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The 365-day Writer’s Block Workbook Volume 1 is free today!

The first volume of this writer’s guide series – my best selling book – is free today, Sunday 19th November!

Packed with 1,000 sentence starts, spread three a day for a year, this volume looks at all three points of view (first, second and third) and tenses with a tip at the end of each week.

You can download the eBook for free (today only) via http://mybook.to/365WBWBVol1 (which links to the Amazon store in your country).

The first week, as an example, is below…

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Morgen’s Email Critique Group

Hello. I know that writers, myself included, need – and appreciate – feedback on our work. By that I don’t mean “Oh yes, that’s great” – although that would be good too. We need to be told where we’re going wrong. I am a freelance editor so it’s my day job to do that but I thought I’d start this critique group so that you could also get feedback from other writers.

The idea is that you submit your writing (max. 2,000 words per submission*) – whenever you like – and I will collate them and send them on to others in the group for them to return to me within two weeks, although the sooner the better) so that I can return it to the original author.

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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in critique, ideas, novels, short stories, writing

 

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Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

Hello. I’m doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – see http://www.nanowrimo.org) again this year and am a tad behind…

Day 1: 814 done, 853 behind.

Day 2: 1,455 done, 1,065 behind.

but the weekend’s coming up and I try not to do any work work at the weekends. I’m not going anywhere other than popping into one of our local bookshops (one of my stockists!) so no excuse to have no only caught up but be storming ahead, ready for work work again on Monday… lots of lovely client editing to do.

So, are you doing NaNoWriMo? Are you, unlike me, starting something new, or, like me, continuing a work in progress. In my case, I started it back in April 2014 and had only done 22,324 words since then, much to my frustration. Which is why I need NaNoWriMo… and I need it ever month. I should be able to find time to write 1,667 words ever day… shouldn’t I?

Let me know how you’re getting on.

 

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Guest post: Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing by Jane Hertenstein

Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of the delightful short short, is brought to you by Jane Hertenstein.

Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing

My writing was languishing. After a number of brilliant early successes, I suddenly found myself remaindered. Hot dogs seemed to have a longer shelf life than the novel I had just slaved over for five years. I couldn’t face another long slog. Let alone the money—the deal I got was negligible. Smaller than the poo I scooped up on the sidewalk after the dog.

Back to the beginning.

I’d sit in front of the keyboard and daydream, or play Solitaire, my latest obsession. I needed some positive reinforcement and fast. But what did I know outside of my own existence. With that, I hit upon the idea of memoir, or at least using autobiographical details to enhance my fiction. I was also at the same time experimenting with flash.

I quickly typed up a flash inspired simply by a friend who likes to keep her cell phone handy, as in tucked inside her bra. My brain flashed back to my grandmother. Thus, I wrote “Granny’s Pockets.” After lunch I came back and edited it down to 100 words and submitted it to Friday Flash Fiction, (http://www.fridayflashfiction.com/100-word-stories/grannys-pockets-by-jane-hertenstein) where it was accepted and posted by the end of the afternoon.

Well, that was instant gratification!

At my blog Memoirous (http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com), which I use as a platform to publicize my I started a column called Hot Flash, hoping to spark memories with my readers/writers. After compiling the best of these, I am launching an eBook, Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing (available shamelessly EVERYWHERE!).

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to get the engine of memory to turn over. Once started memories, whether invited or not, continue to roll over us. What one needs to do is create a habit of acting upon these flashes by quickly jotting them down before they disappear. Using a process I call Write Right Now, I encourage readers to do just this: build a portfolio of small flash memories that will eventually be expanded upon or become the foundation for a scene. Memories are the building blocks to most everything we write.

For some of us sitting down to transcribe or pen a memoir can be an overwhelming task. I recommend approaching it in bite-size pieces or rather applying flash. By freeze framing a moment, a memory, like a camera snapshot, and dwelling there you are creating the foundation for longer memoir, a jumping off place to expand upon later. (see my other eBook, Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir)

The nice thing about flash is that it can be unresolved. There often isn’t enough space/word count to fully explore the memory. And, like so many of our memories, there is an undercurrent of lose threads, fuzzy blurred beginnings and endings with little or no significance. They simply are.

So set yourself the task to sit down and set down these memories. Perhaps, begin with a prompts from my book, Flash Memoir: Writing Prompts to Get You Flashing.

Taste is a huge trigger—recall Proust in In Search of Lost Time or also known as Remembrance of Things Past where he writes about involuntary memory instigated by a simple cookie. Dunking a tea biscuit can easily lead one on a journey into the past. Some call this nostalgia or déjà vu.

Write Right Now: Think about some unforgettable taste that still lingers in your mouth. I once wrote about my mother’s fruitcake, archival and unforgettable, also useful as a door stopper. Write right now.

Thank you, Jane. That was fascinating.

Jane Hertenstein’s current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 40 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre both micro and macro. Her latest book Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir is available through Amazon. Jane is a 2-time recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She can be found blogging about Flash Memoir at http://memoirouswrite.blogspot.com.

***

Related articles:

and from this blog, my guests who have written on this topic are… Alberta Ross, Helen M Hunt, Morgen Bailey, Roger Hurn, Sarah Grace Logan, and Warren Bull.

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on guest-blogs. There are other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

 

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FREEBIE ALERT! My Story A Day eBook 2013 (31 shorts) is free today Sunday 6 November

sadm-2013Later than planned to tell you… sorry about that but…

FREEBIE ALERT! Hello everyone. I’m delighted to share with you that my Story A Day eBook 2013 (31 shorts) is free today http://mybook.to/StoryADayVol3 (this link leads to the Amazon page in your country).

Story A Day May 2013 comprises the 31 short stories and flash fictions written from daily prompts during May 2013. The stories in these collections vary in length, point of view (first, second and third) and genre. Morgen has other books available including two others in this collection.

There are new and lost relationships, homages, crimes afoot, writer’s block, characters with and without friends, humans and non-humans, scratches, squeaks and barks.

The stories are: How the Drabble came about (100 words), The Quarrymen (second-person story) (303), It’s Not You, It’s Me (279), R.I.P. Lenny ‘Shades’ Froug (544), The Thing and the Nameless Page (834), Sally never listened (588), Quiet and noisy (812), The last thing you think about (330), What cost a human life? (226), Death & Life (1,048), Dating Paradise (60), Making up the numbers (162), A win-win all round (310), The Ramshackle Writer (412), Beyond The Blue Horizon (a sci-fi story!) (770), Progress (409), Worth every penny (147), Bubble and squeak (169), Wreckage (432), Before Jessica (253), Leaving a gap (984), Human Unfriendly (295), It Wasn’t Me (831), Scratch, squeak, bark (140), All-inclusive package (558), His job depended on it (100), Eight a year (145), Billy No Mates (300), Talking when we could be walking (654), Petrified (1,250), and Plenty more fish (724). Total word count = 14,169.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in short stories

 

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Writing a story from ‘consequences’ prompts

FACEBOOK background books smallHello everyone. I’ve just finished writing a piece of flash fiction from prompts given to me by some of my (sixteen) intermediate students and I thought you might like to read it, especially as I’ve been a bit rubbish recently at telling you what I’ve been up to (mostly getting my eBooks available as paperbacks!!).

 

I was hosting a session on structure last Monday and we ‘played’ the story outline game I do in most of my courses. Take a look at How to write a 28-word story for the details of a previous challenge. This time I had to write a 246-word story featuring Eric and Storm (or Eric Storm), in a conservatory with a russet lion, one of the characters was fearful and it had to be a romance. This took me about twenty minutes to write but fell short of the 246 words (by about fifty) so I added in some description and tweaked it to my satisfaction until it hit the word count. So, without further ado, here’s the story…
Eric looked from the garden to his son. “Why the Wizard of Oz?”

“I don’t know. Why not?”

“It’s not very Christmassy, not very…” Eric did ‘jazz hands’. “Nativity.”

Ben rolled his eyes. “It’s on TV every Christmas.”

“And you’re playing which part?”

Lion 897102Ben wiggled his tailed bottom. “Look at my costume, Dad.”

“The lion then. But that’s red.”

“Russet, Mum said.”

“A shade of red. Not really brown though, is it?”

Ben sighed. “Does it matter? It’s the only bit of material Mum had. I thought it looked really–”

“Alright then, but why have you chosen the name Storm?”

“Because it’s a storm that takes Dorothy to Oz, on the yellow brick road anyway.”

“I thought the lion was called… What was he called?”

Ben crossed his arms. “He’s just called the lion. That’s dumb. He needed a name so I’ve given him one. Storm. It’s also an X-Men–”

“Mmm. And he was… scared.”

Ben coughed and looked at the conservatory’s chequered flooring. “Yeah, that’ll be easy.”

“Why?”

Ben didn’t look up. “Because I’m good at scared.”

Eric leaned forward. “No, you’re not. You’re the bravest boy I know. Take that time when–”

“Daaad!”

“You are. What have you got to be scared about? You’re good at learning your lines and…”

“Lucy’s playing Dorothy.”

“Lucy?”

“Falkner. You met her dad, Andy, at last month’s barbecue. They’ve just moved to…”

“Oh yes. Really nice girl. Why are you…? Oh…” Eric giggled.

Ben blushed.

***

365 covers montageThere you have it. My 246-word story. If you’d like to have a go at writing something from a consequences sheet, let me know how you get on. If you’d like to write from some of my prompts, take a look at my home page for the weekday writing prompts (or click Today’s online writing groups’ poetry and story exercises: 20 May 2016 for yesterday’s)… or you could buy one or both of my Writer’s Block Workbooks, each containing over 1,000 prompts and weekly tips. I’m currently devising no.3 which will be sets of prompts (two characters, a location, an object, a trait, and a dilemma each day for a year!).

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2016 in short stories, writing

 

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Last chance to get my online courses for £1 / $1-$2!!

Courses April 2016 cropped

Hello everyone. Yes, that’s right. Udemy are stopping the cut-price discount coding and in future, discounts will be a maximum of 50% off. They will also limit the cost of a course from a minimum of $15 to a maximum of $50. This will stop some tutors offering inflated $300 courses which I think has been crazy to charge!

I have six courses available to-date via Udemy.com and Fedora (the rest following in the next few weeks) and on Udemy are just £1 or $1-2 using the codes below…

  • writer’s block workbook – volume 1: five weeks’ worth of beginning prompts to help create over 100 new pieces with tips to help your writing ongoing. This course is currently just £1 / $1 (normally £8 / $9) by entering the code MB-BLOG-DOLLAR (or click here). The link to the same course on Fedora is here but it is currently full price. There are however other price options on Fedora to include one-to-one support from me, the tutor. Click here for the course description.
  • writer’s block workbook – volume 2: five weeks’ worth of keyword prompts to help create over 100 new pieces with tips to help your writing ongoing. This course is currently just £1 / $1 (normally £8 / $9) by entering the code MB-BLOG-DOLLAR (or click here). The link to the same course on Fedora is here but it is currently full price. There are however other price options on Fedora to include one-to-one support from me, the tutor. Click here for the course description.
  • writing tips – part 1: 30 tips and 90+ exercises to spark your creativity. This course is currently just £1 / $1 (normally £12 / $15) by entering the code MB-BLOG-DOLLAR (or click here). The link to the same course on Fedora is here but it is currently full price. There are however other price options on Fedora to include one-to-one support from me, the tutor. Click here for the course description.
  • writing tips – part 2: 30 tips and 90+ exercises to enhance your writing. This course is currently just £1 / $2 (normally £12 / $15) by entering the code MB-BLOG-POUND (click here). The link to the same course on Fedora is here but it is currently full price. There are however other price options on Fedora to include one-to-one support from me, the tutor. Click here for the course description.
  • entering writing competitions: writing competitions from an entrant’s and judge’s viewpoint. This course is currently just £1 / $1 (normally £12 / $15) by entering the code MB-BLOG-DOLLAR (or click here). The link to the same course on Fedora is here but it is currently full price. There are however other price options on Fedora to include one-to-one support from me, the tutor. See here for the course description.
  • make your book pitch-ready: take your novel, non-fiction book or story / poetry collection from draft to submission and beyond. This course is currently just £1 / $2 (normally £19 / $25) by entering the code MB-BLOG-POUND (or click here). The link to the same course on Fedora is here but it is currently full price. There are however other price options on Fedora to include one-to-one support from me, the tutor. Click here for the course description.

The prices listed above are for the course only (to include help with the course itself within the discussion areas on the courses themselves). For anyone looking for feedback on their writing on the Udemy courses, take a look at my Editing and Critique page which is based upon the word count of your manuscript. Alternatively there are other pricing options on the Fedora links that offer extra assistance.

 

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