Monday Motivation: Writing Prompts

A lot of important things happen on Mondays–diets, goal development, laundry–so it seemed only RIGHT to begin a revamp of this blog on a Monday.

For me, as a writer, it’s hardest to get going on Mondays. I take the weekend off (because I’m ALLOWED) and when Monday finally rears its bulbous head, the gears take a minute or twenty to start moving again.

writer-drunk

How did I get here? What day is it?

If you’re anything like me, Monday Motivation is a thing you need in your life. While there are a TON of cool affirmations under the twitter hashtag, sometimes we need something more.

Here are ten writing prompts to get you going. Meet back here next week for another ten, and possibly mimosas because I’m getting married soon and booze helps the freak-out go down (but that’s another post. ;))

i-realized-i-was-a-cliche-the-drunk-writer-who-couldnt-write-drunk-1452103587

Down the hatch, madam.

 

  1. Rewrite a scene from your favorite book from an outsider’s perspective. (For me, that would be the “battle scene” from THE NIGHT CIRCUS from the POV of one of the red scarf club members.
  2. Describe the world’s WORST weather for a barbeque.
  3. What does December smell like?
  4. Write a scene from your main character’s childhood.
  5. Write a scene (or a whole story!) using only dialogue.
  6. Rewrite a scene in your work in progress as a different genre.
  7. Write a scene in which your main character and Death have dinner together. (I imagine Death ordering a Juicy Lucy with extra cheese and a micro brew beer. None of that corporate shit).
  8. Describe a summer sky without using the word “blue” or anything blue-adjacent.
  9. Write a scene about a woman who only speaks to people wearing hats.
  10. Write a conversation between two blind characters (emphasis on what they smell, hear, taste!)

 

That does it! Get writing and feel free to share your results (or epic fails) in the comments!

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Oh HELL yes, It’s On

It’s just after 8am. What are you doing?

Last night, after I made next to zero progress over the last week thanks to moving across the country, settling into and filling an empty apartment, and dealing with adjusting to my new life as being a “work from home, stay at home, TRAPPED AT HOME” person I chained myself to the computer and banged out 5k words. Not enough to get caught up, but sweet damn did I have fun doing it. You’re a bitch, NaNoWriMo, but a bitch I can’t wait to spank.

Also, I’ve mentioned on twitter (@authorkatm) that I was considering starting a vlog, which I’ll link to this one. Last night, I recorded a dummy vlog post just to dick around with the editing tools of Windows Movie Maker and see how retarded I look on film. The verdict is – it’s going to be difficult to master the editing and I only look semi-retarded on film so the vlog is a go. I’ll be recording a real post tonight and hopefully posting  tomorrow once I edit the shit out of it. So, you know, grab your glass of wine and look for that.

In other news, I’m currently reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I have to share that fact with you because never have I been so desperate for a novel not to end. It’s incredibly interesting and delves into one of my absolute favorite subjects – god mythology. Go to Barnes & Noble, go to Amazon, go to wherever and pick it up. Then get Anansi Boys by the same author. Incredible novels.

Progress Update – What?

I know. It was mere hours ago that I told you about Renee’s evil plot to suck me into the month of “literary abandon” that causes mass nausea just to consider known as NaNoWriMo. But you’ve missed me. Admit it. One post a month? That’s like, abuse or something. So, I’m using this as an excuse to pester visit you more.

Renee and I have spent the better part of the evening hashing and rehashing my rough (and when I say rough, I mean old lady calloused feet rough) outline. It was good, but it had no tension. We took care of that by amping up the asshole factor of two of my characters. I have to say, asshole or not, I kind of like them. They’re my kind of people, even if they are Reapers.

What?

Shhhh. You didn’t hear that.

The problem now is that I’m ready to write. I’ve got some kinks worked out – though I’m sure some will splat all over my face during the process – and Greg is whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Who?

Shhhh. You didn’t hear that, either.

Point is, I have to find something to occupy my mind until November. I’ve got other projects, sure, but they aren’t screaming at me the way this one is. Maybe there’s something to this procrastination thing.

Ideas? I’m open to anything that involves chocolate, wine, books, and the occasional slap.

Or I could just blog. That’s it. I’ll bother you guys some more. Thanks. You’re the best.

NaNoWriMo OR The End of All Things

Today, my friend (yes, Renee, we’re still friends) blogged about NaNoWriMo and whether it was a good thing or bad thing. Rather than repeating what she said, go read her post.

*hums jeopardy theme while clicking through pictures of Katherine Monneig*

Oh, haha, welcome back. Her? That’s Shane. You know, from L Word?

*crickets*

Fuck it.

I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo. Never had a desire to for a few reasons:

1) It’s annoying as hell to type NaNoWriMo with all those alternating capital and lower case letter. My pinky gets cramped every time.

2) Word counts mean nothing to me. I can spend all night writing an 800 word flash fiction piece and be just as happy as those clowns who brag on twitter that they wrote 3k words in 45 minutes. Good for them. It’s shit. Trust me. The first draft of anything is putrid.

3) And here I’m going to reiterate something Renee said only to drive the point home – NaNo indirectly encourages people who have no calling to be a writer to write 50k words of shit, then haul ass over to Lulu or Createspace or whatever and publish that piece of garbage because they want to be the next E.L. James.

But that doesn’t mean I think I CAN’T put out 50k words of hell knows what in a month. I’ve done it before. In fact, the two books I’ve written (both still in draft one form because HOLY GOD are they shit) were on paper in less than a month each. But I did that almost 4 years ago back when OFW was a group on Goodreads. I’d just penned the first one that I titled Sacrifical Lamb Cake and loved the process of it so much, I decided to learn more.

That’s when writing became difficult and the focus to just sit down and write fizzled.

Learning about the craft of writing is important for anyone wishing to make writing a career, but it also fuels that internal editor that whispers doubt and endless revision in your ear.

NaNoWriMo, for me, will be about seeing if I can put a tight little noose around said editor’s neck for 30 days and bang out something worth editing, revising, and maybe, one day, publishing.

OR – it’ll be the end of all things and I’ll snap, go on a seven state killing spree, and later the police will find me naked and bloodied in an alley, rocking back and forth, still trying to finish my outline on a brick wall using the blood of my victims as ink.

Only one way to find out.

 

Rantlet and Update

First the rant, because I know that’s why you all came here. Everyone loves drama.

Pretty recently, author Christopher Moore made a statement on his facebook account that he was told to “Just write books” and to spare his readers his political opinion because, as a writer he shouldn’t have one.

Immediately following that event, Chris started a second twitter account which he uses strictly as a political outlet. If you’re curious, his handle is @NOX10US. Don’t go over there just to act like a douchebag, though, k? Then, my good friend and fellow OFW-er, Renee, blogged her thoughts on the whole thing here.

I decided to give myself some thinking time before I voiced my thoughts, via blog, on the matter. Here’s what I came up with.

Those of you who claim that writers should just “shut up and write” must not read very much.

No, I’m serious. Or if you do, you couldn’t possibly comprehend that what you are reading are ideas come to fruition. That means, the writer had a thought, then voiced that thought via fiction. Writers are sneaky devils. We will lace whatever the fuck we want between the lines of that novel you’re enjoying so much, including a political jab or two. Just because we make the same declaration, be it political, sociological, or just the fact that we fucking love bacon, by a vehicle other than fiction it doesn’t make it any less the same.

As readers, if you want to have that personal connection with your favorite author, then you’re going to have to make room for the personal shit like politics and social issues. If you just want another book, then log off Twitter, and sit back and wait for your email from Barnes & Noble saying that your preordered copy is on the way. It’s that simple. We can’t force you to sit and listen to everything we have to say – and believe we’d fucking love to – just as you can’t force that author to shut up. Not only is it rude, it’s impossible.

So grow up, take a step back, and think about what you’re saying before you go polluting the internet with your whiny bullshit. If you don’t “follow” me because of it, cool. My feelings won’t get hurt. Same if you don’t read my stories. Sure, I’d like you to. What writer doesn’t? It’s why we do it. For us, and for you guys. But chances are if you don’t like my style when it comes to something as dumb as a 140 character tweet, then you probably aren’t going to like my fiction style, either.

And scene.

Now for the update.

I am at the point in my writing career that I’ve had to choose between a moderate social life and committing more time to the two projects I’m knee deep in and extremely excited about. Guess which won. A real desk was purchased.

I have friends who have assumed I died of some strange disease or got myself shot over saying the wrong thing to the wrong person with the wrong inflection. For all intents and purposes, yes, I died. No need for a funeral. Just buy a caramel macchiato in my name and drink it with all the orgasmic joy you can muster.

That’s all I have for today. No, I’m not going to talk about my super exciting projects for the same reason I never tell people what I wish for on my birthday. It’s just bad luck. I will, however, be reading an excerpt at the “Wordier Than Thou” event in St. Petersburg at L Train Bar on September 27th. If you live in the area, I recommend attending. Not just for me, but for the other talented writers that’ll be there sharing their work. Beer and fiction. Doesn’t get better.

Adaptation Series: From Screenplay to Novel, Part One: The Bones

There are two writers in my immediate family: myself, and my stepfather, Raul. The difference between us (well, the biggest besides DNA) is that he’s a screenwriter and I’m a short story writer. Anyone familiar with either of these animals knows that they are different breeds, entirely.


A screenwriter concerns himself with dialogue and the bare bones of a situation. I.e.:

CHRISTIAN enters. He’s angry.

CHRISTIAN

What the fuck, Miriam?

A short story writer, or novelist for that matter, concerns himself with everything else: setting, mood, internal dialogue…

Arms clenched at his sides, Christian kicked in the door of the piece of shit apartment he shared with Miriam.

Not for much longer, good for nothing bitch.

When she didn’t come running to see what the bang was, Christian went looking for her. It wouldn’t be hard. She wasted her life away in front of the television in the bedroom.

The glow of the television flickered on her face, but she didn’t acknowledge his presence.

“What the fuck, Miriam?”

See the difference? 179 words difference, to be exact. The scene is, at its bare bones, the same. But the screenplay version leaves room for interpretation by the producers and director who will work on the movie. The prose version shows you what you would’ve seen in the movie. I read a blog by an author who writes screenplays BEFORE his novels… he called screenplays “the bare bones” of a novel. In essence, a form of an outline. This, to me, was an interesting idea.

Why this blog series? I’m taking on a project. I will be adapting a screenplay written by my stepfather into novel form. Mostly, I just want to see if I can do it. But also, the story for this particular screenplay is my favorite of all that I’ve read of his work. The characters are solid, the plot has no holes, and the story is believable.

This series will be my account of all the problems I come up against (I’m a realist. There WILL be problems), the successes I have, the questions I come across, and the overall process of adapting a screenplay to a novel. Let the games begin!