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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 28 August 2015

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers! ***

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 682: Friday 28th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

682 hospital 524244Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: amazed, revelation, gate, comment, fair
  2. Random: not what was expected
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: pleased

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

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Story Writing Exercises 686: Friday 28th August

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Book review – for readers and writers – no.127: Morgen Bailey reviews Dark Briggate Blues by Chris Nickson

Today’s book review of a crime novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Being a writer and editor, I read and review books with both hats. If you’re a writer reading this review and found it useful, do let me know.

Chris Nickson’s 1950s British noir mystery novel Dark Briggate Blues

Chris Nickson Dark Briggate Blues coverSynopsis: Leeds, 1954: When Joanna Hart came into his office, enquiry agent Dan Markham thought it would be an easy case. All the blonde with red lips and swinging hips wanted was to know if her husband was unfaithful. But when the man is killed, Markham’s involvement makes him suspect number one. As the evidence piles against him, he realises someone has set him up. In a deadly game, Markham has to battle to keep his client and himself alive. All he can rely on are his wits and the rusty skills he acquired during his National Service in military intelligence. But can he hope to be any match against a killer who has spies on every corner of Leeds and a reach that goes all the way to Whitehall?

This novel is available via http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Briggate-Blues-Markham-Mystery/dp/0750960981 and http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Briggate-Blues-Markham-Mystery/dp/0750960981.

Review (via my Kindle’s text-to-speech function)

– Markham being young crops up a few times but I must have missed how old he was. It would’ve been nice at one or more of the mentions to know how old he actually was. I am in my late 40s so young to me would be different to somebody in their 20s or 70s.

– A very interesting look at 1950s procedures where Markham investigates by asking people – shady and otherwise – rather than contemporary crime’s reliance on modern technology.

– Character description was excellent, especially regarding the women.

– There were some great phrases including, ‘In a black and white world, she was a splash of technicolour’ and ‘faint drift of perfume’.

– While the majority of the novel felt authentic, there were a couple of phrases that jarred with me as being too contemporary (feel free to say that I am wrong): ‘go f**k himself’ and ‘sh*g our brains out’ (coincidently the only two phrases that could have offended the reader).

– We should all learn from the books we read and this was an informative novel. The pace was very good throughout with conflict and twists, and it was definitely a page-turner.

– Not the ending I was expecting but tied up all the loose ends.

And now for writers…

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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in critique, ebooks, novels, review, writing

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 26 August 2015

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers! ***

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 680: Wednesday 26th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

680 horror scifi 698458Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: morning, range, cook, flying, flat
  2. Random: a little apprehensive
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Sentence start: A really irritating…

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

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Story Writing Exercises 684: Wednesday 26th August

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 25 August 2015

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers! ***

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 679: Tuesday 25th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

679 headphones 851766Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: weasel, picture, legend, smoke, accident
  2. Random: a woman with a very deep
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: A Local Speciality

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Story Writing Exercises 683: Tuesday 25th August

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you love these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers!

Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

683 titanic 889867Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: robbery, yourself, smithy, workshop, mop
  2. Random: a foster carer
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Tuesday Title: Fleece Jacket and Woolly Hat

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what they say on the tin. You can start the beginning of the story with them or a later sentence but they’re a great way of kicking off.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the story but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • One-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = two characters, an object, a location, a dilemma, a trait. Mix them all together and you have a plot… hopefully.
  • First person piece or monologue (a one-sided conversation).
  • Dialogue only = this is where you literally just write a conversation between two people. No ‘he said’, ‘she said’ or description, just speech and the reader has to be able to keep up. :)
  • Second-person = some of you will know that I champion. The prompt can be in any style but has to be written in second-person viewpoint… oh, what a hardship. :)
  • Title: This is the title of your story.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Tips

  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!
  • And there are loads more writing tips on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writing-101.

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Pictures above courtesy of morguefile.com

*** Breaking news! My online creative writing courses are currently half price!! ***

You can subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything (see right-hand vertical menu).

You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping Listvarious short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.

Morgen Bailey Cover montage 2I now run online courses – details on Courses – and for anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.

If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.

 

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Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 24 August 2015

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers! ***

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 678: Monday 24th August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

678 headless 711958Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: day, all, wheeze, gutter, hungry
  2. Random: a catching yawn
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: Write a first-person poem – someone’s had a terrible week

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Story Writing Exercises 682: Monday 24th August

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you love these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 21 August 2015

*** If you love these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently with half-price vouchers! ***

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs (and poems, script / novel extracts, stories at the weekends, when I get them). As you’ll see by the headings, you’ve missed a few but they’re listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there…

Poetry Writing Exercises 677: Friday 21st August

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

677 happy-balloons 909715Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: ugly, looking, time, Scotland, cloud
  2. Random: Gordon’s restaurant
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: yearly

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

*

Short Story Writing Exercises 681: Friday 21st August

Here are your four story exercises for today.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in ideas, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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