November Speculative Fiction Prompt

Another month gone, and another month beginning. As we move into November, it is time for a new prompt.

This month I want you to think about the wonderful speculative fiction of authors such as Neil Gaiman, especially works such as Neverwhere. Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series is another that you could look to for this month’s prompt. Both of these writers take the modern, real word, and overlay the fantastical. Fantasy and reality woven together to create engaging stories that suck the reader in and have us wondering what really lurks in the shadows.

The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows:

  • Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary]
  • Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best.
  • Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e no erotica)
  • The prompt is open from the first of the month to the end of the month.
  • Use pingbacks to link up to the prompt or leave a link in the comments section. Whichever you prefer.
  • I try to at least read every entry in the prompt and I’d love to encourage anyone taking part to try and check some of the other entries if they can.
  • As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and shares are gratefully received. We are always open to new participants.
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Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Good luck to anyone who is also tackling NaNoWriMo this month. I wish you every success. Who knows, you could incorporate your response to this prompt into your novel somehow?

Happy writing everyone, and all the best for November.

Self-Publishing: Planning A Launch, Holding The Proof

Back in June I talked about my plans to self-publish my poetry collection, in a post I called To Self-Publish Or Not To Self-Publish? That Is The Sleep Depriving Question. In all honesty, it really was a tough decision to make, and I questioned myself every time I told someone I was self-publishing because I almost always got the same response.

‘Oh, why have you decided to go down that route?’

At that point in the conversation I could point them towards the blog post where I list all the reasons I decided to go down that route.

Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing from writing that post to finalising the manuscript. There were moments where I wondered if I was making a huge mistake and if I had made the right decision to following this path. However, today I finally felt that it was all worth it. Today I got to hold the proof copy of my poetry collection in my hands.

 

There are still a few tweaks to be made before I’m happy to hit that publish button. The font for the page numbering needs adjusting and I want to give all the poems one last run through for typos, but overall I’m really happy with how this book has turned out.

I have to say a massive thank you to Caroline Layzell for designing the cover, and to Helen Kay for helping to edit the collection and Deborah Edgeley for helping to blurb it.

Now I’m moving on to planning the launch night (November 30th) and finding poetry events to read a few of the poems at. The book itself should be available to buy from the 30th November onward.

It’s real, I’m holding it, and I’m very happy that I did decide to go down the route of self-publishing. I’m not losing sleep anymore.

October Speculative Fiction Prompt

Well September is over and October is here in full force. Leaves are on the turn, England has turned grey and rainy (well even more so than usually) and everywhere you look people are prepping for Halloween (or in some cases Christmas).

This is the second month that I’ve had the honour of hosting the Speculative Fiction Prompt  and hopefully this month’s image inspires as much as last month’s. If you want to read the stories for last month then you can check them out at the September Speculative Fiction Prompt.

The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows:

  • Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary]
  • Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best.
  • Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e no erotica)
  • The prompt is open from the first of the month to the end of the month.
  • You can create a pingback or use the link up below. Whichever method you are more comfortable with.
  • I try to at least read every entry in the prompt and I’d love to encourage anyone taking part to try and check some of the other entries if they can.
  • As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and shares are gratefully received. We are always open to new participants.
October Speculative Fiction
Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Now that the guidelines are out of the way, it’s over to you. Take a look at the picture above and let loose your creativity. Have fun.

September Speculative Fiction Prompt

Earlier this year a new speculative fiction prompt was kicked of by D Wallace Peach on her sight Myths Of The Mirror. Unfortunately she had to set this fantastic prompt aside due to personal matters after only a few months, despite the fantastic success and take up that it was met with.

After asking for her blessing, I decided that I would pick up where she left off and host the prompt here on Writing and Works. It will follow much the same format, publishing on the 1st of each month, using imagery from Pixabay, and focusing on the speculative fiction genre.

Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements

Oxford Dictionary

Our September image is the one directly below.

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Pixabay Free Image

For any visually impaired writers, it is a black and white image showing a young woman with a septum piercing, wearing a scarf or hood which casts her face into shadow.

Post your response to your site and then add a link the to link up above. There are no word limits or style requirements. Short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and extracts from longer works are all welcome.

Please keep it PG however as this is open to anyone who wishes to take part and I’d like to think that we will all do our best to read each other’s contributions.

I will do my best to get round everyone and leave comments. Remember, if there is particular feedback you are looking for then you can mention this in your post.

So, those are the details out of the way, the only thing to do is to hand this off to you. Have fun and happy writing.

Not A Word To Waste, The Horror Of Redrafts #WeekendCoffeeShare

This weekend the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge is taking place. Last month I posted my entry for the second challenge of the first round: Stolen Silence and at the moment I’m working on redrafting my submission for the first challenge of this year’s first round.

Redrafting is the part of the process where you quite often find yourself doubting that you have any ability to put one work in front of the other at all. You find typos, spelling mistakes, words that you didn’t even know existed. Tenses switch back and forth, character names suddenly change, and out of nowhere you move from mountains to city surroundings. Editing is where all your mistakes come to the forefront and you have to go back and fix them.

If you’re luck you will have brilliant people who will help you with your redrafts and edits. These people (if you can find the ones that will give you an honest review rather than just ‘yeah mate, good job’) are invaluable for getting your past that snow-blind stage where you can’t see the words for the prose. Distance from your work can help, but I often find a fresh pair of eyes will pick apart of poem or story far more effectively than I ever could.

I’ve been very luck, I’ve always had friends who were interested in reading and writing so I’ve always had people to run work past. At the moment there is someone reading my poetry collection ‘All In The Blood’ for me, and someone else who has been giving feedback on my NYC submission. For both it has been less about being told what is wrong with my writing, or what is right, but about being challenged to look at my work through a different lens. More often than not this means I go back and take another shot at saying whatever it was I was trying to say.

So, my top tips for editing and redrafting.

  • Try not to send out first drafts. Do a little redrafting yourself before exposing your child to the elements.
  • Remember that you’re asking someone for their opinion. You don’t have to agree with it, but you asked for it so be polite when they give it.
  • Think about the comments your editor makes and even if you don’t go in that direction, think about why they have been made. You might find it sends you off down a different avenue of thought.
  • If your story has an element that you’re not familiar with in it, try finding someone who is familiar. I don’t always believe in the ‘write what you know’ but you should at least ‘write what you’ve researched’.

Now, enough procrastinating, I have a story to redraft, a poetry collection to edit, and a novel to corral. As they say, no sleep for the writer.

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