The Graveyard Shift (100 Word Spooky Story)

“G’Evening, Miss Lorelei.”

Tipping his flat cap in her direction, he pushes the wheelbarrow along the dirt path. The moon is full and bright.

“G’Evening Mister George, George Junior.” Regarding father and son with a bow of his head, his mud caked boots trudges forward. Thick fog blankets the graveyard.

“G’Evening Miss Ramona.” Next to her, he finds an empty plot and grabs a shovel.

Alone in the cemetery, the gravedigger whistles a tune as he digs. Tree branches full of orange leaves bristle. A woman’s delicate voice carries on the wind.

“Good evening, Jim. How’s life been treating you?”


Based on this week’s prompt of the week!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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What Inspired My Short Stories (Part Three)

Hey Writer Bees!

You guys seem to really like when I talk about the inspiration behind some of my stories. And I love hearing what inspires all of you in your creative works. So today, I’m coming at you with part three.

If you are curious, be sure to check out PART ONE and PART TWO of this series.

Scrunchies and School Bells

When I wrote this short story, many were heading back to school. I’m a 90’s kid who loves nostalgia and at the time, I was watching the Saban Moon documentary. I found myself in the mood to write something lighthearted and silly, packed with nostalgic reverences. And maybe a bit of cringey, relatable vibes too. Because let’s face it, we were all losers in school. Creating a character who was unapologetically themselves was refreshing. Also, it was good practice for me as writer to focus on describing a character’s appearance. How a character presents themselves says a lot about them. In short, wacky 90s vibes inspired this short story.

Pixies and Paperwork

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my current cubicle job. It’s helping my partner and I save up for future plans, and I write during breaks. However, there are days when work is stressful and soul sucking. I’m sure a lot of other people out there feel the same way, no matter their career. When I wrote this piece, I was feeling down. And like I did with Sunny Day Towing Company story, I wrote out those gloomy feelings. I wanted to cheer up not only myself, but others who may feel the same as I do. To bring a little light and a little positivity into someone’s day.

The Cinnamon Witch

By far, one of my favorite short stories I’ve ever posted on the blog. And just in time for spooky season too! For me, I enjoy writing in low fantasy worlds. Stories like Gravity Falls and Kiki’s Delivery Service have always appealed to me. Taking a single detail of a story and twisting it around is super fun and keeps readers on their toes, that’s for sure. Experimenting in a genre I don’t normally write in, like horror, is good for the creative muscles. For example, in this piece, I considered what if those ingredients aren’t exactly sugary sweet and come from a horrifying source? From that question came came this short story.


Is there a story behind your stories? What has inspired your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Secret Behind Writing Meaningful Character Deaths

Hello Writer Bees!

Hope you all are doing well and staying creative.

With spooky season right around the corner, and with that recent episode of critical role, I’ve been thinking about character deaths lately. Morbid, I know. But realistically, not every character makes it to the end of the story alive. So today, let’s talk about the key to writing meaningful death scene.

For the Story

In fiction, death must serve a purpose, whether to the overall plot or to the characters themselves.

A single character’s death could be used as a major catalyst in the events of a story and the lives of other characters. In terms of the narrative, character death can raise the stakes. It’s a wakeup call to both the cast and the audience that lives are at stake. That not every character may survive in the end. By raising the stake in this way, the underlying tension and suspense will grow, and readers will be hanging on the edge of their seats.

Apart from building suspense, a character’s death can also add to the atmosphere and exposition. A death scene can set the mood for the story, in practically any genre. Remember the writing rule, ‘Show, Don’t Tell‘, and save yourself from writing an info-dump. If the fictional world is plagued with war or a virus, then bodies hitting the ground is an effective, and incredibly terrifying, image. Use a character’s death as a tool for creating the mood of a setting.

For the Characters

For other characters specifically, another character’s death can change how they go forward in their lives. Characters should be written like real life people. Death often comes will a strong emotional response.. When someone dies, it can change one’s outlook or view on their world, other people or ever themselves. For better or for worse. It can alter the course of their future actions.

However, be careful using this as a plot device as it can lean towards cliché. Often times, killing one to motivate another can feel like an overused or stale occurrence. Think about it. How many movies involve the main character’s love interest dying and as a result, the hero rises and is motivated to avenge their lover? And unfortunately, because of this, women are sometimes written off as expendable and not as fully developed characters. Big no-no, writer bees.

Final Thoughts

Next time you think about killing your darlings, take a minute and consider this. What purpose does this character’s death serve? How with this impact the story and other characters? Really considering the why can be a game changer in your writing.


How do you go about writing a character’s death scene? What character in fiction crushed you when they died? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Real Writer? (Repost)

Hello writer bees!

(Summer is over! Since some of you have headed back to school recently, I wanted to repost this. Reignite the conversation. Tell me your thoughts in the comments. – Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Today, I’m posing a possibly controversial question.

Do you need a degree in writing to be considered a “proper writer”?

To some, getting a college degree makes you a bonafide writer, or a better writer than most. Others feel they can be storytellers without the diploma to back them up. And some young writers have a hard time choosing what they want to study, and if a degree in writing is even worth it.

I want to share my experience. Hopefully, it can give younger writers a bit of insight. Goodness knows I needed some insight when I was just a fledgling. For those of you who don’t know, I graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English. What do you do with a B.A. in English? How did that experience impact my journey as a writer? I’ll be diving into everything, the good and the bad.

Why I Chose to Pursue an English Degree

Let’s backtrack first. When I was in high school, I discovered my love of writing. I had an amazing teacher who encouraged my artistic aspirations. Without her, I probably wouldn’t be a blogger or an aspiring author right now. As I decided what college major I would pursue, no other subject could compare to English and creative writing.

I had a lot of ideas for a potential novel. Writing stories in various genres really interested me. I loved fantasy and mystery and historical drama and everything in between. Ah, to be young and full of inspiration. Wanting to narrow down my focus and find my niche, I thought going for a English degree would help me find the genre I’d eventually publish in someday. Like “Congrats! Here is your diploma! Also, you are a mystery writer! Now go write a whodunit and be on your merry way.”

Earning my B.A. in English was a wonderful experience. It wasn’t easy. Lots of late nights, lots of reading material, lots of stress. And I don’t regret a single minute.

Writing Workshops

While in college, my fiction writing classes were full-on workshops. Gathering around with fellow writers, discussing each other’s stories. I learned how to constructively critique someone’s work and became more mindful of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. We read each others short stories and offered feedback in a really safe and sensitive environment. Don’t get me wrong, I was so nervous letting others read my work. But once you realize we’re all in the same boat, it’s not so scary. That was my first taste of a greater writing community.

Also, the very first draft of my current WIP sprouted in that class. Sharing that story in particular with my classmates was like the ultimate test run for my work-in-progress novel. Let me know in the comments if you want to hear more about that particular workshop session.

Reading Everything

Remember when I said I was looking down to settle with one genre to write in? It didn’t quite work out as I expected. In college, I read everything. And I mean everything. Like I was reading Beowulf and Arthurian legend in the morning and Hemingway and Christie in the afternoon. Real talk? My narrator was born after reading an Edgar Allen Poe story. If anything, my horizon only expanded. Once I graduated, I was even more undecided about what genre I wanted to publish in. I really gained an appreciation for literature across all genres. By reading various genres and styles and time periods, a sturdy foundation was built under my feet. Maybe it’s strange to say, but I felt like I had a wealth of source material I could refer to and be inspired by. If that makes sense.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, is it?

Hard to Find a Job

After I graduated, It was tough finding steady work. I applied for many publications and ended up with a pile of rejection letters. Apparently, a bachelors degree in English isn’t enough to prove you are good at writing. That was a newsflash to me. I wanted to make a living as a writer, and it just wasn’t happening. Frankly, It was a dark time for me. Finally, I fell into freelance work, starting out as an unpaid intern. Around the same time, I started this blog. Then, more freelance opportunities opened up. And today, even though I’m stuck in a cubicle at an office day job, the passion for writing has not ceased. I’m still working on my goal to write a novel, after office hours, of course.

Final Thoughts

The B.A. in English gave me a solid foundation. My brain thinks differently about literature and storytelling because of my time as an English major. It was a valuable, rewarding experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Well, maybe a finished novel.

Do you need a degree to be a proper writer?

In my opinion? No.

You know that quote from Ratatouille, Anyone can cook? I believe anyone can write. A degree doesn’t make me, or anyone else, a genuine writer. We all have imagination and creativity inside of us. Anyone can write a story and be considered a writer.


Do you think you need a degree to be considered a proper writer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you earned your degree in English/Creative writing, how has that experience impacted your journey as a writer? As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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How to Conquer Your Writer’s Doubt

Hello Writer Bees,

I had a completely different idea for this week’s post.

But I kept thinking about a writer buddy of mine, Jai Lynn. She’s this wonderful poet/writer and we often exchange positive writing vibes and love to one another. Couple weeks ago, she vented about feeling stressed and overwhelmed about her writing. And I know a lot of other writers, myself included, are in the same boat.

If you’ve struggled with self-doubt, anxiety and stress from being a writer, keep these three things in mind.

Be Okay Writing Trash

Most of us strive for perfection. To write the most perfect sentence in the most perfect plot. Unfortunately, perfection is impossible. Even if you think it’s garbage, just try to get the words on paper. The first drafts of a story aren’t meant to look pretty. That’s what editing and revisions are for. Every story starts somewhere, so accept the fact that you may write trash before you create an exceptional story.

Take a Break

Your mental health is important. If writing feels like a daunting task, take some time off. Focus on other things. Relax and recharge and eat some potato chips. Yes, it may seem counterproductive and that might make you feel a little anxious. And that’s alright. Make sure you take care of yourself. And trust that inspiration, ideas, and those good creative juices will return.

You Are Not Alone

Think about your favorite author. They too have probably struggled with writer’s doubt, felt uninspired or not good enough. Everyone faces those dark moments. But writers keep writing until they find the light at the end of the tunnel, until the story is told. So, if you’re experiencing writer hardships, remember, you are not alone. There is a whole community of other writers and creatives facing the same struggles. We need to support one another in our creative endeavors.


How do you get through writer’s doubt and stress? What’s your advice to struggling writers. Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys. Also, please send the lovely Jai Lynn some positive writing vibes. Us writers need to stick together.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

What Inspired My Short Stories (Part Two)

Hey Writer Bees!

So, this week, I tested positive for Covid. I’ve had a bad fever and chills and non-stop coughing. Not a fun time, I assure you. This is my first go-around testing positive with Covid. Don’t worry, I’ve been resting and working from home the past few days. And I’m looking forward to a three-day weekend staycation.

You guys loved my last story inspiration post, I decided to do a part two while I’m quarantining. Enjoy!

Remember The Crazy Times of 2020?

How fitting is it that I start off with this story, huh? While surrounded by blankets and used tissues? Right at the start of 2021, I wrote this 100-word story. We were all in the middle of the pandemic. I wanted to remember this crazy time and captured that in a short story. Because really, years from now, how will quarantine and covid be remembered? How will we talk about this moment in time? That idea inspired this piece. Also, it was an effort to spread some hope through humor. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunny Day Towing Company

Let’s keep the positivity train rolling, shall we? Frankly, this short was inspired by a bad day. I had a stressful and overwhelming couple of days, was in a bad headspace. My mental health was struggling. But the magical thing about creativity is that it can be used as an outlet. Using this blog as a safe space, I channeled all my sadness into writing a short story. I imagined my worries being towed away. And honestly, my heart felt a little lighter after writing this story. Lesson learned, sometimes, you have to write with heart and write what you are feeling. No shame in that game.

A Victim at Midnight

Before I wrote this story, I wrote 5 Subgenres of Horror Fiction Explained. One of the subgenres I talked about was psychological horror. While horror isn’t my favorite, I do enjoy a good ghost story. Taking inspiration from the psychological horror subgenre and my love of all things haunted and mystery, I wrote this story. Plus, I was able to mix in detective fiction elements too. Super happy with how this piece turned out. To challenge myself, I try writing in genres I don’t usually write in. It’s a great writing exercise, I highly recommend exploring other genres.


Is there a story behind your stories? What has inspired your creative endeavors? Talk to me in the comments.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Golden Rule of Fiction Writing: Show, Don’t Tell

Hello Writer Bees,

This week, we’re talking about the fundamental golden rule of fiction writing. A technique most writers know as Show, don’t tell. But what is show, don’t tell? How do you use this writing technique? Will it help take your stories to the next level? Let’s explore that, shall we?

What is Show Don’t Tell?

In simple terms, Show Don’t Tell is a writing technique where the writer leaves behind lengthy expositions and explanations. Instead, the plot, it’s tone and characterization are all conveyed through actions, thoughts, and feelings. Showing the audience instead of telling them point blank. At its heart, Show, Don’t Tell is about how readers experience a story. How they learn information and how they draw their own conclusions.

And many famous authors have used this technique in their creative works too. There’s this quote by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov that is often associated with the Show Don’t Tell technique. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Also, Ernest Hemingway shared similar views on storytelling in his notable iceberg theory.

Tips on Using the Show Don’t Tell Rule

  • Set up the Setting: When describing the setting, play with the reader’s senses. Remember, it’s not just about the visuals. Think about how sight, smell, sound, touch and taste tie into a scene. What noises can be heard from the background? What does the texture of a blanket feel like? What are the flavors of a home-cooked meal? No need to go overboard with details but give the audience enough to feel immersed in the world.
  • Digging the Dialogue: How characters communicate with one another can be a telling sign of their relationship. Think about it, you’d speak to a family member differently than a coworker, right? Plus, dialogue is an excellent tool for showing a character’s nature and personality. Someone with an excitable personality is going to have more lively conversation while a shy person may mumble or stutter a bit.
  • Understanding Emotions: When in doubt, pull that flowery language out of your writer sleeves. Every writer has that in their arsenal. Metaphors, similes, and personification can help express emotions and moods in any story. Like “the chill of fear tumbling down your spine“. That sort of wordy goodness. Keep in mind, this poetic style of writing may not suit your specific narrator. For example, my WIP’s narrator, Oscar Fitzgerald, is fast talking and not exactly a poetic soul.

Examples of Show Don’t Tell.

TELLINGSHOWING
She was tired.Dragging her feet, she yawned and stretched out her arms.
The room was filthy.Dirty laundry strewn across the floor. Stains on the paint chipped walls. A rotten smell in the air.
He was a shy guy.Staring at his shoes, his stood on the sidelines of the party. With a soft voice, a blush painted his face as he tried to start a conversation.

Final Thoughts

Does each sentence you write need to follow this rule? Probably not. Exposition can come in handy, if used correctly. Find the balance between showing enough and telling enough. Will the Show Don’t Tell technique improve the quality of your stories? In my opinion? Yeah. By showing rather than telling, the whole story gains a new level of depth and complexity, and it allows readers to fully engage with the plot, characters and overall tone.


What are your thoughts on Show Don’t Tell ? Do you apply this technique to your writing? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you.

Have a question about creative writing or blog writing? Let me know! It may be answered in a post in the near future.

Write with heart.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

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