be. There might be mistakes, errors… but I know that there will be something else: creativity. Pure, honest creativity… and I think that, in and of itself, is worth putting out there. So, without further delay, here’s my writing Preview!

— (You saw the first of this in my writing prompt, I’m reposting here so you can have the full version of it, though there is more to come) —

In the gathering twilight, I could no longer make out his expression, but I imagined he looked pissed. Annoyed at the very least. It wasn’t as though I could blame him, but his fury was a thing that made me quiver inside. I wasn’t afraid of him, but I was afraid of the waves of disappointment, the hurt, the betrayal that would cross his features in the wake of his anger. I was afraid of spoiling the careful trust that I’d built between us – it was something that I couldn’t stand.

“Wait, please.” My voice came out soft, an echo in the twilight that was nearly drowned out by the gentle rain that had started to fall. His dark eyes were full of emotion – definitely more than annoyed. Fuck, but I was in trouble. I could see the way that the brown color was swirling to a near black; I was almost afraid to approach him.

Somehow, I screwed up the courage and did it anyway. My hand came forward, resting against the steely hardness of his arm. When he spoke, it was scathing, and it cut me deeper than any knife. “Don’t touch me.”

Oh, but I didn’t want to hear him talk to me that way. It wasn’t a snippy response, like you hear some people trot out. His words were a demand, nearly a vow signed in conviction. It was the termination of our relationship in three words, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to talk him out of it.

“Please, just listen to me, I–“

“Have no excuse for what you did. You killed them.” He turned to me, and his eyes were wide, so that the whites flashed in the darkness of the street. “You killed them all.”

I stopped. I frowned. I took a breath and started to speak, but found the words caught in my throat… because the simple fact of the matter was, he was right. I had killed them – every single one of them.

And I would have done it again, given the chance.

Maxson had gone crazy, and I knew it. He’d ordered the slaughter of the Railroad, though I’d begged him to let me at least try to talk them into leaving the Commonwealth – though Desdemona could be fanatic, they were innocent. He’d wanted to kill everyone and everything in the Institute, but there were children in there, women and innocent children, and men who were only doing what they thought was right.

He’d wanted me to kill Danse, who stood before me with contempt on his face and fury in his heart. All that I could do was step forward, bringing my hand up to touch his shoulder.

“Danse, please, I-” He was all that I had left. We’d confessed our love to one another, we’d slept together, and he’d healed the wound in my heart… the gaping hole that I’d thought would never close.

He jerked away from my touch before my digits landed, and the scathing response that he gave me tore that hole wide open again. “Don’t touch me, Quinn. Don’t come near me. I don’t want to look at you.” And then softer, but with a steely reserve, “You killed women and children, you killed my brothers and sisters. I can’t forgive you – I won’t.” Brown eyes flickered up, and his next words punctured through me like a knife lancing through my heart. “I don’t want to see you again. Get out of here, now.” His hand came to his laser rifle, to Righteous Authority that I’d given back to him, “And when you come back, I can promise you that I won’t be here. I want nothing to do with this damned place anymore.”

“Danse,” my voice was soft, so full of aching sorrow that I could hardly get out the words. “Do you hate me?”

“No, Quinn… I love you – I’ll always love you…” He turned on me then, and his next words cut me like a knife, “But I can’t stand the sight of you.” All of the Stimpaks in the world couldn’t heal the sensation that was ripping through my chest – it couldn’t heal the hurt in my heart and the hole that his sudden contempt of me had left behind.

I’d set the Prydwen to flames, because I could see the way that Maxson was allowing the power to go to his head. War never changed. There were casualties that didn’t deserve to die… but I’d made the decision that I thought would be the best for everyone; Preston had agreed with me. Preston, who didn’t want to hurt anyone, had agreed with me.

But Danse didn’t… and I’d lost him.

It felt like I’d lost myself all over again. I hurt worse than I did when I’d first woken up, when I’d first realized that everything in the world that I’d known and loved had been ripped away from me. It hurt worse, because it was opening both wounds – the wound that my past had left behind, and the wound that Danse had filled. All of the pain and agony that I’d felt since my childhood suddenly rushed to the surface, and a gasping sound punched out of my chest. A near sob, dry in the eyes, but so painful that my throat ached with it. My knees shook, and I fell to the ground with mud spattering up and against my legs.

Danse paused, for just a moment. Hesitation shook his shoulders, and my green eyes stared up at him as the last chance of redemption that I had.

The paused lasted for a beat – drops of rain on my face that were the tears I couldn’t spill – and then he kept walking.

I watched him disappear into the darkness, and with him, I watched the last vestiges of my self preservation disappear from the Commonwealth.


This is turning into a Fallout 4 fanfic by accident. But I wrote this a little earlier today, and I haven’t even taken the time to go over it. I decided that I needed a version of my story where my character is going to go through some very negative emotions, and thus this happened. I hope that you enjoy, and I hope that me posting my writing without even looking to edit gives you the bravery to do the same. Write! Post! Share. We are all going to make mistakes, and we have to realize that writing is a learning process; the minute that we close ourselves to learning new things is the moment that we stop improving! Strive forward! Write on, my readers! Write on!

Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

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Posted in Creative WRiting

Writing Tips Alphabet Series – F is for Fanfiction

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I know that we all think about it. We wrote it when we were young, at least a lot of us did. And some of us, quite a few of us, end up coming back to it later on. (Some of us never left it). The point is, I think that Fanfiction can quite often be the building blocks for our writing when we’re young. We learn how to hone our skills, because we’re working within a world that is already created. We learned that we are capable of writing, and more than that… quite often, we end up getting good reviews and feedback that boost our confidence as a writer.

  Let me tell you the story of a young Author Amanda McCormick… one day, she discovered a magical place called She’d already decided that she wanted to be a writer before she’d discovered this place… and finding it only gave her another outlet to kind of experiment and play around. Now, I’m not saying that my fanfics were good – a lot of them were terrible… but I also have some that I’m extremely proud of. I submitted one to a fanfiction contest on Twilight Tales (an L.J. Smith website) and won overall best… and that really boosted my confidence, and really made me feel like I could do something with my writing, that I could be something, that I could go somewhere.

  The point is… fanfiction can really boost how you feel. It can boost your skills. I am still honing my writing skills, and I’m doing it on Fanfiction.

  When Fallout 4 came out, I found a gorgeous, beautiful, amazing storyline held within the story… but I felt like it wasn’t explored enough – I felt like it hadn’t been touched to the depths that it could be… and so… I sat down at my computer and I debated. I didn’t want to write fanfics – I’d strayed away from that and started focusing on original writing.

  But the need to write this story was too strong. The need to complete it, in my mind, was too much…

  So I decided to write a one shot.

  And that one shot turned into a nearly 70,000 word story that has over 10,000 views and is still going strong.

It’s not just that fanfiction that is happening – I’m writing so many stories… and a lot of them have original characters (Quinn and Jack) who are going to be in novels later on – I know for a fact that they’re going to have their own stories, their own books. I’ve developed so much backstory for them, and they’re so original and unique to me… and I’m so happy about it. Every time I write about them, it hypes me more. And every time I write about anything, it gives me the opportunity to expand my writing skills.

  So, never let yourself think that fanfiction is something that you shouldn’t write. Never let anyone make you feel like you’re wasting your time. You aren’t. Every word written helps you improve, and you’re supplying stories for people to enjoy! I personally think that fanfiction writers are amazing people ❤ So, keep on writing that fanfiction – keep on keeping on, because the world wants your stories!

(My Fanfiction can be found HERE! I’d love to see yours as well!)


Until next time, with the letter G!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Posted in 1000 words a day, campnanowrimo, Creative WRiting

Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 13


So, I finally finished the story that interrupted my actual purpose for NaNo this year.

A River Runs Through It stands at 41,346 words. That is quite a bit longer than I intended it to be… but River had an in depths story to tell, most of it pertaining to before the war, and therefore completely original writing. I’ve finally started on A God Amongst Men, which is my Maxson story… you know, the one that I was telling you about doing all along. Heh. (Clickables above, and are appreciated! Both are Fallout 4 related.)

But the point of this blog, other than to update you on my NaNo Word Count (  27,270 words ) is to speak about changing your plans. Sometimes, you have to. I certainly had no intention of it, when this month started on, and River was still telling her story. I didn’t realize that a character that I made solely to be a love interest for Arthur Maxson and Paladin Danse would end up having a life of her own that she wanted to fully and completely detail. She’s grown in my mind as a real, tangible, and very in depth character, with a delightful amount of development that has made writing for her a real treat. Sometimes, creativity strikes you in ways that you don’t expect.

Don’t ever miss out on those opportunities.

Sometimes, you have to change your plans… and as a writer, we have to do it more often than other people. Thankfully, we are afforded that luxury. We can change our stories mid-sentence, if we need. If the thought strikes out, we have the capability to completely shift the world, to figure out how to make it work. I don’t really think that we should wait for our muse to be ready to write, but you should certainly follow it down the path of thought. Maybe you’ll just figure out a cool side story that is a few thousand words (River was initially only supposed to be a chapter or two.) Or, maybe, you’ll end up with a 40,000 word monster that was both a pleasure to write and a really good chance for me to expand my skills as an author. I touched on subjects that I hadn’t touched on before – I went places that I’ve never been.

And I come away from the experience far more enriched than I was before I stepped into it.

Sometimes, we have to follow our muse. Sometimes, we have to explore that fork in the road. The beautiful thing is, we are writers. We sculpt our own world. That means that we can always loop around and explore the other path when we see where the first leads… but follow the thought, follow the inspiration. Chase it and hold it close to your chest. It’s a beautiful thing, and only you can catch it.


Until next time,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr


Posted in Creative WRiting

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 1

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So, here we are. Day one of Camp NaNo. My current word count is at 3008 wordsand I may end up doing a little bit more before tonight is over. For those of you who don’t know, I’m doing a bit of Fallout 4 fanfiction. Right now, I’m focusing on my character River:


Who is sassy as fuck. I’m getting her background fully established, so that I can get going with my other story, which is the one that I was actually aiming on writing for NaNo, until I decided it needed a prequel. I’m happily counting all of the words, since it’s all part of the same series.

So, today is the first day – and I know that we’re all on that high. Ride it, guys. Ride it so hard! Get ahead on your wordcount, get ahead on your goals! You ride this first week for all its worth, and get your words out! ❤ I have faith in you – your words are your own, and no one else can write them. ❤ I can’t wait to hear what your stories are about!

Sorry for the short blog, but I need to get back to writing. ❤ If you’re interested in River’s story, please click A River Runs Through It  and enjoy! ❤ I’d love to have some feedback!

Until then!

Author Amanda McCormick – a NaNo Camper at Heart

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr


Posted in 1000 words a day, Creative WRiting

Camp NaNo Approaches

And I’m planning on writing a Fanfic for the majority of it. That’s right – a fanfic. I don’t usually do fics for NaNo, but since this is Camp, I figured it could be fun. I only have a loose goal set of 30,000 words, instead of the usual 50,000. That’s part of what’s so fun about Camp though, you can set your count to whatever you think you can accomplish. While I don’t think I’d have trouble doing the full 50,000, I wanted to make it so that I could have off days of only 1k if I needed.

What are you doing to prepare for camp? I, personally, haven’t done much yet. I may actually walk you guys through my prep process as I go, if that’s something that you’re interested in? For now, Step One in preparation was simply deciding on what I wanted to do.

I picked a fanfic. And then I picked a character to focus on for the Fanfic – Arthur Maxon from Fallout 4 was my decision!

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Ahem. Introducing the three main characters in my upcoming NaNo fic. In order, Paladin Danse, Arthur Maxon, and my own creation River Wren Malcolm. River is a smarmy, fun, sarcastic ex-sniper in the military, and there’s gonna be some gorgeous polyamorous relationship happening. I can’t help myself.

So, I’ll post how I plan and work for NaNo as I do it myself – that way, I can take you guys through a step by step process. If you’re interested, I can actually post the fic here. Just be aware, it is gonna be NaNo quality!

Let me know what you think!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Posted in 1000 words a day, Creative WRiting

January 2016 Writing Recap

So, I’m sorry that I didn’t do this at the end of January. I got a bit distracted. However, I’m more than ready to post it now! I’m really, really pleased with my progress.


So, above is the full map of my writing for January 2016. I got 85,333 words in total, and I do have to say that this chart really helped me out! The other thing that helped a lot was my desk calendar.

^2B3BFED44200B6C5A70E14A5D4F1DC2F14146D5586289FB394^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr There that is for the month of January. As you can see, I wrote on it a lot. I have a new method that I’m trying to implement for February, and I’ll show that to you guys very soon! It should help me keep things in order a lot more. I managed something that I haven’t done before – I wrote 1000 words a day. Even during NaNo, I would have days that I skipped, because I was ahead. I can’t begin to tell you the confidence and relief that writing like this gave me – my stress levels went down, my ability to focus and write went up. Establishing a habit and keeping up with it is so key to good writing output. Writing is like anything else; you get what you give. If you put in the time, it’s going to show. It showed for me with my output in January.

Anyway, I got a lot of things accomplished in the month of January. Firstly, I wrote a ton. A lot of it was on fanfiction, but a lot of it was also on original pieces and my novels! Another huge step that I took was allowing a friend to read a rough draft of one of my NaNo novels – it wasn’t complete, wasn’t edited… and I took the plunge and let them see it. It was frightening and liberating, and insightful all at the same time. While they didn’t tell me it was perfect, they told me what they liked about it and what it needed improvement on… and best of all, they encourage me to keep writing. I think that getting feedback is one of the most important things that we can do, especially when we’ve finished a story and we find ourselves frightened to take the next step.

I have that a lot on my fanfics from my friend Tash, who is pretty epic in that factor. Having a writing buddy (or a writing group!) is so essential. As always, you guys can feel free to add me on skype (ego.dominustuus) to get added to my group! I’d love to have you!

I started working on some fanfictions in January for an event that is going to take place this month called Lupercalia. It’s all about psychic wolves, and it has been fairly fun so far. Of course, my fanfics are Fallout related (Paladin Danse, please. You know you live in my head.) But it’s been a fun experience, and it’s another way to seek out writing community during the off months of NaNoWriMo. Finding a way to get yourself involved is always SO important!

So, a recap of my tips – let people read your work, keep a calendar and a chart of your writing, and get involved in groups! I wrote over 80,000 words last month, and I can’t wait to see what the new month brings! Until then! I’d love to hear how you did writing wise in January!

Until next time!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr

Posted in 1000 words a day, 2000 words a day, am writing, amanda mccormick, author amanda mccormick, blogging, Creative WRiting, fallout 4, paladin danse

Why Fanfiction can be Awesome

A lot of people that I know in the writing world used to write fanfiction. They say it in the past tense, like it’s a bad thing. They speak as though they’re too mature for it now. I can admit hadn’t written fanfiction in so many years… until I played Fallout 4. I saw a storyline that was absolutely astounding, and… then… it… suddenly… stopped…

There was so much potential there, for that story. I was sparked with inspiration, and I realized that I really wanted to write a tiny snippet of a story, just to satisfy my need to see the rest of that potential played out.

(Yeah, it’s about Paladin Danse.)


Of course, I don’t have the ability to write a tiny snippet of anything. The fanfiction in question is currently 35,000 words, and scaling easily up to the size of a novel. Not only have I written this, but in writing about my character in the game… I realized that I really wanted to develop him further. Though you’re given basic parameters for who you are, I had an entire backstory in my mind. He was a character unto himself… and it’s inspired over 50,000 words of separate fanfiction/stories/planning… and I’m not even sorry about it. Fanfiction is okay.

It’s good for so many reasons. The positive response, and the people who you can connect with through a shared fandom is a wonderful feeling. I’ve been working on my novel separately, of course, but I’ve also been working on fanfiction. I’ve been told by multiple people that they enjoy it, and why… and it’s a nice feeling. Sometimes, as a writer, you just need that boost.

So, never feel bad about following your mind, even if it’s in fanfiction. I’ve been more inspired writing these stories than I have in a long, long while. It’s part of what’s been making my 1k a day so easy to do. I’ve been able to write fanfiction, get my gears going, and then work on my novel on the wave of that inspiration. Follow your muse, always!

Until next time, I just wanted to give you guys this small update and inspiration for the day! Enjoy yourselves! Keep reading and writing!


Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page

Posted in 1000 words a day, am writing, amanda mccormick, anxiety, author amanda mccormick, blogging, Creative WRiting, creative writing, creative writing prompts, daily word prompts, daily writing, depression, fallout 4

2015 in review – Welcome 2016 and New Goals.

So, I’ve kind of laid off of blogging for the last half of December. I wanted to take time to myself, just to really refresh my brain, spend time with family, etc. I can’t deny that this year has been harder on me than I’d thought it would be. I’ve been through quite a bit of loss, quite a bit of stress… but I’ve come out on 2016 kicking. I’d actually been having a lot of writing trouble in the months leading up to November.

When my mother passed away, I thought that it was going to break some delicate agreement between my muse and myself, and that I wasn’t going to be able to write. Instead, my muse wrapped its arms around me and told me not to worry. I’m a writer… and my feelings will come out through my words.

I wrote over 100,000 words for November. I thought that I’d be finished. I thought that I’d be worn out until January. That was my plan. But… I wrote 50,856 words in December. I know. I don’t understand it either. Most of these words were in Fallout 4 Fanfiction (yes, I linked you to my page, lol)… but the point is, it’s there. I wrote, I still feel so compelled to write. My muse hasn’t abandoned me – and though dealing with my sorrow and upset is still hard for me to do, I’m handling it, day by day, word by word.

So, 2015, while a sad year, was also a good year for growing. I have a little report below for my blog stats that my WordPress compiled for me. Before that though, let me just talk about my plans for 2016.

I will write at least 30,000 words every month. I want to write 1,000 words a day. It is my plan. It is my therapy. I will do it. I want to try to blog every day, to do prompts at least every other day (if not every day), and I will do weekly updates on my writing every Monday. I can’t wait. You guys have honestly been amazing. It’s through your support and encouragement that I’ve been able to keep this up – you’re all wonderful, and I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way!

To 2016! May we all accomplish our goals!


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 42 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in am writing, character development, Creative WRiting, daily writing, fallout 4, NaNoWriMo, paladin danse

In My Absence

I’ve actually been getting a lot done. I’ve been playing a ton of Fallout still – go on. Marvel at my gorgeous Danse now.


So, yeah. That’s a thing. I’ve seriously been just a wee bit obsessive about the whole thing, but this is how I game. I do need to show you the fruits of my effort though, because I’m pretty happy with it. It’s netted me around 14,00o words in the last…. 4 days? My ‘Write 1,000 words a day’ goal was seriously lacking before… and then I decided that while I was reading Limbo again and trying to decide what I wanted to do with it, I’d just deviate and write something that was completely self serving.

That completely self serving thing was, for the first time in a LONG time, a fanfiction.

Yeah, that’s right, I’m writing fanfiction. xD Heh.

Honestly though, I think that’s a lot of what inspires people to want to write – they read or see a story, and they think that they could have done it different, better. I’m not saying that Fallout 4 wasn’t amazing, but there were some… choice paths that I really would have preferred to do in a different fashion. So, I’m writing about that. That’s right – I’m writing a Paladin Danse fanfiction, and I have no shame.

And it’s honestly an amazing exercise. I’m writing a ton, and I’m really enjoying myself. After writing so rigorously for NaNo on something completely original, writing in a world that already has a built base is pretty fun. Of course, in some ways, fanfiction is harder – you have to keep completely in character if you want to be valid… and yet you still have to change the characters and develop them; after all, you’re writing it for a reason, aren’t you?

So, yeah. I’m at nearly 15,000 words on that (I’d only meant for it to be a few thousand, but I can’t even short fanfiction correctly) and I’m not even sad about it.

I hope that you guys have been doing well, and that your writing has been flourishing in the wake of NaNo! Let me know how you’re doing!


Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in blogging, Creative WRiting, daily word prompts, fallout 4

I Don’t Wanna Set The World On Fire >_>

But I kind of do. Writing… writing… writing… I haven’t been doing much of it. I know I said I was going to start doing daily prompts, but the fact is, I’ve been otherwise occupied.

First of all, I’ve been playing the Hell out of Fallout 4. Honestly, it’s such a fun, great game… and it makes me want to be creative. I know, that sounds odd… but sometimes, games are the best at doing that. I wanna write fanfics, I wanna write awesome stories, I wanna do it justice, cause that story is amazing. Honestly, could you resist with a face like Paladin Danse?

Paladin Danse

But the other thing that I’ve been occupied with that’s more valid is re-reading last years NaNo novel. I want to finish it and then decide between which novel I want to work on editing the most. So, I’m going through Limbo (because zombies are amazing) and doing some editing as I go (because I can’t help myself), and it’s taking a little longer than I thought because of that little latter fact (the editing.)

So, I’m probably not going to start daily writing prompts just yet. I want to get Limbo finished up first, and keep my writing drive specifically on that and my little side project. (Gau knows about that one).

I’m excited though, and I will start posting in here more regularly. I’ve just been gaming a whole lot – it’s been a great NaNo reward :3

Until next time, guys! I’ll talk to you then! Soon, my regularly scheduled blogs will resume!


Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page