Tag Archives: Online Writing

Back by Popular Demand! Write a Story With Me #77: “The Test” by Norah Jansen

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each time.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

77-Norah Jansen

Natalia was tired.  Her calves ached and her feet bled through her thin slippers but she wouldn’t stop running and screaming for her baby.  Eventually a thinning of the trees heralded the entrance to the Fae village and Natalia’s headlong dash slowed until she was barely moving forward. 

She still didn’t know whether Morath was friend or foe but at this moment she was all that Natalia had and she had no choice.  She walked faster and within minutes was outside the Queen’s chambers.  A guard asked her business and told her to wait.  Natalia moved restlessly from one foot to the other as she waited and then the guard swept open the entry curtain and ushered her inside.

It took a moment for Natalia’s eyes to adjust to the darkness of the chambers after the bright light outside.  When she was finally able to focus she opened her mouth in a screeching roar.  Two guards ran forward to restrain her until Morath stepped down from the throne and ordered them to stand back.   She held the baby in outstretched arms and Natalia ran forward to snatch him, without resistance, from the Queen.

“Why?”

Natalia didn’t look up from her child as she asked the question.

“Why would you do that to me?”

“I was testing you.  With your child’s life at stake I needed to know that you would turn to me and not your human husband.  I cannot put my kingdom at risk just for one person.”

Natalia knew she was being told the truth but instead of relief all she felt was further confusion.  Where did this leave Yoran and Sian? Would she ever see them again?

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Sixty-five Click Here

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Part Sixty-Nine – Norah Jansen

Part Seventy – Shannon Burton

Part Seventy-One – Vanessa Jane Chapman

Part Seventy-Two – Susan Rocan

Part Seventy-three – Kate Johnston

Part Seventy-Four – Richard Leonard

Part Seventy-Five – Kai Damian

Part Seventy-Six – Danielle Ackley McPhail

Part Seventy-Seven – Norah Jansen

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Anmol Arora— TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

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Write a Story with Me #76: When the Sparkle Fades by Danielle Ackley McPhail

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each time.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

76 – Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Morath settled the babe in the crook of the Gleaming Tree. She watched him, her brow furrowed but her lips tipping upward in a faint smile stronger than even her worry. He was a bonny boy and deserved a life of joy and discovery, not intrigue and deceit, and yet her farsight revealed much turmoil ahead for them all, and most assuredly for the son of Yoran and Natalia.

“Feel your power, little one, know it in your heart,” she murmured over his fretting form. “Mother’s arms will wrap around you soon, but first you must take this step to safeguard yourself.” Morath regretted the need to spark the little one’s magic at so young an age, but she could do little else to ensure he come to no harm in the days to come. The Gleaming Tree now recognized him as one of its own and no matter how far events might take him away, the seat of all magic would rally in his defense should any raise force against him.

With an amused burble, the child thrashed his legs and stared in wonder as the swirls of magic swaddled him, nuzzled his cheek, and settled a fae sparkle deep within is babe-blue eyes. When all but the sparkle faded, the Fae Queen swept the boy into her arms and descended from the Tree’s branches, taking the boy to her chambers to await the arrival of his frantic mother.

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Sixty-five Click Here

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Part Sixty-Nine – Norah Jansen

Part Seventy – Shannon Burton

Part Seventy-One – Vanessa Jane Chapman

Part Seventy-Two – Susan Rocan

Part Seventy-three – Kate Johnston

Part Seventy-Four – Richard Leonard

Part Seventy-Five – Kai Damian

Part Seventy-Six – Danielle Ackley McPhail

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Norah Jansen — TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

1 swivel

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Write a Story With Me # 74: Mamma? by Richard Leonard

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

74 Richard Leonard

After much agitation and discomfort caused by the harsh talking, baby lay amongst the warm comforting folds of a great source of love. The calm soothing voice and the stroking of his head and back produced an intense feeling of peace and tranquility in him. No place felt safer. This was Mamma.

Sleeping, he dreamed of lovely colors, beautiful shapes and calming sounds, still meaningless in his young mind. Yet he knew he felt peaceful and secure, far more so than earlier that day while awake.

His dream suddenly changed. The shapes became edgier, the colors brighter, blindingly so. Sounds were higher pitched, sharp and painful. Yet he could not scream. But Mamma would protect him, he knew this instinctively. He was safe with Mamma. There was something not safe nearby. It wasn’t just his dream. He knew this too, somehow.

He felt himself being torn from Mamma, a great force was pulling him away. It was the coldness he noticed first. Mamma’s warmth and touch vanished and he was enveloped in a stiff cold breeze as some unknown force moved him quickly yet carefully away from her. Again he tried to scream but could not. Many random incoherent thoughts rushed through his immature little mind. He could not make sense of them. Fear encased him. He recognized fear. It was inherent. His Mamma was gone and he was traveling somewhere again. He knew this much. Traveling fast through the air.

Then there was darkness. He was alone. Suddenly he felt a great power. His own power. But is mind was too feeble to understand what it was for and how he should use it.

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Sixty-five Click Here

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Part Sixty-Nine – Norah Jansen

Part Seventy – Shannon Burton

Part Seventy-One – Vanessa Jane Chapman

Part Seventy-Two – Susan Rocan

Part Seventy-three – Kate Johnston

Part Seventy-Four – Richard Leonard

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Kai Damian — TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

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An Example of Nailing the Setting

I recently picked up a historical novella to clear my head between longer novels.  Terri Rochenski wrote a short story in the Make Believe anthology that I really enjoyed, so I reached for her newest work “Alone No More”.

From the title, you get the gist.  Our MC is alone in love, and at the end she gets her man.  Romance never has a surprise ending, does it?  It’s probably the only genre where this is completely acceptable.  It’s the journey to the couple getting together that is the fun.

So, let’s talk about the setting.  Rochenski has a way of drawing you into her world in the first few pages, and never letting go.  Be it the costumes, technology, language, or just the general feel of a world or time period, Rochenski nails it.

Normally for me, this would be a drag.  I hate too much detail, but Rochenski is one of those authors who has figured out how to gently weave in the important parts of the world without slapping you in the face with laundry lists of details.  You envision a character walking through a room and noticing things around her, or you travel down a dirt road in a swaying cart. The details are interspersed inside the action.  Very well done. I like to read works like this on hopes that some of that setting flair rubs off on me.

If you are looking for a short, quiet historical I would highly recommend this.  Adrenaline junkies would find the middle of  “Alone No More” a bit long and uneventful, but this does happen in love sometimes… especially in an authentic historical setting.  I would recommend this book for the setting in itself.

Pick up a copy of “Alone No More” for some quiet holiday reading (Only $1.49 on sale at the White Rose Web Site.)  Everyone loves a sale this time of year!

AMAZON   /  The Wild Rose Press

JenniFer_EatonF

Write a Story With Me # 73: “What should She Do” by Kate Johnston

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

73 Kate Johnston

Natalia searched frantically for her baby. The ground was hard and cold, and she scratched the palms of her hands on fallen twigs and stones. She listened for his cries, hoping that in her daze she had wandered and he was at the base of another tree. But the world was quiet, even the wind was a mere hush.

She stared up at the sky, where her daughters had flown away. She was torn over her children; what should she do? Search for her son or try to track her daughters? Panic rose within her, and she was close to breaking down in an uncontrollable fit. But she fought against the panic, striving to remain silent, knowing that if she were found out there, questions would be asked. Questions she didn’t know how to answer.

Natalia huddled against the tree. She needed to think of a plan. But, so many terrible things had happened in such a short span of time, she didn’t know who or what to trust anymore.

She forced herself to take deep breaths to calm herself. Regardless of the danger her daughters were in, she could only hope that reason and good judgment would prevail. Her son, however, was utterly helpless.

Natalia made her decision. She stepped away from the tree and headed north. As much as she hated to do it, there was only one being whom she could absolutely trust to help her.

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Sixty-five Click Here

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Part Sixty-Nine – Norah Jansen

Part Seventy – Shannon Burton

Part Seventy-One – Vanessa Jane Chapman

Part Seventy-Two – Susan Rocan

Part Seventy-three – Kate Johnston

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Richard Leonard — TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

1 swivel

Write a Story with Me #72: “Serious Charges” by Susan Rocan

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

72- Susan Rocan

“These are serious charges that you’re bringing against Officer Dawes, Protector Sumner.”

Yoran stood before the High Council, sitting on their tall benches and peering down at him with suspicion. His stomach was in knots.

“I tolerate no insubordination on my ship,” he replied. “Dawes had the audacity to suggest I was consorting with the enemy. I could not let him undermine my authority.”

“Do you think Officer Dawes was consorting with the enemy?” one of the councilwoman asked.

Yoran knew he had to tread carefully. “No, Madam Castille, but I treat my ship as a dictatorship. Anyone who threatens the chain of command is committing treason, as far as I am concerned.”

The five members of the council huddled together, whispering and glancing at Yoran, occasionally. He clasped his hands tighter behind his back, concerned that he would soon be the focus of treason charges. Finally, they straightened and leaned back in their seats, blank-faced. Yoran could not tell whether the news would be good for him or not.

The President spoke. “It is our opinion that, while Officer Dawes was wrong to question the chain of command, you have charged the young man unjustly. He will be reprimanded and retrained to be more respectful in future. We want you to know, we have no intention of undermining your authority by lessening the charges you have pressed against him. We simply believe that the death penalty does not apply, here. As for you . . .”

Yoran’s face paled.

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Sixty-five Click Here

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Part Sixty-Nine – Norah Jansen

Part Seventy – Shannon Burton

Part Seventy-One – Vanessa Jane Chapman

Part Seventy-Two – Susan Rocan

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Kate Johnston — TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

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Write a Story WIth Me #70: “Real Estate Queens” by Shannon Burton

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

#70 – Shannon Burton: Real Estate Queens!

Marci feigned tears as Mother and Sian went off. She’d long since learned that adults held their words when children were about, speaking freely only when they thought themselves alone.

In one motion, she beat her new wings powerfully, freeing herself from Bethany, and soaring into the shadowy foliage of a truth-tree. She remembered pretend play at spying with her faerie friend. Now, Jenelle’s games felt more like lessons – tools she could use, to learn what was said.

She lay flat upon a thick branch, invisible.

“You are well not to trust her, or anyone other”, Sian was saying. Her voice was sharp as bitterfruit. “I do not. But, if you will trust, do not trust Yoran your husband, nor any Fey who tries to turn your mind to their ideas.”

“Can I trust you, Sian?”

Do you want to know what she says? I do!

 Hop on over to Shannon’s site to read the rest!

http://shanjeniah.com/2013/11/18/write-a-story-with-me-70-real-estate-queens/

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Sixty-five Click Here

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Part Sixty-Nine – Norah Jansen

Part Seventy – Shannon Burton

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Vanessa Jane Chapman — TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

1 swivel

Keep it to yourself, jerk! — Rule #28 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever

Writing_A_Great_Novel

I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript.  Yep, you can join in the fun, too.  Let’s take a looksee at topic #28

28: If an opinion expressed through dialogue makes your POV character look like a jerk, allow him to think it rather than say it. He’ll express the same opinion, but seem like a lot less of a jerk.

Hmm.  Depending on how this is used, he can still look like a jerk just thinking about it.

I’d like to expound on this and say be careful of making your main character unlikable. Period. I’m reading a novel for crit right now in which I really can’t stand the MC, and she has no concrete reason for doing the dumb things she does.  If I had picked up this novel in a bookstore, I would have put it back by now.

The author said “It’s good that you don’t like her. I’m doing my job.”

This author just doesn’t get it, and is waiting with bated breath for rejection #215 on her queries.

You need to connect with the main character.  No one is going to want to read about a character they do not care about.  They can be a jerk, but you have to make them relatable, and your reader has to care.

If you don’t have that engagement with your reader, you don’t have an audience.

Jennifer___Eaton

Write a Story With me #68 – Anmol “You have to understand!”

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Here’s this week’s excerpt.  We hope you enjoy!

#68 Anmol (howanxious.wordpress.com)

While the confused father Yoran was trying to figure out his next course of action, his daughters were swooning over their newborn brother. Natalia was looking at them adoringly when Morath interrupted her thoughts, “I need to talk to you, Natalia.”

“The danger hasn’t yet gone. The war is going to aggravate soon.”

“I can understand. I am worried about Yoran. Will he be alright?” Natalia was genuinely concerned about her husband whom she immensely loved.

“He will be fine. What I am worried about is your own safety and that of the children. I suggest you take them to a safe place. I can have some one take you all there.”

“No… no…,” she voiced her opinion, “I can’t go. My husband is here. You have to understand.”

Morath ignored her plea and spoke in her authoritarian voice, “What about your girls and the young boy? I do not want them to be hurt.” Her eyes had gone red and Natalia shivered, looking at this powerful image. All the Fae around had gone white in the face as well.

“But after all, they are your children. You must decide what you want to do,” she continued, keeping her emotions in check and moved away from the frightened mother.

She was suspicious of Yoran. She was not sure, whether she should believe him or not. As a leader, she would have to do something that would surprise even him. It was time to incarnate the fighter in her.

Want to read more?  See below for past excerpts.

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Fifty Click Here

Part Fifty-One – Joe Owens

Part Fifty-Two – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Fifty-Three – Jennifer Eaton

Part Fifty-Four – Shan Jeniah Burton

Part Fifty-Five – Jenny Keller Ford

Part Fifty-Six – Susan Rocan

Part Fifty-Seven – Susan Roebuck

Part Fifty-Eight – Elin Gregory

Part Fifty-Nine – Nicky Wells

Part Sixty - Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Part Sixty-One – Ravena Guron

Part Sixty-Two – Julie Catherine

Part Sixty-Three – Kai Damian

Part Sixty-Four – Richard Leonard

Part Sixty-Five – Danielle Ackley McPhail

Part Sixty-Six – Joe Owens

Part Sixty-Seven – Shayla Kwiatkowski

Part Sixty-Eight – Anmol

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

Norah Jansen — TAG!  You are “It”

Write a Story With Me Contributors

shayla kwiatkowski gryphonboy Jennifer M. Eaton Vanessa Chapman
Siv Maria Sharon Manship shanjeniah Vikki (The View Outside)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Richard Leonard susanroebuck Jenny Keller Ford
aparnauteur kaidamian Eileen Snyder Elin Gregory
Joe Owens anelephantcant mysocalledDutchlife Nicky Wells
norahdeayjansen Julie Catherine Ravena Guron
Anmol     jiltaroo 4amWriter mywithershins

1 swivel

Related articles

Cut your weakest player — Rule #26 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever

Writing_A_Great_Novel

I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript.  Yep, you can join in the fun, too.  Let’s take a looksee at topic #26

26: When you finish your book, pinpoint the weakest scene. Cut it. If necessary, replace it with a sentence or paragraph.

I have contradicting views on this.  If I was reading this with my first novel (that I pantsed) in my hands, I’d say “yes”… and to probably more than one scene.  However, now that I am outlining and clearly plotting my novels, I’m not so sure this is true.

I’d agree to cut it is it has no conflict, or does not draw the story forward. That’s a given.

My fear is that if everyone follows this rule, they will take out important scenes, and replace them with three sentences of summary… which is a form of tell.

I’m going to put my foot down and NOT agree with this one.

What do you think?

Jennifer___Eaton