Posted in Creative WRiting

Writing Tips Alphabet Series – B is for… Books.

 B is for books.

Maybe this one is a no brainer. And maybe this is something that everyone knows about… but it’s still a tip that I’m going to give, because you’d be shocked at how many people say that they don’t have to read to be able to write well.

I honestly don’t like to give hard, fast rules about how to do anything. Most of the time, I would tell people that they can do whatever they want, however they want, and there are always ways to figure out how to get your writing done… but I’m actually going to stand pretty firm on this one.

One of the best ways, one of the real ways to get better as a writer is to read. A lot. Books are so important — you wouldn’t be a doctor without checking out methods, without taking classes. You wouldn’t try to be an electrician without some kind of apprenticeship. Reading a lot is the way that a writer has an apprenticeship, honestly. 

Read a lot in the genre you want to write. Read out of the genre that you want to read. Read masters and read classics. Just… read. It will expand your understanding of the craft, it will give you ideas and inspiration. Pay attention to how your favorites form sentences and what it is about the paragraphs and storyline and characters that really catch your attention.

Study the things that you read — don’t just look at it as a reader. Pick your favorites and look at them as a writer. I find that doing that is actually a fantastic way to realize what it is about writing that is appealing to you, and therefore learn how to apply that to your own writing. 

There’s a lot of things that we can do to improve ourselves, and there’s a lot of things that we can do to get better. Practice is certainly one of them… but studying is the other. And you could study grammar and sentence structure until you were blue in the face, but unless you really study story, I don’t think that you can improve in the same way that you would if you did.

Like I said, I usually am pretty flexible on what is a hard and fast rule, but this is one that I’m going to stick by. I know that not everyone enjoys reading — but there’s ways around that. Audiobooks, shorter novellas, visual novels, there are so many options so that you’re still consuming storytelling without having to get into something that you would otherwise not enjoy.

So do it ❤ Pick up a book. Pick your favorite. And then study it and apply! You’ve got this! 

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
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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

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
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Posted in blogging, creative writing

Blog Challenge!

I was talking earlier with a friend of mine about how I wanted to start posting more consistently on my blog. I thought that one of the best ways to do that was to start up a fun little challenge for the blog. I can’t do a month long one, since the month is already going… so… instead, I’m going to pick ten topics, and I have the month to get something written about them! I’ll do it every month, if I can manage this month.

So! February Blogging Challenge! Let’s go!

  1. Writing Prompt! “Two strangers meet for the
    second time.”
  2. Write a blog about yourself. Tell the story of
    how you started writing.
  3. What is your greatest strength as a writer? What is your greatest weakness?
  4. Writing Prompt! “Use these words in a story: Ocean. Onyx. Shine.”
  5. Give your best writing tips that you learned in 2019!
  6. Writing Prompt! “Choose a picture from your phone and write a story about it!
  7. Where do you draw the most inspiration for your writing? Share your secrets!
  8. Author Interview: Where do you write? Share some pictures of your writing space and tell us about your daily habits!
  9. Writing Prompt! First sentence prompt: “I/He/She never expected things to turn out like this…”
  10. What are your goals for 2020? Write them out now so we can help each other keep on track!

So! There we are! Try to get a blog for all of these things done this month! Let me know if you will participate, and link back to my blog! I can’t wait to see what we all come up with!

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

Not Enough?

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So, yeah… as the title might imply, what do you do when it isn’t enough? And by this, at least in my situation, I mean… when what you’re writing, or how you’re doing it… just isn’t enough for you anymore. I still make my money by doing commissions, and I adore that. But there’s a part of me that really just isn’t completely satisfied with it anymore.

I love writing for other people — I love how much they enjoy their stories once I’ve finished them. I adore hearing how I’ve brought to life an idea that they thought would be forever stuck in their head… but…

I want to be putting my own stories out there. I want to have my original writing seen, more than just through fanfics. SO… what do you do when it isn’t enough?

Easy, you look for what is and you go for it. It’s gonna be hard, but I’m going to do my darn hardest to have two books to decide between for querying by the end of the year (I said that before in my goals). I’m also going to get some stuff put out there via amazon or smashwords. I can’t just sit around and not anymore — I have to try. Maybe it will work? Maybe it won’t.

But at least I’ll be going for it, as opposed to just sitting in a safe zone.

So… today my thoughts and writing advice are this: push yourself. If you’re feeling stagnant, like it isn’t enough… go for it. Yeah, you might fail. But… do you know what would be worse than failing?

Never trying at all.

So, I’m going to challenge you. Write a blog — state what your goals are, where you want to go, where you want to be as a writer. Link back to me.

Let’s do this together!

Until then, you guys! Keep reading, and keep writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Posted in Creative WRiting

Ego’s Blog Challenge – Our Goals

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Here we are, once again! It’s time for Ego’s blog challenge! This time, we’re going to mix it up a bit again. I’m not going to ask you to write a short story. Instead, I want you to take a few minutes and think… write a blog about what your goals are! Why do you have a blog? What do you want to accomplish with it. Further than that, why do you write? Where would you like to see yourself as a writer 5 years from now, 10 years from now… really reflect on what you want to do, and get it down into words. Making a statement that other people can see is like making a commitment.

I want us all to commit to our dreams and ambitions — that way, we can keep each other on track.

I can’t wait to see what you guys say and come up with <3!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Posted in Creative WRiting

Ego’s Blog Challenge – Dream Challenge

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Oh, is it that time again? I think so! It’s time for another Blog Challenge! I wanted to switch this one up a bit again… so, instead of me giving you a writing prompt, I want you to make a list. Write down the last five things that you can remember dreaming about. After you’ve done that, use at least three elements from those dreams to make a short story! Doing this, you’re going to kind of delve into your own mind to write a story and practice what a lot of writers do to create new worlds!

(For those of you who will say: I can’t remember my dreams. I don’t dream. I don’t want to do this. Blah. Fine. https://wordcounter.net/random-word-generator Pick five words here and carry on as instructed.)

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Author Amanda McCormick

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in Creative WRiting

Ego’s Blog Challenge #3

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

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

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Author Amanda McCormick

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

Posted in Creative WRiting

Ego’s Blog Challenge – Prompt #2

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


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


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

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Author Amanda McCormick

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com