Ponderings, Writing Prompts

Writing on the Right Side of the Brain

By Daniel Mega

Exercise 1: Idea Journal

When I was a kid, I used to keep tiny notepads in my back pocket ALWAYS. I had a small book bag my grandma sewed for me with galloping horses embroidered on the front (still have the bag, btw) and I always had paper and pen handy.

Because I was a writer. It’s what I did.

I couldn’t have been more than 13 or 14 when I first started writing. I was terribly unorganized. I couldn’t finish a single story to save my life. But, gosh, did I ever brainstorm ideas! Names jumped out to me, streets became worlds, an interesting face weaved its way into words and stories. I still have most of my old story ideas and manuscripts. I purged some that I knew held no emotional value to me.

As an adult, I’ve lost much of that instant creativity. My thoughts are more focused and streamlined, which helps me write better and FINISH. But in reading this book (the title of the blog,) I realize developing my imaginative side a little more would improve many aspects of my life.

What do you think? How has your daydreaming evolved over the years? What do you find makes you feel most creative?


Leave no stone unturned and don’t stop until you’ve arrived.

This has been,

Fan T. C.

Books and Affiliated, From Writing to Publishing, Writing Prompts

We’re Here!

Villains

I’ve bounced around an idea of starting a series of blogs titled “We’re Here!” – the search for characters and what makes a character-driven story.

Today, I thought we’d focus on villains. What makes a villain and what makes a good villain so bad.

In our very first post for “We’re Here!” we’ll explore villains from multiple angles and discover the antagonists all around us.


PS LOVE the new additions to the WordPress app. ūüėÄ


Bad to the Core

There are, of course, people in the world who are simply bad. They seek only to please themselves. They run after pleasures of the flesh and the physical, always chasing that which they believe will make them feel happy and fulfilled.

You can use this in a story. You can have a villain who is simply selfish, and every reader will understand their motive and cringe at the injustice of it all.

There are other levels to selfishness too. Some people have a specific skill set, such as gambling, swindling, lying, stealing, and they take pride in those skills. Give your villain a defining skill, something to make him realistic in your reader’s mind.

Bad by Default

Wouldn’t you agree some people just strike on bad luck? They were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. This can be discouraging for the human soul, which strives to believe everything it does is for good.

Now this villain needs a place to belong. They’ve given up on life and got caught up in whatever racket has been chasing them down. It could be a gang. Maybe they’re a follower for an evil ruler. Maybe they’re simply so hurt, all they care about is hurting others. Hurting people hurt people.

So give your villain a strong emotional connection on the negative side. Make them angry or bitter, resentful, unfulfilled. But try to strike for something specific – their father left them/beat them/etc. Their only friends were the neighborhood gang who treated them terrible but promised them a place to belong. Be creative, but try to stem from real-world examples if you can. Maybe they were kidnapped, human-trafficked, or simply raised by plain old mean people.

Usually these villains can have a great redemption moment. Play with that. Maybe in your story, you want to save people, not simply create an environment for your hero to be heroic. We all love stories of forgiveness.

Bad for the Sake of Good

This is a tough one. There are people in the world who believe what they do is for the good of humanity. Conquers of old were good examples of this. In those days, it was conquer or be conquered. So as ruler, you sent out to battle local countries to display your power. This in turn kept your own people safe, because no one dared challenge you.

This villain believes they are good. They are completely justified in their mind. One could almost write the story from their point of view and make them the hero!

One of the best ways to write this villain is to make them so believable even the hero begins to falter. Make your readers question everything they thought they knew about right and wrong. This is a powerful villain, because if the readers believe for even a second that their hero could fail, you’ve added the perfect element to any story – RISK.


A good way to find villains is to look at people, politicians, religious leaders, and anyone you don’t like. Dig into questions of why you don’t like them. Do they challenge your way of life? Do they cause you personal harm? Are they resisting your cause for good and well-being?

Now hop the fence and study your personal antagonists. Read up about them and their values. Discover why they do what they do. Why they believe what they believe. In doing that, you’ve just researched material for a great villain.

Now go write about them.


This has been,

Fan T. C.

in “We’re Here! – Villains”

Writing Prompts

Obligatory Holiday Post

With time on the line and nothing to spare, the author and writer begins to despair. For Christmas is coming and no one can hear the bells of St Nick foretelling he’s here.

On that crappy poetic note, let’s begin.

10 Deadly Habits РPart Six

After today, only four more blogs of torturous editing and we will be done. I hope you readers appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears I’m pouring into this project to ensure your good health. Without this valuable¬†information, you might just succumb to one of the deadly¬†habits!

(Typing this up on my phone. Sorry I can’t add any fun Red Pen of Death. By the time I learn HTML [again] it will be Christmas and someone will have died from sleeping the wrong way.)


6. Choose a favorite sleeping position(.)
Everyone has their (own – omit) (a) sleeping position that suits them best. But make sure to choose a position that helps you get some sleep, and not cause you neck pain. It is recommended to sleep on the side or on the back, not on the stomach.

Not a whole lot wrong grammatically with this one. I do say the publisher is getting BETTER. See? It pays to keep writing even though you’re bad at it, because with practice you might just make something of yourself.

Let’s freshen this up then:

6. Choose a favorite sleeping position.

Studies show that the position in which you lay in bed can affect your sleep. Is your neck supported? Is your low back supported? Do your arms get pinned and lose blood circulation while you sleep? Is your spine twisted or caving unnaturally? These are factors we should consider and which will aid in giving us the best sleep possible. Sleep.org goes into depth on this article and Health Magazine offers pillow recommendations for each position. (Both websites say basically the same thing, but Sleep.org says it better and focuses less on saggy breasts.)

Thanks for reading!

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Five

Hello, adventurers!

It is time for another installment of those incredibly deadly habits we’ve been talking about. Honestly, I don’t know why I have been delaying so long since, clearly, this public health announcement is so dire.


Let’s get right down to it! Not another moment to waste. People’s lives need saving!

Strike = omit word(s)

(…) = add words

4. Properly distribute your meals
As a rule, you should have a habit of eating at least 3-4 hours before bedtime to help the digestive process function properly.

Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with this one. It reads fine, has no typos, and is quite accurate in its claim. But since we’re trying to educate the public, let’s do our research and site some sources.

4. Properly distribute your meals

It is a well-known fact that your digestive system slows down when you’re sleeping, so eating before bed can cause weight gain.¬†An interesting site I found by the name of Science Alert¬†has some pretty interesting words to say on the matter. However, it has also been discovered that certain foods can¬†improve¬†sleep. Tryptophan, an amino acid commonly found in many foods, actually helps¬†produce¬†serotonin, the hormone that aids in sleep. For a list of foods containing tryptophan and other melatonin boosting ingredients, check out The Greatest.


My fiance must make an over-abundance of seratonin… That man can fall asleep at the drop of a hat!

Now, please excuse me while I go buy some cherries. =D

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

 

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Four

Good morning!

10 Deadly Habits is back on track with the fourth “deadly” habit. Have you been enjoying your summer? I hope so, because it’s well on its way out the door, and autumn is in the air. For many of you, the kids are back in school, and for the younger crowd, you yourself are returning to the halls and classes which will envelope your schedule for the rest of the year. In light of all this responsibility, this next DEADLY habit seems suitable.

Let us begin!


(…) = replace word with a better/more descriptive word

abc = remove word/s

4. Set a bedtime routine
You need to make a bedtime routine and stick to it. This includes showering, brushing teeth, going to bed and the like, in order to get your body accustomed to it, since only then (will it will) be able to send you signals that you are ready for sleep.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with this paragraph, I would like to take some time to build on it. It’s lacking scientific evidence to back its theories, and I feel the wording could be more smooth and clear. It is also important to offer suggested methods so your readers can walk away armed and ready to conquer whatever it is you want them to do (UNLIMITED POWER, MUAHAHA!)

Easy now…

The best way to prevent ignorance is through education. Trite, but true. Readers don’t know what you don’t tell them, and change doesn’t happen without clear steps to implement.

4. Set a bedtime routine. 

Sleep may come easily when we are young Рespecially for teenagers who sometimes can sleep all day if allowed. However, as we age, every-day stress and anxiety can play a significant roll in disrupting our sleep. Sleep doctors recommend a variety of methods for promoting a healthy sleep schedule, as stated in Healthy Sleep. A few ways we can do this is to maintain a regular sleep/wake schedule, even on weekends and vacations, get at least 7 hours of sleep, establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as read, drinking caffeine-free tea, shutting off phones, tvs, and other distractions, and avoiding large meals before bed. If you are looking for more ways to improve your schedule, Sleep Education has a lot to say on the matter.


I personally like to be in bed between 10:30 and 11:30pm. Now my fiance has a terrible weekend schedule, because he wants to stay up all night long, but he can sleep at the drop of a hat, so go figure.

Sleep well tonight!

Fanny T. Crispin