Word Prompt Wednesday: Rug (2/01/19)

the fiction cafe

The Aim: Write a piece of flash fiction of any genre under 750 words. It must include the word shown in the prompt below.

49211128_10155943530645848_3342406647111745536_o

The flames had started to die down on the fire in the centre of the pit, surrounded by logs used as makeshift seats. Silvania had been camped here for 2 weeks now waiting for the war to start, for the enemy to make itself known. She got up and made her way through the mud clogged field to her tent, been the Princess Royale her tent was the biggest to be found, surrounded by guards even when she was not in it. She entered through the curtain and removed the fur lined boots careful not to splash mud on the plush rugs which lined the floor.
The tent was warm enough, something she was grateful for given that the first flurries of light snow had started to fall earlier in the evening. Silvania knew that the rest of the army were getting restless, they had decided to come and set up the war-camp early to prepare for the winter weather and get themselves in a position which held the best advantages. As the first female commander of the Army and Elite Guard she knew that even more eyes watched her, to see how this played out. Many of the men under her leadership struggled accepting that she would know better, a mere female in the world of men.
Silvania knew what she was doing, knew what they thought of her but as daughter of the King they could hardly argue with his decisions. She had a lot to prove and she was thankful for the Counsel that guided her, that trusted her. Spies had returned early with the news that the opposing forces had moved even closer, not stopping for rest or sleep. They would be here in less than a day. She had told her army to rest, sleep and prepare for battle. Now it was a waiting game.
Silvania’s Elven magic stirred, she had spent the last few weeks learning how to control it better, to stretch it and make it more powerful. She already knew that she was the most powerful Elf in the continent, she far surpassed her father, that is why he hadn’t objected to sending her. Silvania had trained with the elite guard since the age of 6 years, she had 20 years of training with them, refusing to play the part of a traditional Princess, all Silvania cared about was protecting her City, her people, her fathers land. War had never come to these lands before but a new power had taken root in the South, pushing North wards they had captured and taken over many of the large cities and provinces on the way here, to try to conquer the North.
There would be little sleep for her this night, instead she took comfort in knowing that the people who she surrounded herself with would rest, would be strong and well rested for the battle that laid ahead.
After a fitful night, Silvania had dressed quickly ready for the battle ahead. The scouts had returned an hour ago, the enemy only a few hours from the camp. Soldiers were dressed and ready, the horses were all armored ready for their riders. The healers had readied the medi-tents at the back of the camp. Now it was a waiting game. Silvania summoned that magic from deep within and left it resting near the surface. Less than 2 hours later the horizon broke with dark figures who marched towards them. Silvania moved to the front-line and stood at the centre between the two most powerful elite guards. She raised her hands to the sky and channeled the magic within. The blast of shadows hit the ground in front of the Army heading towards them and split the ground in two. Silvania smirked as she turned and shouted to charge.

 

If you would like to have a go at the word prompt and write your own piece of flash fiction or poetry then please do so, feel free to share it in the comments or tag me in your blog post, I would love to have a read:)

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

Advertisements

Guest Post: Megg Geri {10 Steps to Revising Your First Draft}

I am extremely honoured to be hosting this guest post from Megg. I have been a fan of hers for some time now and follow not just her blog but her advice and book club.

Megg Geri is the author of Write A Novel In 30 Days and also owns Megg & Co Editorial Boutique.

Today Megg is sharing her tips on what to do when you’ve finished the first draft of your novel.

*****************************************

Wow! You’ve finished your first draft. How amazing? How scary? How much hard work did that take? You’re freaking fantastic, let me tell you that! There are so many people who never even get to this step, who never manage to finish the first draft. Yes, you can give yourself a high-five for this one. As awesome as you are your first draft sucks (I’m allowed to say this because my first drafts all suck too). 

What now? How do you get this first draft not to suck? I’m not talking grammar corrections and typos here, I’m talking about your actual story. How can you get this story to be one that people will actually want to read? You do revisions.  These 10 steps to revising your first draft are the steps that I follow too. They take time, patience, and a tough skin. But you’ve gotten this far, so you owe it to yourself to take it one step further.

10 Steps to revising your first draft

  1. Wait it out!
    The worst thing you can do is jump straight back into your novel. It’s all still too fresh. You need to give yourself time to forget and time to allow yourself to become distanced from all the hard work you have already put into your novel. I always suggest putting your first draft aside for a month. What? A whole freaking month? Yes, one whole month. Take that time to work on a new story outline or start writing another novel. Try a different form of writing like poetry, and short stories. And, give yourself time to read more (reading is always a good idea).
  2. Reread 
    Now, after a month of sweating it out, you pick up that novel and you start your reread. Try not to throw it out the window, burn it, or tear it into shreds. Pretend for a second that this is not your first draft, but rather your best friend’s first draft. Read it with open eyes and optimism for the story. Your first draft is going to suck and it’s allowed to suck! After you’ve done this, reread it again and this time make as many notes as possible. Note down any changes, plot holes, parts of the story that irritate you, pacing problems. inconsistencies, unanswered questions, and major mistakes that you need to look at fixing. Always remember that your first draft is you telling the story to yourself, this is a rough version.
  3. Identify Plot holes
    Now that you have identified your plot holes take the time to fix them. Don’t rush through this step. Some of these fixes will be quick and easy and others will be terribly tedious and feel somewhat like torture to fix.By not skipping this step you’ll find the process rewarding as you will see your story come together to form an even better second draft than you ever imagined
  4. Pacing
    Focus on consistent pacing as well as appropriately varied pacing throughout your novel. Do parts read too slow? Do other parts feel rushed? Allow yourself the time to fix any pacing problems you may have found by this point of your revisions. 
  5. Kill your Darlings
    This is always a tough task to manage. You’ve worked so hard on creating this first draft and you’ve worked so hard on your story elements (that you already love to bits) but if it doesn’t have a purpose in your story, if it doesn’t move the plot forward, or reveal something about your story you need to cut it!Harsh? Yes! You need to be if you want your novel to be the best it can be. Some Darlings, may be able to be reworked into the story, but most must be cut.
  6. Make small changes
    Those irritations you found in your second reread, the character’s name that was hard to pronoun or didn’t flow off the tongue, the shocking yellow car that was super unbelievable, the constant over explaining, now’s the time to make these small changes. Change a character’s name if it doesn’t fit. Make sure all your quotation marks are consistent (single or double, baby).
  7. Sketch out character arcs
    I always have a good idea of my character arcs before I start writing, but they change as I write and I don’t always go back to my notes and relook the arcs. This step can be skipped if you’ve written on a story structure but it’s always a good idea to revisit this step and double check your own work.
  8. Create character sketches
    This is another thing that I try to do before I even start writing my novels. My characters develop so much through my writing process that I always have to rework, add, and take away parts of their character sketches. After writing my first draft I also know my characters so much better and find it so much easier to complete my character sketches.As part of my book, Write A Novel In 30 Days, I offer a free character sketch which I use myself too. I also like to add photo’s of my characters, diary entries, bag contents and things that will personalise my character even more. 
  9. Work on your character’s goals and motivations
    Wow, by now you have made a lot of changes to your novel. Do all of your character’s original goals and motivations still remain true? Have your changes affected them? Give your characters new goals and motivations if needed and give yourself and your character the time to accept these new changes. 
  10. The hook
    Yay! You’re almost there. Now re-read your first few pages. Is your hook clear? Is there too much information or too little information for your readers? Sometimes, as the writer we already know the backstory and so everything makes sense to us but they might not make any sense to the reader who knows none of the backstory. Think about this when you’re looking for that hook. This can be a quick and simple step, or this step can take a lot of time, and this will differ from novel, to novel too. Go pick up your favourite books and read their hooks for some inspiration. See how other authors hook the reader. A hook should be on the first page, preferably in the first chapter, and if you can have the hook in your first sentence then that’s even better. 

I know this is a lot to take in and it’s a lot of work too (you may want to skip some of the steps or rush through them) but you’ve put in all this hard work already that you owe it to yourself to really focus on each step individually until you’re happy with the results. 

The way that I manage to keep my focus on one step at a time is to use different coloured highlighters during step two of the process (during my second reread when I’m making my notes). I choose a different coloured highlighter for each major focus needed (small changes, darlings, characters, pacing, and plot holes), this way I can focus purely on that colour when I need to. I also tick off parts that have been revised as the process can get really confusing and it’s easy to forget where you are in this revision process.

Most of all, be kind to yourself and to your writing. You might absolutely hate your writing and your story when you reread it but through an effective revision process, you can sculpt it into something better. Allow yourself the opportunity to do this. Don’t give up on your story.

***********************************************

You can find Megg on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @megggeri and on Facebook TheMeggGeri and her blog Megg.Co.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post for us Megg.

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: Julie Ryan

Hey! Today I have a Guest Post for you from author Julie Ryan. Today Julie discusses with us 10 things that she wished she had known before she started writing.

**************************************** 

Things I wish I’d known before I started – Julie Ryan

1. If I’d read more about planning and plotting a novel, I might not have had to write my first book twelve times!  Even though I can’t change the way I write, I do now spend more time plotting and less on rewriting.  I’ll always be a bit of a pantser though as I love the surprises.

2. When the writing process starts, everything else will be put on hold. Don’t expect to have clean clothes, cooked meals or be able to find anything. This is a necessary process to facilitate creativity and will last until approximately two weeks after you finish writing. See point 3 below.

3. You never finish writing! I wish I’d known that when you write ‘The End’ it’s just the beginning and the real work of editing and polishing begins. In my case this can take longer than the actual writing of the book.

4. Writing is addictive. Nobody warned me that once you start you can’t stop. My initial goal was to write a short story. The next goal was to turn it into a novel. After that the goal was to self-publish on Amazon. Then one book became a series. Once you go down that path then I think you are compelled to write even if nobody else ever reads a word of it.

5. You will eat your own bodyweight in chocolate.

6. You will become the Queen of procrastination. Jobs that you used to hate such as filling in the tax return suddenly become quite attractive when faced with a major plot hole or writer’s block.

7. You can receive US royalties from Amazon tax- free if you are UK resident/national but you have to fill in a special form. I discovered this after a year of being self-published. 

8. If you are self-pubbed you will need to become a marketing expert as nobody else is going to do it for you unless you can afford a PR assistant. I would never have thought that I would be running several blog sites, be an avid reviewer, network with the mega famous (who I always thought were so out of my league) and have developed a range of skills to be proud of.

9. Prioritise your time. Until I started blogging and building up a network of followers I had no idea how time-consuming it would all be. Admittedly hours on Facebook looking at kittens doesn’t count. Seriously though you need to ‘Work smart, not hard.”

10. I wish I’d known how much I love this passion for writing and wish I’d discovered it years ago. However, I’m enjoying every minute and making up for lost time.

Biography

Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles. 

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.


In a new venture, Julie’s latest book is a short rom-com called Callie’s Christmas Countdown.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

You can find Julie on her websites:

Website/blog for book reviews

http://www.allthingsbookie.com/

Blog

http://julieryanbooks.blogspot.co.uk  

on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114

and on Twitter @julieryan18

Buy links

JENNA’S JOURNEY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennas-Journey-Island-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01GGOCKLK

SOPHIA’S SECRET

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophias-Secret-Greek-Island-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00LFJGCWA

PANDORA’S PROPHECY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pandoras-Prophecy-Greek-Island-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00V6CWVBW

CALLIE’S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Callies-Christmas-Countdown-Julie-Ryan-ebook/dp/B0188T7H2I

*********************************************

Thank you so much Julie for your post. I can relate to  number 5 100% 🙂 

Emma-Louise x

First Paragraph – My Fantasy Novel

First Paragraph.png

This is a slightly different post from me. I am very nervous about posting this as I am extremely self critical. However, I have decided to put myself out there as even criticism will help me grow. So here we go, this is the first paragraph or two of my novel. Bare in mind this is completely unedited.

‘She stood in the carpark chewing her lip ring, still so new it caused pain. Pain, which was a welcome distraction to the rising nausea in the pit of her stomach. Around her noises sounded amplified, she knew this was a necessity, it was important.

Every step towards the ticket booth made her feel trapped in a cage, a cage that was getting smaller and smaller. Her brow was sweaty, her hands clammy and the contents of her stomach threatened to make an appearance’

Thank you for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Will To Live by Rachel Amphlett [Cover Reveal]

Hey Everyone, 

Wow I am super excited to bring to you today the brand new cover for Rachel Amphlett’s new crime book which will be released on the 4 April 2017.

There will bea blog tour for the release between the 28th March to the 11th April so be sure to check in to get all the book details.

So without much further ado I give you the Will To Live.

Here is a rough blerb for the book which may change upon Publication.
Will to Live

Reputation is everything

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as ‘Suicide Mile’, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder. 

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realises the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer. 

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realises the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him…

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

If you like Angela Marsons, Peter James and Robert Bryndza, you will love Rachel Amphlett’s new series.


Thanks for reading.
The Stationery Geekette x