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prompts-in-a-barrel · 3 hours ago
“You’re not supposed to be here.”
“What can I say, I’m a rebel.”
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minis21 · 7 hours ago
Writing Prompt 298
Look, you have no idea how this happened. You were out there with your son, shopping and dreaming of traveling, when this astronaut came with the insane rambling about the Federation scheduling your planet for destruction.
Like, what? The Federation would never do what!
Until Agents began swarming the streets attacking everyone in sight, taking everyone who could be taken with them and killing those that resisted.
Alright, now you believed them.
And now you followed them as they lead you to what could be safety for you and your son, while hoping to stop this destruction.
When you hoped to travel the worlds, you didn’t expect this, to be honest.
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sam-stevens-writes · 7 hours ago
Things I’m trying not to forget (3/?)
I can almost hear you sometimes. The voice in my head sounds like you when I do something that you'd laugh at. I roll my eyes when you would and mutter sarcastic comments at myself.
It's strange not to know you. You dyed your hair blonde; I got a tattoo. Previously we would have gone together and gotten milkshakes afterwards. I would have tried to dissuade you from the lactose and failed miserably. You would have complained later.
I unfollowed you on Instagram because I couldn't keep looking at pictures I should have been in. I would see you and want to comment. I love that dress on you. Your hair has gotten so long. We need to meet up again. I miss you. How do you talk to someone you don't know anymore? How do you tell them anything when you don't trust them to smile at you as you brush past?
I considered deleting your phone number as well. I could still do it, symbolically cut you out as much as I have done literally. It wouldn't work, really. I still know the number. Maybe that's why I couldn't do it.
It's strange that I don't trust you anymore. I can remember telling you everything, from my deepest fears to my dumbest thoughts. I try not to forget what it felt like to tell you those things, but I don't have a replacement so I do forget occasionally.
I think I idealise you more than I remember you. The friendship was toxic, ultimately. You were too selfish, and I was too far in the other direction to notice. I'm trying to be better, to remember to look after myself as well. I hope you'd be proud.
I don't want to talk to you anymore, or think about you as often as I do. I want to remember all the good and bad times when I'm older and stronger, leaving them behind for now. I don't know how to mourn our friendship. There was no big fight to be angry about or mutual discussion to feel at peace with. There's no closure, really. We closed the door and left without any type of acknowledgement.
Do you still think about me? Do you see my posts and wander how I'm coping? Do you want to comment like I do?
That colour suits you. Your hair looks great blonde. I haven't seen you for so long. I don't miss you anymore.
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illuminenadi · 8 hours ago
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“I love your knife in my back far more than I will ever love your arms around me. I love being proven right.”
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Person A: Did I hurt your feelings?
Person B: Um, no. I'm sorry, you made a good effort, but it’s against my religion to care about the opinion of a man.
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Person A: Which is stronger — my kicked puppy face or my sanity has snapped face?
Person B: Kicked puppy. Governments would go to nuclear warfare over that face.
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faeinthefog · 16 hours ago
Writing and Editing
Escape Pod is accepting short science fiction submissions until the end of May.
The Little, Brown Emerging Artist Award is accepting submissions from unpublished, unagented picture book creators until June 15. The winner will receive $1,500, receive a portfolio review, and will have their submission considered for publication.
Through June 2021, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is waiving fees for SFWA membership for Black writers. If you qualify for membership, are a Black writer, and would like to join the organization or renew your membership, please send an email to for more information.
Inclusive Future Magazine is accepting submissions of prose, poetry, art, and graphic design from trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer artists and writers until July 15. Selected contributors will be paid; pay amounts are available on the website.
The Ann Petry Award is accepting submissions of previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a minimum of 150 pages, by a Black writer. The awarded manuscript will be published by Red Hen Press, with its writer awarded $3,000, and a four-week residency at The Community Library’s Ernest and Mary Hemingway House in Ketchum, Idaho. Apply by July 30 for consideration.
Charlesbridge and TERC are seeking new picture book manuscripts for their “Storytelling Math” series. They are interested only in realistic, contemporary fiction featuring human characters of color, and are particularly interested in #ownvoices manuscripts by BIPOC authors. Manuscripts under 500 words work best for this series. Submit by August 1 for consideration.
Nerve Endings: Smut and Nerve Endings: Romance are accepting submissions of short fiction addressing trans and non-binary experiences of sex, sexuality, and relationships. Submissions for Romance are due by October 4 (extended).
AbleGamers is looking for pitches about disability in video games to be featured in their newsletter and on the AbleGamers website. Financial compensation available for accepted pieces.
(New York, NY) Abrams Press is seeking an Editorial Director and a Senior Editor.
(Park Ridge, IL) Albert Whitman & Co. is seeking an Editor.
Anathema Magazine is seeking poetry and cover art submissions from queer/two-spirit person of color/Indigenous/Aboriginal people.
Anime Feminist is looking for contributors. Read here for more information. Article writers will be paid $50 per article.
Anime News Network is seeking Freelance Editorial Contributors.
(Park Ridge, IL) Albert Whitman & Co. is seeking an Editorial Director.
(REMOTE – NY, NJ, CT) Algonquin Young Readers is seeking an Editorial Assistant. The person in this position will be working from home for the foreseeable future, although interested candidates must reside in either NY, NJ, or CT and able to commute to Workman’s office when it is once again safe to work in an office environment.
(New York, NY, currently REMOTE) The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) seeks a Managing Editor, an editorial leader who will manage the day-to-day production and operations of the Workshop’s award-winning digital literary magazine The Margins.
Autostraddle is seeking personal essays, feature stories, and article submissions on fashion and beauty, sex and relationships, humor, and investigative journalism, particularly from butch/masculine-of-center women, people of color, people over age 45, and trans women.
(New York, NY) Basic Books is seeking an Associate Editor.
beestung is accepting submissions from non-binary and two-spirit writers. Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrids, and art with intracommunity sensibilities are welcome. Contributors will be paid a $20 honorarium.
Black Rainbow accepts pitches from LGBQTI people of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and pays $150 for selected articles.
Carnation Books is accepting submissions of f/f historical romance of at least 50,000 words from fanfiction authors.
(New York, NY) Catapult is seeking an Editorial Assistant. REMOTE applicants will be considered.
CBR is seeking experienced writers to write on comic book news, analyses, and movie and tv show casting news.
(San Francisco, CA) Chronicle Books is seeking an Assistant Managing Editor.
(New York, NY) Clarkson Potter is seeking a Senior Editor for the cookbook team.
Clarksworld Magazine is looking for fiction and nonfiction contributors and pays up to $0.10 per word.
(Minneapolis, MN) The Coffee House Press (CHP) board of directors is seeking an Executive Director and Publisher.
Online monthly magazine The Dark is accepting submissions from 2000 to 6000 words in length. Encouraged genres include horror and dark fantasy, but graphic, violent horror is not desired. Payment is $0.06/word for up to 6000 words. Republishing payment is $0.01/word.
The Deadlands, a new monthly speculative fiction magazine, is accepting short fiction submissions of up to 5000 words and pays $0.10/word.
The Drinking Gourd is accepting pitches from Black Muslims. They accept work across all genres with a particular fondness for Afrofuturism and speculative fiction. All contributors are paid a $50 flat rate.
(New York, NY) Flatiron Books is seeking an Editorial Assistant.
(New York, NY) Henry Holt is seeking an Editorial Assistant.
(New York, NY) Holiday House is seeking an Editorial Assistant to support editors, review submissions, write copy, and help keep the editorial department functioning smoothly.
Interstellar Flight Press is accepting submissions of essays, book-length nonfiction manuscripts, and BIPOC novellas.
Interlude Press has reopened to submissions.
(New York, NY) Kevin Anderson & Associates is seeking a Senior Editor.
(New York, NY) Knopf Doubleday is seeking an Associate Editor and an Editorial Assistant.
(New York, NY) Kokila is seeking a Publishing Assistant to report to both the Publisher and Art Director to provide administrative, editorial, and design support all while coordinating with various departments in the division, agents, authors, and illustrators.
(REMOTE, New York tri-state area preferred) Lee & Low Books is seeking an Editorial Assistant.
(Minneapolis, MN) Lerner Books is seeking an Associate Editor/Editor of YA Nonfiction.
“Love Like Mine,” an ongoing column in Xtra, is seeking essays about queer love in all its forms – romantic, familial, platonic, and more.
(New York, NY) Macmillian Adult Trade Division is seeking two Associate Managing Editors and a Senior Managing Editor.
New Naratif welcomes pitches from freelancers in Southeast Asia (or from the Southeast Asian diaspora) about stories and issues that matter to Southeast Asia and Southeast Asians. Submissions may include research, journalism, comics, videos, podcasts, etc..
(New York, NY) One World, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is seeking a Senior Editor.
Outside Magazine is looking for pitches of personal essays on The Oregon Trail video game for its 50th anniversary, particularly ones that explore the game’s cultural influence. The rate is $0.50 per word. Send pitches to
(New York, NY) Penguin Press is seeking an Editorial Assistant.
(New York, NY) Penguin Random House Publisher Services is seeking an Editor or Senior Editor to oversee manga titles on behalf of their client, Kodansha. They’re also seeking an Associate Editor to join their Crown imprint.
(New York, NY) Penguin Workshop is seeking an Editor to acquire and develop Middle Grade and early YA fiction.
(White Plains, NY) Peter Pauper Press is seeking a full-time, experienced Editor.
POMEgranate Magazine is accepting pitches from artists and writers.
(New York, NY) Vintage Books and Anchor Books is seeking an Editorial Assistant.
(Princeton, NJ) Princeton University Press is seeking an Editorial Assistant to support two editors in the acquisition, development, and publishing of distinctive and outstanding books in history. They will serve as a liaison both between authors and the Press, and between departments within the Press.
(New York, NY) Quarto Books is seeking a Senior Editor.
(New York, NY) Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing, is seeking an Editorial Assistant.
Scholastic Canada is currently interested in reviewing Indigenous material in all genres and at all levels. No other unsolicited submissions are being accepted at this time.
The SFWA blog is open to nonfiction submissions that might be of interest to new and/or established writers of science fiction and fantasy.
(Boulder, CO or REMOTE) Shambhala Publications is seeking a Senior Designer.
(New York, NY) St. Martin’s Press is seeking a Senior Editor to acquire and edit lead titles, significantly profitable fiction and nonfiction books, and adult and young adult (especially Own Voices) titles.
(New York, NY) Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, is seeking an Adult Editorial Director.
Strange Horizons is seeking First Readers and Article Editors. Positions are volunteer and unpaid. They’re also accepting poetry submissions from Trans/GNC writers.
The Temper is seeking written works, particularly from marginalized writers, that relate to sobriety, addiction, or recovery.
Three-Lobed Burning Eye is seeking original speculative short stories and flash fiction. Accepted authors of short stories will receive $100 and for flash fiction authors will receive $30.
(Portland, OR) Timber Press is seeking an Acquisitions Editor.
We Need Diverse Books is seeking blog volunteers with experience writing for an audience or an interest in interviewing authors about their work. The position is unpaid.
(New York, NY) Workman Publishing is seeking a Director of Children’s Publishing and an Editorial Assistant.
(New York, NY) Zeitgeist is seeking an Acquisitions Editor and an Editor.
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catharticallysarcastic · 18 hours ago
No Pain, No Gain - Chapter 19
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Genre: romance I erotica I adult fiction
Word count: excerpt - 300 full - 1635
Chapters: 19/?
Warnings: explicit sexual content, strong language, blood, PTSD, character death, war, wounds, scars, alcohol, cigarette, drugs, public sex (more might be added later)
He could kill for a cigarette now for some reason. He yawned, watching her tracing the lines of his body, the tattoos, touching every scar. It was one of the most relaxing experience he's had in a good while, just seeing her so calm, her soft body flushed against him, her feet wrapped in those stupid socks she'd never get rid of, pressing against his ankle. He didn't want to fall asleep but as silence fell over them, his eyelids became heavier and heavier.
“What about her?” Jameson glanced down at her, her eyes trained on the angel over the left side of his chest. “Who is Celeste?” She asked, brushing the lines of the wings blurring into his Jormungandr tattoo and covering one of his worst scars over his shoulder and arm.
“She's the girl telling you it's time to sleep or you'll kick my ass in the morning that I still wouldn't get you home by the end of the day.” He took her by the elbow and pulled her up.
“Don't do it, Dais.” He caught her wrist. She didn't want to go there and nor did he. He couldn't talk about Celeste now... How her life, her death was on him... How it was his fault she was gone... He couldn't see the realization hitting Daisy that he was everything they've told and even worse. He couldn't see her understanding just what a waste of air he was. No, he just wanted a good night sleep with her in his arms, just enjoy this rare moment that would likely never be repeated again. “We have to start out early,” he mumbled, wrapping his arms around her body, eyes already closing. His baggages were not hers to carry, they were only his.
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kd-holloman · 22 hours ago
Okay, writerblr, I need opinions (if you please).
I'm writing a horror short story and am doing it as a flashback. It starts off in first person present tense. My questions for you are:
1. Should I do the flashback in first person past tense (because y' know, it's a flash back) like in the picture. Or is it too jarring? I can keep it in present tense throughout.
2. Should I add a page break of some sort to indicate the change? (I put the blue line there to get a feel for it)
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Thank you all for your time! And if you want to be added to the tag list (it's about flesh eating cows) let me know!
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animezinglife · 22 hours ago
I love experiencing how much your own manuscript/work-in-progress can change over time. It’s fun to write characters whose roles start shaping into something bigger and better than you’d imagined.
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Actually making fun of literally anything that has a deep message for being “edgy” is pretty stupid and kind of harmful, and can even ruin your ability to take your own feelings seriously. And actually you’re allowed to make things that are Edgy and Say A Lot About Society and actually you should because art is good, actually
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prompts-in-a-barrel · a day ago
“Can’t you just do what I ask?”
“I’m not befriending a werewolf just so you can manipulate her better.”
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Writeblr Introduction (even though I’ve been here for 6 years oops)
Hi folks! I’ve been posting writeblr content to this blog for over 6 years, but haven’t done a formal introduction since my very first post! So here we go!
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(Image description: a photo of a pale blue to orange sunset above a field of green plants and trees that line an embankment. Written on the sky in a green serif font reads “rachel’s writeblr intro” /end ID)
About Me
I am a 19-year-old (nearly 20 oml) writer from Toronto!
I started this blog, Coffee and Calligraphy, when I was 13, and have posted ever since!
I love: green tea, true crime, highlight bloom (lol)
I am also: an artist, a guitarist, a graphic designer, a photographer, and a YouTuber (I make writing vlogs, craft vids, book cover design speedpaints, and more)!
My writing background
I’ve been writing for 7 years. I started writing YA dystopian but now primarily write adult literary fiction (though I do have a few genre WIPs in the works). I also write and publish poetry.
I’ve written 10 books and am at work on the eleventh (and twelfth, and thirteenth, oops)!
I will be entering my third year as a creative writing undergrad at a Canadian university in the fall.
My writing has been published in magazines across Canada such as Minola Review, Grain Magazine, The Malahat Review, Augur Magazine, carte blanche, filling Station (forthcoming) and elsewhere!
Just a reminder: This is my original work and plagiarism of any form will not be tolerated.
Feeding Habits
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(Image description: a photo of 8 sheep in a field positioned toward a tree line with the text “Feeding Habits” written in an all-caps cream serif font on top /end ID)
Feeding Habits is my eleventh novel, and the second book of the Moth Work series, which is a spinoff of my six-book series, Fostered.
Genre: Adult literary fiction/contemporary/romance/LGBTQ+
POV: Third person, present tense.
Status: Currently drafting
Logline: Lonan, stuck in a toxic relationship, and Harrison, disappointed by his New York City restart, find themselves on separate trajectories toward inevitable isolation until Lonan finds purpose in helping out an old friend, and Harrison realizes his dull reboot could be revitalized if he seeks out what—or who—is missing.
You can read more about it HERE, where all the writing updates are linked.
Seventh Virtue
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(Image description: a photo of two ravens in profile, each facing the other with the text “Seventh Virtue” written in a navy blue all-caps serif font on top /end ID)
Seventh Virtue is my thirteenth novel (if I do finish it!) and an alternate-reality spinoff of the Fostered series. So, the same characters, but in a different world!
Genre: Adult urban fantasy
POV: Third person, present tense.
Status: Currently drafting
Logline: After being tormented by nightmares of his ex-lover Lonan, Harrison seeks a magical intervention from old friend, Reeve. When she reveals she and Lonan are members of the Seventh Roost, one of seven magical families that coincide with the 7 Virtues and 7 Capital Sins, she also unveils another secret: Lonan is part Virtue, the immortal bird that represents each house, and her family is holding him captive in hopes of extrapolating his power. Harrison must choose to continue life as he knows it or rekindle relationships he thought he’d left behind to save someone he once loved.
She is Also Dead
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(Image description: a photo of a woman in a pool floating face-up with the text “She is Also Dead” written in a white all-caps serif font on top /end ID)
She is Also Dead is my twelfth book and my first short story collection.
Genre: Adult literary fiction, short fiction
Status: Currently drafting, 14 stories
Logline: In SHE IS ALSO DEAD, a small town turns murderous when their local invasive species, the Janices, begin dying. A child struggles to understand her mother’s suicide. A mother acknowledges her daughter’s homicidal tendencies after her backyard chickens mysteriously die, and a murderous brother and sister upkeep their yearly tradition of abducting a young girl. These stories follow characters who navigate death, violent impulses, womanhood, and loss, both self-imposed and otherwise.
If you’d like to keep updated on my short stories, I tag all relevant posts HERE.
That’s it for me! Welcome if you’re new here, and hello again if you’ve been here for a while! Look out for new content soon.
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A new project.
Because the first one wasn’t working. Writing journey #3.
Tue 30/03/2021 - ‘Bay Tree’ Word Count: 42,150 07.27 Hello! So I established in my last writing update that I was taking a break from my WIP ‘Bay Tree’, to return May 10th, and even though I’m not writing today, I just wanted to say that taking a break feels amazing. I’m focusing on reading (granted, I’ve been reading House of Earth and Blood for like two weeks) and it’s really helping ideas for edits develop. 
In my draft, I got to chapter 13 (I think) of twenty-something (because I didn’t fully outline the climax, so I’m unclear as to how many chapters there will ultimately be) but I just don’t think I can get all the way through a draft without first doing some developmental edits. So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to note the changes I think I could make, then figure out which ones I won’t implement, then how I will implement the others on May 10th.
In the meantime, this Thursday, I’m going to start working on a new WIP, which I have quite a clear idea for, but obviously need to develop the plot. So that’s it for today, and I’ll update again for my new project on Thursday April 1st.
Thu 01/04/2021 09.54 It is Thursday! I’m free for a couple weeks! Which means it’s time to start working on a new project. My goal for the day is just to compile some of the various ideas I have into something vaguely cohesive, then I’ll develop it tomorrow, and hopefully make a skeletal outline on Saturday, scene block on Sunday... I’m going to shut up before I set myself a thousand insane deadlines, but I’d like to have started a draft by the end of my free time. So, let’s go.
Wow. Blank documents really are intimidating, aren’t they?
13.04 I already had my core concept, but now I have almost a justification for it--why it happens, and I think I want to build up my world first, then characters, because knowing the world and its various peoples will allow me to figure out how exactly they fit in and develop their motivations, then finally do the plot. I’ll only work out the three characters I’m currently certain will be integral for the plot, because I don’t want to waste time on developing characters who are ultimately unnecessary, like I did in the earliest days of Bay Tree. 
Basically, with a world, I can work out motivations; with motivations, I can work out characters, and with characters, I can create a character-driven plot. I want to focus on creating both lovable characters and a memorable plot--I know all my favourite books have memorable characters, but the ones I enjoy the absolute most are the ones where it doesn’t feel like the plot only exists to drive the characters into relationships (I’m looking at you, Cassandra Clare. Seriously, I love Shadowhunters books, but the technically ‘main’ plots always feel second to the subplots).
Fri 02/04/2021 08.16 Honestly, didn’t get too much done yesterday. Mostly because I ended up down a rabbit hole of researching (though I do think what I learned will help me to form my world), and I was busier than I expected to be. Regardless, I think I want to make this a series. I have a feeling Bay Tree is also going to become at least two books when I revisit it, but I’m going to go into this one with that intention.
Obviously I don’t know how long it will be right now, but I think I’m going to aim for three books, then let it shape itself.
12.25 I just spent an hour writing out a history of the world and how it got to where it is. This is really fun, but really intense.
16.36 So, I have a rough plot in mind. I have an ending, a catalyst, a backstory for the world, and a few characters. And a lot of things that need names. I waited a really long time to name my characters in Bay Tree, thinking they’d be easier to name when I had then conceptualised, which makes sense, but I’d given them numbers with which to refer to them until that point, so it was a long time before my protagonist became her actual name instead of just ‘3′, despite the fact she technically became 2 because I had to cut 1.
Anyway, going to pick names, then let nominative determinism do its thing.
Jesus, I have no good male names. I keep a list of names, first and last, I like for use, but I have so many more female ones than I do male.
In Bay Tree, I used MBTIs as a starting point for personalities, which I’m planning to do here, especially since I know the types so much better now, but I want names first.
Maybe I just ought to choose this specific character’s surname first. Maybe he goes by his surname, or some variation thereupon (like how Daniel Arlington from Ninth House goes by Darlington).
Maybe he doesn’t need a name. Maybe we literally just call him Hero Guy.
God, screw this. He’s Hero Guy until either it comes to me, or I have no choice but to name him.
Sat 03/04/2021 11.15 I feel like crap today. I’ve been doing nothing for three hours, and I, quite frankly, need to get something done. So I’m going to write.
12.41 Wow, initial development really is the hardest bit of the process, huh?
Sun 04/04/2021 08.04 I’d really like to do more worldbuilding first, and character development, but it’s difficult when I don’t know the different parts’ roles. So, today, I’m going to attempt to outline the primary plot points of the three books. Attempt being the operative word here.
13.41 Honestly, yeah, I’m struggling with the plot. I think I managed to get Bay Tree’s plot so fast when I sat down to actually write it because it had been on my brain for a couple weeks, whereas I literally started this project three days ago.
Maybe that’s how I’ll handle this--when I hit a wall with one project, I work on the other to give myself some distance. Working on Bay Tree requires less thought anyway, because that plot’s already mostly figured out. Yeah. I think I’m going to revisit Bay Tree, but for reference’s sake, I’m going to dub the new project... eh... the first thing that came to mind was ‘Feather President’ which is more related to the actual content than ‘Bay Tree’, but it sounds so much crazier. I want to dub it something that actually could be a title, even if it definitely won’t be the final title, because I don’t want people to look at my blog, see ‘Feather President’ in the pinned post and immediately assume I’m insane.
Could always just use an acronym. Let’s go with FSB; those are one of the character’s (also the only character who so far has a name) initials, which may ultimately change, but it works for now. Bay Tree and FSB.
I’m going to end this particular writing stint here and come back in a couple hours, at which point I’m going to switch back to Bay Tree.
I should really stop planning so far ahead when my plans will inevitably change.
15.40 So here’s the plan I currently have that I definitely won’t stick to: at the start of each week, I’ll determine which project I work on (operating Monday-Sunday; if you think the week starts any day but Monday, you’re wrong, and I’m not sorry), and only work on that project throughout the week. So I’ll work on Bay Tree this week, and FSB next week.
I’m going to let myself work on a project for more than one week at a time, but I think I’m going to say I can only work on one for three consecutive weeks before I have to switch to the other. This seems like a good way to stay excited. Yes.
This second? Not completely sure. Might just go read and deal with it tomorrow.
Mon 05/04/2021 - ‘Bay Tree’ 11.37 Actually really glad I just sat down and read--I read about 200 pages yesterday in total, which meant I could easily finish the last 100 pages this morning. So I finished Starsight (the recent reads post will probably be up by the time this one is)--was anyone aware the A Court of Silver Flames paperback is £24 on Amazon? Anyone?
Anyway, we’re returning to Bay Tree today, after nearly two weeks (I know that’s not even long), and I’m going to attempt to implement my edits, by which I mean I’m going to put scene changes at the bottom in brackets, then technically implement them when I redraft.
Tue 06/04/2021 - ‘Bay Tree’ 09.11 I didn’t exactly accomplish much yesterday. I spent a good few hours just watching YouTube, because I didn’t have any motivation to do work, which screwed up my schedule, and I did no writing aside from transferring my list of edits from my phone to my document. I started reading Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater, but didn’t get very far in--I’m obsessed with Stiefvater’s writing style; it’s the perfect mix between typical prose and fairytale-style storytelling. Anyway.
I’m going to switch to a new Scrivener project for the sake of cleaning it up--Bay Tree is a hot mess right now--and hopefully begin to implement my edits--maybe not today, but certainly this week.
Thu 08/04/2021 - ‘Bay Tree’ 16.53 So I haven’t yet had a day where I’ve done nothing (since my break finished), but the last couple days I’ve just been doing tiny amounts of what I’m calling ‘reference pruning’, where I’m just editing and clarifying character, worldbuilding and location documents. I’ve ‘pruned’ five character references, and I hate it. It needs to be done, but it doesn’t need to be done now. I’ve decided I’m just going to completely clear out the new Scrivener project I started for Bay Tree, and add stuff to it as it becomes necessary. I’m going to make notes of overarching edits (stuff I can’t just note at the bottom of a scene), and just get started with draft 1.7, adding and editing references as it becomes necessary. I’m also going to say I just need to spend an hour writing a day, rather than a word minimum.
Okay. Edits established. Things to bear in mind established. I need to go through the character profile for the POV character in chapter one, then we can get started. Or rather, I’ll get started tomorrow, because I need to go cook soon, and even if I do have time after dinner, I’m not going to, because I’m going to read then. Okay. Character.
I’m getting excited again!
Oh, and the setting. I need to do the setting document.
I’d like to draw attention tot he fact one of my character documents describes her as having ‘black upturned gold eyes.’ 
Clearly I couldn’t pick a colour, but now I’m inspired to give her heterochromia.
Character done, and setting undone, but I need to go cook now, so I’ll pick this back up tomorrow, when I may also do some actual work.
I just hope these posts give someone security in that writing is a messy process, and you don’t have to be perfect all the time to be a) competent, and b) a writer. I’m a competent writer, and I’ve only ever written about 60% of a draft. But I’m still going, still trying, and that’s the point.
Fri 09/04/2021 - ‘Bay Tree’: 484 words 09.15 Okay. So we’re redrafting, and this is like my fourth draft of the first chapter, so let’s just go.
Sun 11/04/2021 - ‘Bay Tree’: 576 words 09.01 Yeah, I missed yesterday. Ironically, having time off seems to be making productivity more difficult, despite the fact I actually have time for it. 
09.19 I feel like this project is making me stagnate. I think what I have is almost subconsciously tying me down, preventing me from improving, but I don’t want to just restart, because I want my bases, and it’s so ingrained in my head, I can’t physically start from scratch. Crap.
I think it needs to sit for longer. Crap.
It’s alright. I mean, it sucks, but it’s alright. It’s not like there’s any ideal age to become an author anyway, and I’m a long way off the average. I have time, and if it takes shelving projects now to complete better ones later, so be it. Maybe I’ll return to Bay Tree in a few weeks, or a few months, or a few years, or never, but I’ve learnt a lot from it.
So we move on.
Mon 12/04/2021 - FSB 08.05 This post is such a mess. I’m a mess at the moment. Today, we’re just continuing to work on FSB’s plot, and I think I’m already going to change the name of the character whose initials are FSB, so its nickname will probably change, too.
I had a trilogy in mind, but looking at it now, I think a duology will be best to convey the arc I have in mind.
21.51 I’ve actually accomplished quite a lot today--I’ve mostly been doing character profiles, but that helps me form tidbits to add to the story, which I can eventually string together. We’re progressing.
Tue 13/04/2021 - FSB 08.37 Hello! I think I can safely come to the conclusion I prefer development to actual drafting. Anyway, today I’m going to focus on completing the character profile for my other protagonist and do a little more work on another important figure. Then, I hope to be able to figure out the drive of the main plot in book one.
On another note, I am debating whether to plan out two books or three. Mulling it over, I think three books would give a more fulfilling arc, but it depends if I can work out enough content for the main plot. We’ll see.
Yeah, it’s going to be three. Two just can’t carry the impact I want.
20.00 I made pretty good progress today, but I just wanted to make the point I’m a lot more confident this project will hold my interest for longer than Bay Tree. This was something ruminating in the back of my mind for weeks, that I was desperate to write, where Bay Tree was very much a ‘sit down, make something up’ process at the beginning. Anyway, I think I’m done writing for the day, and I’ll get back to this tomorrow. (Because unlike most writers, I have a functional sleep schedule)
Wed 14/04/2021 09.19 Honestly, my head is empty right now, so I really need to open my project before determining what I want to do today.
Okay, so we’re basically just going to continue filling in holes.
14.50 Working out the plot, I’m pretty confident I’ve got the A plot covered, which the B plot will fit into, but I need more subplots.
Thu 15/04/2021 10.12 I want to work this one out mostly on the fly. I have nearly the whole of book one plotted out, but I want to work out the fine details as I write it; as I go, I’ll add more detail to my outlines of two and three. But for now, book one.
15.28 I’ve got basically the whole of book one covered; there’s just a gaping hole in act one, that I’m not sure I can fill. I mean, I can fill it, and I will, but I don’t feel like it’ll be that intentional of a thing. I think it’ll be more of an accidental idea that happens to flourish, but I’m going to keep working nonetheless.
Fri 16/04/2021 14.08 Good afternoon! I would’ve started writing earlier, but I wanted to catch up on the reading I didn’t do yesterday to make sure I finish A Court of Silver Flames within a week, so I can return the ebook and get a refund, because, despite being £6 cheaper than the paperback, it still cost me £8, and I want my money back. (Seriously, the paperback is fourteen pounds on amazon. Which is nearly twenty dollars. Which is pretty standard for a hardback, but it’s the paperback.) I’m about ten pages off meeting my minimum for the day (though I need to surpass that if I do want to finish it within a week), but it’s writing time.
14.37 I’m still establishing how, exactly, it applies, but I think I’ve solved it!
Definitely happy that as I’m planning, all I want is to make the characters happy, because I already love them so much. But they don’t get to be.
I have a section on a Pinterest board that’s just called ‘Simping’, and is just pictures of couples doing cute as shit things, and I literally just want my characters to dance together. Always. In Bay Tree, in FSB. Just dancing.
15.04 I have book one covered. It still needs development, scene development, but I can now move on to outlining book two, during which I’ll continue to develop one, integrate themes and such. 
Honestly, the plot falling into place is absolutely the most exciting part of writing. I get an adrenaline rush (yes, while sitting in a chair, typing), I start to love the characters, the world, the story... ahhhh.
I’m actually really satisfied with how the plot seems to be going.
16.44 The word ambiguous has too many Us in it. Three vowels in a row??? And the vowel sequence is a palindrome?? Don’t want it. 
I’m just sat here discovering new music. And it’s all so good and so dramatic and so perfect.
Okay, why do I have to come up with ideas so easily when I don’t need them? Then when I do I have nothing?
17.51 And just to clarify now, this post will actually end with Sunday the 18th, because after that I’m going to take three weeks completely off writing (aside from noting ideas), because I have a lot going on, then I’ll return on May 10th.
Note to self: develop a character who isn’t one of your two protagonists.
Sat 17/04/2021 10.23 I’m thinking I ought to do a more in-depth outline of book one before doing the basis of book two. Help me set up subplots and so on. Yanno, because other characters need some kind of agency, and I currently basically have two characters.
Sun 18/04/2021  08.52 I managed to plot out Bay Tree so fast because I’d already done so much development--plot was the only thing I was still missing. Anyway, I’m having a minor crisis. I think I’m a plotter, but I’m not entirely certain. It clearly didn’t work for Bay Tree. I think I may just start a draft of FSB now, and hope that lets me work out the other two books as I go.
In one of my excessive plans I will probably fail to stick to: I think I’d like to write a draft of the whole trilogy, all the way through, before even editing book one. I’ll obviously make notes of edits as I go, write as if I’ve already made them, eg. if, while writing book two, I have an idea for a book one edit, I’ll write book two as if I’ve already implemented it, which means I’ll have a little less editing to do of book two.
I have this all planned out in my head, but I’m probably being overambitious. We’re staying optimistic, though. I don’t believe in manifesting, but we’re manifesting.
14.23 I want to say I tried. I got a few details for the first couple chapters, but when I opened a doc to actually write it... nope. I need an outline to have a starting point. I just need detail.
Scene blocking sucks. But then I can’t write without it, so what can you do?
And I guess that wraps up this update. Writing this section, I’m about halfway through the writing break, and I have so many more ideas for this project. I was excited for Bay Tree because it was the first time I really made progress, but I’m excited for this one because I genuinely love this story. This post is going up May 14th, at which point I’ll be back to writing, and the next update should come mid to early June. 
And that’s a wrap.
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minis21 · a day ago
Writing Prompt 297
Picture this.
A person walking down a imense field, wet grass, high until it reaches their ankles, drenching their shoes, behind them a great and amazing storm cloud following then, small drops of rain foreshadowing the oncoming great storm. On their left side, civilization fights against nature, factories and skeletons of building in active contriuction slowly overtaking the greenery.
What is his story? Why is he on the field? Where is he going or what is here walking away from?
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kiingocreative · a day ago
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The following is an excerpt from The Structure of Story, available now at
Some disruptions give rise to an inner conflict by presenting a new path that conflicts with an existing one. A character may have been in the middle of the race of a lifetime, for instance, but an unexpected revelation that a loved one is in immediate danger may pull them to quit the race prematurely and go to their loved one.
In these instances, we want to show the character debating both possible paths. Dramatizing this debate is important because it shows us that this isn't an easy choice for the character to make. By highlighting that it's not an easy choice, we're emphasizing the fact that the character will ultimately be sacrificing something of value (by either giving up something good or paying the price associated with choosing the lesser of two evils).
We need to see that this choice is a sacrifice in order to heighten the drama. We need to see that the character could have made the other choice. If we don't see the contemplation, the decision may seem trivial (which will kill the drama and consequently any interest).
Use Action in Dramatization
Our initial instinct about how to dramatize inner conflict may be to show a character sitting and thinking intensely. After all, inner conflict is the state of having two desires that can't both be achieved. This makes sense since inaction is generally how we approach inner conflict in our own lives. In drama, however, inaction is boring.
To maintain audience engagement and drama, we want to show a character struggling as they work toward both desires at the same time—whipping back and forth from one desire to the other. The whiplash itself provides interest and further proves to demonstrate the depth of the inner conflict.
Let's say a character is internally conflicted about whether she wants to go on a date with a man she met at a local café. To dramatize this internal conflict, we want to show her taking action toward the date and then taking action to cancel the date. First she begins to call his number but then immediately hangs up before he answers.
After a couple of moments to calm her nerves, she calls again. She suggests a date for tomorrow night and he enthusiastically agrees. But then she decides against it and invites her brother. He's clearly disappointed but says it's a great idea. She decides she wants the date again so she asks him to bring someone else so that it's a double-date. She says, "See you later, buddy," and hangs up. Notice the unspoken battle within her. She jumps back and forth between her conflicting desires.
To dramatize internal conflict, we want to show a character pursuing both conflicting desires at the same time, quickly alternating between paths. By dramatizing the internal conflict, we're highlighting that this isn't a trivial choice. We're emphasizing that the character will be making a sacrifice by making a decision.
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prompts-in-a-barrel · 2 days ago
“What do you want?”
“Just checking in. Are you okay? You haven’t breached containment since last Tuesday.”
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