Weekly Writing Prompt — June 15, 2016 Edition

Writers:

First and foremost, do not forget the Saturday workshop this week (6/18) at the North Bend Library Meeting Room beginning at 10:30 a.m. until noon. These workshops are an excellent way to get feedback and push your writing efforts forward.
You may also carve out writing time at any of the writing cafes, either Wednesday nights at Little Si Cafe or Friday mornings at The Blkack Dog.
In the meantime, if you need to charge forward in your writing, let’s take a moment and work on just one scene. Pick a scene in your present work in progrees. Any scene. You probably know which one needs the most help. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be shy. Now get ready to make it better. Is there sensory language in the scene? Is there dialogue that moves the story forward? Is there a lie or a secret in that scene? What can you do to make it more compelling and keep your reader reading.
Just take it in a chunk at a time. Make is shine off the page. If you walk away from it after a final reread and say, “Did I write that?” You know it’s ready to go.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — May 19, 2016 Edition

Writers:

Remember:
Writing Workshop this Saturday (5/21) at 10:30 a.m. at the North Bend Library Meeting Room. Come prepared to work. Next workshop is June 18. Again at 10:30 a.m. at the North Bend Library Meeting Room.
Beyond that, please know that, prompts may be scarce. I have hand surgery this morning on my dominant hand and the doctor said to be prepared for up to a month of non-regular activity.
So until I can put fingers on keyboard again, please keep writing. Please go to the workshops. Please go to the writing cafes. And please keep writing.
Best,

What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — May 11, 2016 Edition

Writers:

I’m at that point in the creative cycle where I want to quit. Nothing but rejections in the mail box. The words on the new project are coming only with a liter of blood on the keyboard. All these rules about querying and agents and submissions and, oh, don’t forget those dangnabit commas.
Therefore, today your prompt is to tell me, or anyone else feeling this way, why I shouldn’t quit, because I’m about ready. There is so much energy, love, devotion, and just all-around effort that goes into writing, whether its poetry, short stories, creative non fiction, or a novel. It’s hard to keep going in the face of defeat. What message would you send your struggling moderator, your frequent writers cafe cohort, or friend? Really think hard. Comment on the blog, send an email, or even smoke signals — however you can get through. Don’t delay.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — May 4, 2016 Edition

hahahaha!

Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be with You.
And all that hoopla…
So that’s part of today’s prompt. I want you to put in an element of space in your current work in progress. It could be as simple as your protagonist looking up at the sky and starring at the stars and wondering, or afraid of the space beyond or….you fill in the blanks. Space. Either as in outer or inner. Or between.
Do it. At least write 250 words on the subject within your WIP.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“Not just beautiful, though–the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.”
― Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Writing Prompt — April 27, 2016 Edition

Writers:

If you note, I dropped “Weekly” from this email’s subject line. It’s clear as of late, my prompts are not necessarily weekly. But, I’m trying my best, and I hope you all forgive me for my less-than-weekly nudge to you to pay attention to your writing life. Maybe if they aren’t weekly they’ll have more influence? I don’t know. We’ll see. I have no reason for my absence save that I’m trying very hard to push through that wall known as traditional publishing. They haven’t killed my spirit yet, so there’s that victory. Couple that with #LifewithAutism and sometimes my Wednesday mornings go awry and sending this becomes forgotten or low priority. For that I ask that you grant me understanding and forgiveness. As I hinted at earlier, perhaps this way some absence will make the heart grow fonder for my correspondences in regards to your writing/creative life.
At any rate, this process I’m in of getting an agent and maybe selling my book renewed for me the interest in killing your darlings. What’s that? It’s where you drag your beloved characters ala George R.R. Martin through awful, awful things, including killing them off. None of us get out of this life alive — and neither, often, should our characters. I’m not saying that they must die, however (fear not, Vicky). But, sometimes a death or something near death must occur so that your character has the motivation or the space to do the thing that forces them out of their comfort zone and into the battle they are suppose to fight. Case in point, Harry Potter could never ever finish his fight against He Who Must Not Be Named, if Dumbledore had remained alive. So even though the readers love the kooky ol’ wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts, he had to go.
Therefore today’s prompt is to examine your darlings — meaning your story and its characters. Who is being blocked by who to fulfill their destiny in the story? Are you really pushing your character out of their comfort zone to move the story forward? Or, is he/she wallowing in mediocrity? Clearly the latter is a death sentence for any novel. Maybe you have a good arc, but it’s just not compelling enough because you were afraid for your protagonist to have a broken heart, or break a leg, or gasp, have a loved one die. Harry lost Dumbledore and he was a real jerk during his grieving process, but it allowed him to see the path to defeat Voldemort (that along with massive support and cheerleading from Herimone and Ron — especially Herimone). Examine your stories, really look at what difficulties you’re presenting to your characters. Does it really work. Think like a reader not a writer while you’re doing it. Make a list of what’s good, what’s bad in your story as you see it from the outside looking in. Then go fix it.
That should keep you busy until I recognize it’s Wednesday again and I’m not just lost in the spreadsheet of sent queries and received rejections.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:  “When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”

― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — April 6, 2016 Edition

Writers:

Many of you, I see, are doing the A-Z blog challenge for April. Many others are diving into Camp NanoWrimo. That’s very inspirational. Keep up the hard work.
successisnotstraight-part2Your prompt today is to think about snakes. What is good about them? What is bad about them? How might they enter into your writing? Journal about what you know about snakes. Maybe draw one?  I picked snakes because a writing life can look very much like a serpentine when you try to put it into a matrix looking graph. It flows up and down and sometimes circles around — inspiration, creation, revision, renewing, confidence, doubt, rinse, repeat. Yes? So take that serpent and weave it into what your working on. Do it now.
If you can’t do it right this minute, plan to attend one of the writers cafes either tonight at Little Si Cafe beginning at 6 p.m. or tomorrow at Snoqualmie’s Black Dog at 9:30 a.m.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“As in nature, all is ebb and tide, all is wave motion, so it seems that in all branches of industry, alternating currents – electric wave motion – will have the sway.” ~Nikola Tesla


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 30, 2016 Edition

Writers:

Today we’re going to talk about rejection. The rejection we heep on ourselves that is. Not from readers, or agents, or publishers, but ourselves.
If you’re hearing yourself say, “Well, I can’t do that…”, or “I’m not good enough for this…”
STOP.
As a writer, we have to live in constant hope. Hope that our stories matter to someone other than ourselves. Hope that we’ll put the right words together to create that story that will impact people positively. And the hope that we can keep on writing.
We need to use that hope as a shield, as an armor for the battle of necessary rejection for our stories to find the right format, agent, publisher, and finally, reader.
Therefore, we cannot wallow in our own self-rejection, which chips away at that armor of hope.
Now, that said, moments of self-doubt are part of the creative cycle. They are there to push us, however, to do our best. Not to make us stop.
So don’t stop. Today, be hopeful in your intention as you write. Give positive energy to your editing. Smile as you hit send for that 50th agent query. Rest easy in the knowledge that it will all happen, step by step.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.”
― Shannon L. Alder
 
TIMEOUTS FOR YOUR WRITING THIS WEEK:
 
Tonight! (March 30) LIttle Si Cafe, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. North Bend

Friday (April 1) The Black Dog Arts Cafe, 9:30 a.m. to 12 Noon, Snoqualmie


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 23, 2016 Edition

All:

It’s convention season. NorWesCon is this weekend, Emerald City Comic Con is April 7 – 10, and so on and so on…
But, I want you to consider just stepping through the doors at NorWesCon this weekend and supporting our sister organization: Free Valley Publishing, who will be at the Clockwork Dragon’s table in the vendor room. I’ve attended NORWESCON for many years. It’s totally doable to attend just for a day, or the whole weekend and sleep in your own bed. Lots to learn. Many cool folks to meet. Awesome art to view or procure. And of course there is the Philip K. Dick awards on Friday night. Make a plan and go.
That’s your prompt this week.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” ~ Victor Hugo

What did you Write today?

~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 2, 2016 Edition

Writers:

March already! I hope you’re making all your writing goals for 2016. If you’ve fallen off the path of success, no time like now to get back on it.
March always seems to be a month where things go very well or very badly for me, personally. Therein lies your writing prompt. I want you to think about the months of the year as distinct characters. Then write a short story about your particular character. Your goal is at least 1,500 words. But if you only get 1,000 or come up with more like 2,500, that’s fine, too. The goal is to write and come up with something unique. I’d love to see some of you post this exercise on your individual blogs, too.
Well what are you waiting for? The Ides of March? Blargh! Get on it! The author in you demands it.
Remember, March 19 is the date of the next workshop. The subject is:  Direct Application of Critique to Enhance Your Novel
Lastly, the much delayed anthology that yours truly is a part of is going to be hitting your favorite bookseller soon. In as much, I’ll be interviewing with NPR next week in Seattle regarding the anthology. More details as they arrive. To be sure, all of you will be with me in that broadcast booth.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — February 17, 2016 edition

Writers:

 
Saturday we gather for our monthly work shop: FEB. 20:   How to analyze critique notes, tools to help with first pass changes, creating platform for book launch
 
We will meet at the North Bend Library meeting room at 10:30 a.m. until Noon.
 
Hope to see you there. 
 
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
 
“When I was seven or eight years old, I began to read the science-fiction magazines that were brought by guests into my grandparents’ boarding house in Waukegan, Illinois. Those were the years when Hugo Gernsback was publishing ‘Amazing Stories,’ with vivid, appallingly imaginative cover paintings that fed my hungry imagination.”~Ray Bradbury



What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron