Stream

Join this community to post or comment
Pinned by moderator

Amy Knepper
owner

Moderator Selected Writing Exercises  - 
 
Weekly Writing Exercise: May 4-10
I hope this one is open enough to let your creativity run free. People plan for all sorts of things. Secret plans. Exciting plans. Plans in case of a disaster. Instead of an event, write a story about a character who is planning something. Bonus points if you don't explicitly say what they're planning for and let us readers figure it out.

RULES
Submissions or comments that don't follow the rules will be removed, no matter how awesome. Sorry. If you need to contact me to ask about the contest or comment about the photo, please tag me in a private post. Thank you!

1) All submissions must be added as a COMMENT to this post, not as new posts in this section (or anywhere else). 

2) All submissions (including your title) must be less than 600 words. In the case of a questionable word count, I will use Google Docs to verify.

3) Only include the title and text of your submission in your comment. Please don't add any questions, links, commentary, requests for feedback, etc. Stories only!

4) Your submission must be inspired by the attached photo. How you choose to do that is up to you. Feel free to be creative!

5) ANYONE CAN VOTE. Even if you don't write a story, PLEASE VOTE for your favorites! You can +1 as many entries as you like. 

6) Anyone can add their submission at any time in the contest period. However, the voting will be counted and a winner chosen on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.

7) Winners are chosen by +1 count. Just that simple. (Ties will be broken by sudden death cage match, or by a call for votes, whichever costs less money at the time.)

8) If you +1 your own submission, please also +1 at least one other submission.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers
-A chance to practice, practice, practice
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post.

If you ever come across a fun prompt idea, please tag me! I collect intriguing images and interesting text.

tl;dr: 600 words or less, story or poetry, related to the image, no commentary allowed, VOTE.

Have fun! Be creative!

#writingprompt #flashfiction
7
Add a comment...

Ros Limbo

Ask an Editor  - 
 
My blog is about my struggle with depression. Someone mentioned that I should write something more mainstream. However I don't know if I will be able to write with as much enthusiasm if I write about something else. How do I make my blog reach a wider audience, while still writing something I relate to?
1
Julia Proud's profile photoBrittany Constable's profile photo
2 comments
 
If you want your blog to reach a wider audience, try to connect with other bloggers by participating in challenges, hops, tours, that sort of thing.  Community events are always a good way to spread the word.

Although most of the time these days, I think the only way to get a solid blog readership is to have started it at least five years ago, probably more like ten.  These days the action is on social media.
Add a comment...
 
Spent 5.5 hours writing today.  I'm working on my 2nd book:
Taking Off A Coat:
Ruminations on Transitioning.

This is what it felt like:
Yeah. 
Couldn't believe that much time went by. In the flow again:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

So awesome to feel this after so long not experiencing it. There were times in the 90s when I'd start writing round 6pm and the next time I looked at my screen there would be pages upon pages staring back at me and I had no clue that I'd written so much. Time stood still and sped up at the same time. 

That's how it was today. I feel so blessed to have recaptured my bliss.
3
Christopher Jennings Penders's profile photoShaneeka Minniefield's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Christopher Jennings Penders ,it's hard having to work while dreaming of writing the whole time, isn't it? That's the price we must pay. :0) All will be well.
Add a comment...
 
I have to say I'm a fan of #kindleunlimited  
I have book one of Tales of the Neverwar sitting at 99 cents/pence. Normally this would mean I get a huge 30 cents royalty, but with KU I get over a dollar. 
And for all you new authors out there, don't loose hope. It's taken me a while, but now I'm getting some sales. I have two books in the series out now, with the short prequel set as permafree.
Once book two came out my sales started to grow, not much, maybe one or two a day, but I'm chuffed. 
So, just keep on writing. I'm earning enough now to take my family out for a day out each month. That makes me smile.
4
Eduardo Suastegui's profile photocolin rutherford's profile photo
3 comments
 
Hey, I'll never be rich, but it's a great affirmation to get a bit of a return :)
Add a comment...

Albert Lanier

Business/Marketing  - 
 
NICKEL'S WORTH: A writer recently responded to a column I wrote here about the business side of freelancing by calling it "utterly insane."

     Interesting choice of verbiage here. Years ago, I probably would have sharply rebuked or severely tongue lashed anyone who drew such a conclusion.

     However, I was brought up in the world of what I now term "Traditional Freelancing" when I started writing professionally in 1994. Back then, trad freelancing was solely print based and if people knew who I was, it was because they had actually gone to the trouble of reading something I wrote in a newspaper or magazine.

     Was the business end of freelancing "insane" back then? I didn't think so. It was demanding,bone-crunching and intimidating perhaps but not a business lacking a sound mind.

     However, this era of what I term the "digital marketplace" for freelancers. I think I might have to agree that the business of freelancing has gotten a bit insane at times.

     For example, I question the idea of bidding for articles and projects. I never had to do that when I started and the whole idea seems like a race to the bottom for me. That to me seems insane.

     Publications-both online and in print-who don't pay freelancers but offer "exposure". The idea that you might be able to use an article you wrote for free as a sample for future work is logical but if you keep writing free article after free article allow you get are a bunch of samples that haven't gotten you anywhere. Your career could die of too much exposure. That to me seems insane.

     The fact that you now have to spend nearly as much time marketing and promoting yourself as a writer as you do actually writing stuff. That...well, you guessed it.

     The reason I always advise future freelancers to take either 3 or 6 months preparing by reading books, mags, watching online videos and learning as much about markets and the financial aspects of the business is that you have to hit the ground running when you get in this line of work.

     In the final analysis, some of the aspects of freelance business might seem insane but what's really crazy is trying to work in this field without the proper preparation and mindset.

     And I see our time is up...
3
Gregory Lynn's profile photo
 
So spending time marketing and promoting yourself as a writer is insane, but getting your research and writing time down to a limited amount is just something that's necessary to survive and be effective and chasing clients and money is just something you have to accept?

Sounds like someone is stuck in the old way of doing things.

I have neither bid for articles or projects nor ever been paid in exposure, yet I've built a nice little sideline that is making more than enough to pay for the covers and editing that my fiction career requires.

And what's more, in the new way of doing things, not the freelance side gig, but the time spent marketing and promoting yourself as a writer is building not a client list but an audience of people who are interested in what you have to say regardless of where it's published.

I know which one I'd rather have. You are, of course, free to disagree.
Add a comment...

Maria Rich

General  - 
 
I find it odd that this is STILL in the news. I think they are putting too much into this. Do you think authors should apologize? And for what would they be apologizing for? Doing their jobs and making characters you care about enough to warrant an apology? I don't think any true fans of HP are saying "Yeah that's right! You BETTER apologize!" Then why is the news still going on about it? Nothing better to write about?
Remember that time in 1998 when the world shaken by a violent battle and the fate of the globe hung in jeopardy?
1
Zdeněk Král's profile photoShaneeka Minniefield's profile photo
4 comments
 
Her characters found the sweet spot in the hearts of her readers. Their deaths felt like literal deaths. It's going to feel that way until someone else write something to take their minds off of it. It is also true that they have nothing else to talk about. :0)
Add a comment...

Kristyna Wollner

Covers (Blurbs, Marketing Text, Design, Art)  - 
 
Okay, so I wrote a book and decided to make my own book cover. I know that a lot of people think it's a bad idea so I just wanted to ask what do you think of this cover?
(The book is a paranormal romance with a bit of erotica and also a little humour.)
4
Jennifer Waddle's profile photoGeorge LeBlanc's profile photo
33 comments
 
I like it.  It makes me want to see her eyes.
Add a comment...

Bryce Anderson

Business/Marketing  - 
 
[UPDATE: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL I'M TALKING ABOUT]: I was absolutely sure the amzn.to links sorted out which market the user needed to be taken to.  But someone reported it's not working that way, I can't find any confirmation that it's supposed to work that way, and running my own tests doesn't show it working this way.  Everything below here is most likely wrong, and the bit.ly-produced URLs will just take everyone to the store mentioned in the unshortened link.

Mini-rant time, my authors!  Are you pushing people towards Amazon?  Do you find yourself posting dozens of links to different stores for every geographical region, or worse, suggesting to people that they replace the .com with the country code they need?

Stop that!  There is a better way.

Grab the Amazon URL for your book and paste it into http://bit.ly (a URL shortening service).  It will hand you back a shortened link http://amzn.to/SomeLinkCode.  When your readers click it, they'll be swept off to the geographical store that they need.

See?  Easier on everybody!
Bitly Brand Tools: Own, understand and activate your best audience through the power of the link.
10
1
Kia Zi Shiru's profile photoBryce Anderson's profile photoDL Keur's profile photo
13 comments
 
I guess one of the technical issues with redirecting would be that not every product is available on every market.  I've kept my book off the foreign markets where Amazon only offers the 35% royalty level, cuz screw them that's why.
Add a comment...

Chumi Sahler

Ask an Editor  - 
 
Is it a bad idea to change a major character into a villain? I have a character who acts like a father figure to the main character, but in the plot, he's actually helping the main villain. And then I'm also not sure about something else. I don't want to make him a permanent villain. I'm wondering, of I do make him a villain, should I make a scenario for him to turn back to the good side?
2
Matt Jenner's profile photoKristyna Wollner's profile photo
9 comments
 
I actually love it when the main character is a villain. It can be for example a mob leader or something. The best is when you add a really deep reason for why is the character evil and then in the end he's actually good. Get what I mean? I think that if you give him a sad love story it will be fine :D
Add a comment...
 
Okay, so if you post a blog or some kind of promotional material (like I've just done, announcing two new books) into your Profile and address it to your own Circles, there's an option to send emails to your Circle members, too. What's the thinking - the protocol or etiquette on this? It strikes me as crossing the line and almost spamming those people in your Circles. Or maybe I'm not quite understanding how the Circles thing works. I'm guessing +John Ward might be the guru on this... Thanks!
1
Eduardo Suastegui's profile photoGraeme Hague's profile photo
14 comments
 
+DL Keur You're right, and "flooding" is a key word, too. It comes back to the eternal problem of creating that visibility for your potential or target audience and letting it decide for itself whether your book is worth buying. I just ran a BKnights Fiverr promo and while I wasn't expecting huge results I did learn a new lesson... even highly-respected services like BKnights are now so over-subscribed by authors promoting their books that exposure is too brief. You're pushed aside by the next book advert within hours, if not minutes.
It's a two-edged sword. You reach a large and wide audience of readers, but the exposure is crowded and soon replaced by the next batch of promotions.
Head-scratching stuff...
Add a comment...

About this community

WDG is pioneering the way writers come together to discuss and interact with one another. Every writer needs a go-to place to find the support and resources needed to succeed. Any post or comment made in this community is public. Moderated by John Ward and some fantastic volunteers. We ask that you look over the Community Guidelines before posting. Help us continue to create an engaging environment by keeping out spam and link drops.
 
Any tips on writing short story synopses?

I think this is the first time I've ever been required to submit a synopsis of the story along side the manuscript submission itself. 

How can I describe my story in just a couple of sentences? A synopsis is a general overview of the story, right? It's not the same as a blurb or description, correct?
1
Ellen Joyce's profile photoDaniel Price's profile photo
2 comments
 
Okay, guys and gals, this is the draft of the synopsis I have right now. It feels like it's really clunky. What do you think?

I'll spare you a ridiculously long comment, so go here to read it: http://notepad.cc/share/UBFV3pRBSA
Add a comment...

Lencel Kate

Ask an Editor  - 
 
Hi,I'm an English fiction writer and I'm curious about something. The setting of my story is in one of the province of the Philippines. And my characters are Filipinos. I'm wondering if I should use common Filipino surnames or am I free to choose whatever surnames I want for my characters?
1
Lencel Kate's profile photoMichael Henry's profile photo
3 comments
 
You're welcome. :D
Add a comment...

Takara James

Covers (Blurbs, Marketing Text, Design, Art)  - 
 
what do you all think of the cover i desined for my upcoming short story Desire...Series of Ecstasy?
4
Aaron Crocco's profile photoGeorge LeBlanc's profile photo
5 comments
 
Personally, Takara, I like your picture.  At least you're doing something with your talent so keep at it.
Add a comment...
 
One of the ways I am getting back in true writing form, is developing a personal blog. It is still in its infancy, and I am not trying to spam or blatantly promote it. I just wanted to maybe get some advice on "writing when you just don't feel like writing"

The latest entry was more of a light-hearted piece on on how technology is becoming more and more integrated in our lives.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
1
1
Amy Knepper's profile photoBrittany Constable's profile photoAlbert Lanier's profile photo
4 comments
 
Accountability is the big thing for me.  I don't push myself too hard on blogging, but I did the A-Z Challenge last month and completed the entire thing on time.  Something about "There is a public record that I failed" makes me buckle down and get it done.
Add a comment...
 
Can anyone help me with Google Play settings? I'm trying out publishing one of my books on GP and the GUI insists my book can't go "Live" due to issues in the pricing settings. I've tried everything...
I have set a "World" setting with US Dollars so it should automatically match my Amazon pricing, even though I'm in Oz. It might be US tax information because of that and I have an EIN through Amazon. Do I need to fill out one of these forms again through the Google Play interface?
My bank account hasn't been verified yet. That'll take a few hours and I might as well wait for this, before contacting GP Help.
In the meantime, I'm simply asking if anyone else has encountered this glitch?
Cheers...
1
Jinger Jarrett's profile photoThomas Mcgann's profile photo
4 comments
 
Any other feedback on Book Tango?
Add a comment...
 
Question for anyone who write stories where their characters die: have you ever dealt with a real-life death? (also clarify if it was human or animal)

If so, how does it affect the way you handle fictional deaths? 

If not, where do you draw on for inspiration?
1
Simon Ericson's profile photo
7 comments
 
I do not yet have any stories written where characters die, but there are so many planned. Yes I have experienced very personal loss in my life. What it has changed is the depth I put into my writing. When you write you are, hopefully, bringing someone along on a journey, and that includes the grief and pain. It is impossible to reach with words those feelings if you haven't been there, but I still struggle for the way to best evoke those feelings, or feelings like them. 
Add a comment...

Jason Hein

Covers (Blurbs, Marketing Text, Design, Art)  - 
 
Alright, I am ready give everyone a look at the next draft in the cover for Arise to Fall. We are thinking this is the final draft but I want to run it by everyone to see if there is anything else anyone thinks needs improvement and/or changing.

Thanks!
1
Brooke Johnson's profile photoJason Hein's profile photo
9 comments
 
Thanks. 

This is my first time working with a cover designer on a Novel cover and as I said I personally liked the CG.  I didn't realize that it was not a popular option for books.

I just want to be sure I have a cover I am happy with but also something the readers will be happy with.
Add a comment...

Amy Knepper
owner

Featured Posts  - 
 
Elements by +Debbie Ratliff 

Aeris stood upon the hilltop overlooking the carnage occurring in the valley. As she watched the village burn, the peasants’ screams drew her breath away, as she tried to give them life. Anger filled her. She warned the others the village needed protection, but they assumed she was overreacting. One by one, the villagers refused her breath until there was no one left.

Outstretching her arms, a stream of glowing white light flowed from Aeris’ fingertips into the sky. Leaning against the Tree of Ages, she waited for the others.
 
Terra arrived first, her green and brown gown swirling within the vortex, flowers dropping onto the ground beneath her feet. Before she could ask why she was summoned, Aqua arrived. Waves of foam flew from the vortex before she appeared, smoothing the skirt of her shimmering sea green gown.

“What do you want Aeris? I was in the middle a dispute between those silly sea lions and the Orcas."

“Why did you call us?” Terra asked, then her normally tanned skin turned pale. She pointed toward the village. “What happened to them?”

“Exactly what I warned would happen. The warriors from the mountains attacked the village. Everyone is dead. They’re looting the village and setting fires as they move from house to house.”

Aqua spoke, her melodious voice low, “I didn’t think the warriors would do this.”

“I told you the breezes whispered their plans to me. We could have stopped this. The villages didn’t have to….”
 
Aeris stopped as two vortexes opened side by side. Flames escaped from one vortex as wind spiraled from the other. Ignis, her bright-red hair askew, snarled, “Ventus, can’t you control that power of yours." 

Ventus, her gray eyes flashing, snapped, “You don’t seem to mind my power when you need to spread your flames.”

“Stop it both of you.” Aeris threw up her hands, “Stop squabbling. Earthlings are dead because you didn’t listen.” 

The Five Elements stood on the crest of the hill under the Tree of Ages. The village below unknowingly kept their precious tree alive. It became a symbol of the village’s prosperity and was tended to with loving care.

As the enormity of what had befallen their caretakers sank in tears ran down their cheeks. Aqua voiced what they all thought. “We should have listened to you, Aeris. I suppose we were caught up in our own responsibilities, not paying attention.”

Ventus, her gossamer gray gown blowing about her, turned to Ignis. “Didn't you realize what was happening when the request for fire came to you?”

Flames appeared around Ignis as she shook her head. “I thought the warriors were planning a feast. I didn’t...”

“It’s too late for apologies. Now we must deal with this.” Aeris said. 

Terra nodded, “I will prepare the earth for the villagers’ arrival.”

Aqua said, “I will put out the fires.”

“No,” Aeris said, “First we deal with the monsters who did this.”

“I’ll take care of them,” Ventus said, “I was the one who thought you were exaggerating.” 

With Ventus in the middle, the Elements, air, water, wind, fire, and earth, linked hands, concentrating their powers. Ventus unleashed the wind and an enormous cyclone, growing as it descended upon the village, stuck the warriors, tossing them into the air, then throwing them toward the mountain and into oblivion.

Ventus generated such power, the Tree of Ages bent toward the ground in response. As the wind ceased, the Elements walked down the hill to attend to the dead.
~~~

Congrats to Debbie for winning this week's contest. I loved the variety of genres this week! Thanks to everyone who shared their creativity. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved the results of this experiment. I hope you'll join me again tomorrow for a new prompt.
 
Weekly Writing Exercise: April 27-May 3, 2015
This week's challenge is an environmental one: the wind must feature prominently in your story. You can use it as a character, as an event, or as a form of conflict. It's up to you! I can't wait to read what you all come up with.

RULES
Submissions or comments that don't follow the rules will be removed, no matter how awesome. Sorry. If you need to contact me to ask about the contest or comment about the photo, please tag me in a private post. Thank you!

1) All submissions must be added as a COMMENT to this post, not as new posts in this section (or anywhere else). 

2) All submissions (including your title) must be less than 600 words. In the case of a questionable word count, I will use Google Docs to verify.

3) Only include the title and text of your submission in your comment. Please don't add any questions, links, commentary, requests for feedback, etc. Stories only!

4) Your submission must be inspired by the attached photo. How you choose to do that is up to you. Feel free to be creative!

5) ANYONE CAN VOTE. Even if you don't write a story, PLEASE VOTE for your favorites! You can +1 as many entries as you like. 

6) Anyone can add their submission at any time in the contest period. However, the voting will be counted and a winner chosen on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.

7) Winners are chosen by +1 count. Just that simple. (Ties will be broken by sudden death cage match, or by a call for votes, whichever costs less money at the time.)

8) If you +1 your own submission, please also +1 at least one other submission.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers
-A chance to practice, practice, practice
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post.

If you ever come across a fun prompt idea, please tag me! I collect intriguing images and interesting text.

tl;dr: 600 words or less, story or poetry, related to the image, no commentary allowed, VOTE.

Have fun! Be creative!

#writingprompt #flashfiction
6 comments on original post
5
Daryl Hightower's profile photoVicente L Ruiz's profile photo
5 comments
 
+Mike Corey  Wow, that's amazing. Terrifying, but amazing.
Add a comment...
 
I've heard a lot about a sister community, where you can post your stuff for review. Anyone know where I can find it?
2
Jeff Ford's profile photoGregory Lynn's profile photo
2 comments
 
Also, there are a lot of helpful links over at the top right in the "About this community" box.
Add a comment...
 
I just realized - Caffeine is my no.1 writing app for the Mac. It prevents my screen from going dark on Scrivener while I ponder if I can fix chapter 20 or if I throw it away. #amwriting

Who am I kidding... Away with it!

Wait, I did like a million rewrites on that one, didn't I? What a waste if I threw it away.

(In case you're wondering, I can do that monologue for hours!)
4
Tom Ahrendt's profile photoCearnach Grimm's profile photo
3 comments
 
+Mark Feenstra Three hours seems sensible. ;-)
Add a comment...