Tag Archives: creative writing

Prompt of the Week: Genre Swap!

Genre Swap! Whatever your WIP story is right now, change it to a completely different genre.


Write your response in the comments below. Best entry gets a shout out next week!

Shout out to Plant Electrician who had a hilarious entry for last week’s writing prompt.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Want to see Lady Jabberwocky’s response to this prompt? Go support the Patreon!

To the Teacher Who Changed My Life

In the spirit of International Women’s day, I’ve decided to take a sentimental stroll down memory lane today. Let me tell you the story of the teacher who made me a writer and changed my life.

First off, I must shamelessly promote the tip jar. Check it out, just added a new reward tier on Patreon.

So Back in High School….

Let me give you an mental image of the kind of kid I was in school. An average B+ student. Definitely not one of the cool girls in school. I was shy and awkward and self conscious and a total mess. Seriously, I was. In Freshman year, I wrote my first fictional story and discovered I actually liked writing. English was my favorite subject. Here was the problem. In my personal life, there was no one to encourage me to pursue my talent, nor acknowledgement that I even had a talent. Being a teenager was hard enough, huh?

Until I Met this Teacher

For now, let’s call her Miss Judge. She was my English teacher in both my Freshman year and my Senior year. So she really saw my growth as a writer. And she saw the potential in me that I didn’t even know existed.

Miss Judge was a kind and lovely person. She introduced me to literature that initially inspired me to write. The first story I ever wrote was probably in her class. Works like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Of Mice and Men’ And Greek Mythology. Speaking of Mythology, towards the end of Freshman year, my high school wanted to remove Greek Mythology from the curriculum and planned on throw away a bunch of books away. The horror. That book sparked my love of fantasy and magic and everything supernatural. Before they were tossed in the garbage, she gave me one of those books. Torn and tattered, it will always remain on my bookshelf.

Struggles with Self Esteem

This one time, in class, we were assigned to write a scene inspired by Hamlet, the play we were reading at the time. I was so excited that I worked extra hard on this two page script. I even researched authentic Shakespearean language. After I handed it in, my teacher was genuinely impressed and asked if she could read it to the whole class. I told her ‘no’. And even today, I still regret that decision. See, my confidence was under the floorboards at the time. I was incredibly self conscious, and felt like I was rubbing my great story in everyone’s face, and then everyone would hate me. “No, no, it isn’t that great. Surely, my work isn’t the best in the class.” Man, some days, I wish I had a time machine and could tell my younger self to not be afraid of showing my talent. That being awesome at something won’t belittle others. And honestly, I still struggle a little with that low self esteem logic today.

One of her many sweet notes.

Words of Encouragement

I kept in touch with her through my school years. In my Senior year, Miss Judge asked us to write journal entries, which she would read. I was still nervous about others reading my writing. I mean, there’s nothing that interesting about me, right? To break from that fear, I decided to just be funny. My journal was filled with my (embarrassing) humorous observations, kind of like what you see on the blog today. And she loved them. So, I kept writing. She said I had a natural talent as a writer and that I had a quirky voice. Thank goodness for that quirkiness. I was amazed and humbled and happy. My silly scribbles made someone laugh. Nothing was more fulfilling. Miss Judge wrote me these encouraging notes, pushing me to pursue a career as a writer. I still have those notes. The most touching note from her is scrawled in my yearbook, hoping that the next time she hears my name, it’s because I’d have won the Pulitzer prize.

Her note in my yearbook, from 2011.

To a wonderful teacher, I’d like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for your encouragement. You inspired me to pursue creative writing and made me the writer I am today. And you also inspired me to start this blog, where my quirkiness has room to play and where I can encourage other writers to write their story.

In honor of International Women’s day, who’s a lady in your life that has made a big impact in some way? Has any teacher inspired you to pursue something? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you guys. I gotta go, I’m drowning in tears over here.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Words for Writers Wednesday: Save Writer’s Block Sufferers Today

When you see someone falling into the quick sand

That is writer’s block,

Be the one who helps them out.

Be the wall to bounce ideas off of.

Because one day,

When you are stuck in the trenches,

You may need backup too.


Writers should support other writers. Period.

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How to Build Up Suspense In Any Genre

Whether you are writing a mystery or a horror, or even a romance, suspense can be a total game changer in any kind of story. Here are some tips that will have your readers hanging on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

What is Suspense?

Dictionary definition:
A state or feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what may happen. A quality in a work of fiction that arouses excited expectation or uncertainty about what may happen.

Simply Put: The fear of the unknown. Keeping the reader guessing. Who is the true murderer? What’s in the haunted mansion down the lane? Building suspense means offering the reader a question that they feel they must learn the answer to. The trick is to prolong giving them that answer while maintaining their interest.

Now, let’s talk about techniques you can use to help build up suspense in your story.

Solid Villains and High Stakes

See the source image

A stirring tension and conflict can be crucial in any genre. Great antagonists who challenge the protagonist create that exciting conflict. Explore the villains motivations. Why has he set this evil plan in motion? What is his connection to the hero? Throw away the idea of a villain who only wants to rain on a parade for no good reason. Really flesh out the character and make them a worth opponent for the hero.

The stakes must be high. Whatever is at risk, whether it’s a loved one’s life or the world’s safety, needs to be important to the protagonist. So important that they will jump through any hoop the antagonist throws at them. And if they fail, they would be devastated.

Point of View

Focus on the character’s perspective. See the world through their eyes. Let the reader learn information as the character does. Narrowing the point of view is an excellent way to build tension. Unlike an all knowing, omniscient narrator, the character won’t know what’s around the corner and what will happen next. Consider who tells the story, and how the story gets told.

Think about it like this. Imagine shining a flashlight into a dark room. You only see the beam of light, and not the rest of the room. The freaking Frankenstein monster could be standing in the corner, and you wouldn’t even know. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

Image result for flashlight shining in dark cartoon

Pacing and Ticking Clocks

Experiment with style a bit. Short, fragmented sentences give a feel of breathlessness. Brief pauses will add weight to a scene. Keep in mind about the pacing of the overall story. The longer answers stay hidden, the longer some readers will continue reading. But don’t hold out for too long, readers may loose interest. It’s all about leaving a trails of information breadcrumbs for them to follow.

The use of time is another way to build suspense. Everyone can relate to the feeling of time running out. Your MC should be working against the clock. That’s why scenarios like “You have 24 hours to find the girl” work so well. Will the hero make it in time? What will happen if time runs out?

See the source image

After a Dark and Stormy Night

Hope you guys use these techniques when adding some suspense to your next story. What’s your favorite moment of suspense in a book or film? When I think of suspense, I always think of the movie, Speed. Keanu Reeves and a bomb strapped to a bus? Classic suspense thriller.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Brawn Man of Brooklyn (A Short Story)

They called it an extraordinary phenomenon.

A regular Hercules, Dr.Robinowitz on 3rd street claimed. Their son, Frank, was born with the capabilities of lifting objects 100 times heavier than his body weight. Super strength, the kids would say. His mother said Hail Mary in Italian ten times a day and cried, as if he son was some kind of devil. She constantly scolded him out of fear of his destructiveness. “Don’t touch that!” and “Don’t touch anything!” or “Don’t you dare touch the baby!”

He was a toddler. And his strength was something unexplainable, something that should remain a secret. If he pressed his hand into wall too hard, the wall would crack. Toys, if not handled gently, would be crushed or broken into pieces. Even the metal handle of his bicycle would be indented by his fingertips. He couldn’t control this, even as he got older, his power grew more dangerous. On the kindergarten playground, he pushed a kid out of the sandbox and cracked his rib. When he was seven years old, he threw a baseball and it landed three blocks away and through a car windshield.

He couldn’t touch anything. He wasn’t safe.

Frank would hold his small hands and peek into his sister Camilla’s crib when she was an infant. He was afraid of breaking her too.

His father owned a deli under the train tracks, Berardi’s Deli. Behind it was a dead patch of grass they called a backyard. And above it was a shoe box apartment they called a home. His father wore a filthy apron as he sat on the sidewalk’s edge, smelling like fennel seed and sweat. He smoked a cigarette and watched the kids in the street play. Frank, a small boy with small hands, sat beside him.

“Pops, why can’t I play with them?” The boy said “I promise I’ll be good. I won’t hit so hard. Honest.” He watched as the kids played stick ball.
His father gave him a side glance, taking a long drag and rubbing his stubbled chin. “Last time, you knocked a kid out.”

He looked down at his hands, discouraged “I-I didn’t mean to, Pops, he was….”

“Your mother with have a heart attack if she finds out you hurt someone else with your…” Trailing off, he stood up and stomped his cigarette out. The few remaining embers in the curb fizzled into the cement. “Don’t let nobody see you doing that. You hear me?” He warned. Frank’s eyes wandered to the window to the apartment above the deli, where his mother, with tired eyes, looked out.


“I don’t know if it’s a good idea, Camilla.” He said, looking down at his feet as they walked home from high school one crisp autumn afternoon. His black hair fell into a perfect greased curl.

“Sure it is,” His sister grinned, holding her biology textbook in her arms. “You love baseball.”

“Watchin’ baseball, sure. Not playin’ it,” He shrugged, still unsure “Pop’s will be mad. And Ma’s gonna be in hysterics if she finds out.”

She nudged him with her elbow. Her long wool skirt matched her mint green sweater. “Come on, don’t worry about that stuff, Frankie, you’d be amazing and you know it.”

Frank sighed, shoving his hands in his Letterman jacket. A chill blew between them. A police siren blared in the distance. The sun was setting, burning orange and gold.

“What if I hurt someone?”

“What if you only hit home runs?”

“I’m serious, Camilla,” He grabbed her arm lightly, as if he was holding a feather. They stood on the street corner across from their family’s deli. “I can’t control this. Someone’s gonna get hurt.”

“You can control it. You don’t have to be scared. You’re strong… super strong, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can do something good with it.” The sirens grew louder.

As they crossed the street, a car screeched around the corner, being tailed by red and blue flashing lights. A police chase. Frank was in the middle of the street, frozen for a moment. Camilla screamed, pulling at his hand. “Frankie, move!” He wouldn’t budge. He didn’t want to be scared anymore. The car was barreling towards him. He pushed his sister out of the way, and braced for impact, with an arched back and outstretched arms.

The car slammed into Frank, metal crushed against his chest, pushing him back a couple of feet. His sneakers skid against the pavement. The vehicle was stopped completely, with three bewildered robbers wearing ski masks sitting inside. The headline in the newspaper the next day dubbed him “The Brawn Man of Brooklyn”.

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