Tag Archives: writing workshop

This is BEN-G567 (100 Word Sci-Fi Story)

This is BEN-G567. Robot of Earth.

1,340.50 miles to target.

Total duration of flight since launch: 199 days, 20 hours 36 minutes. 24 seconds. 25 seconds.

986.72 miles to target. Energy levels sufficient.

Probability of successful landing: 95%.

Incoming unknown mass. Brace for impact. Impact. Emergency. Emergency.

Plutonium power source damaged. Leak detected. Wheels down.

This is BEN-G567. I am lost.

Navigation damaged. Current distance from target: Unknown.

Propulsion engage. Engine failing. Repeat. Engine failing.

Entering planet atmosphere. 100 miles to target.

Probability of successful landing: Less than 5%. Landing preparation sequence activated.

This is BEN-G567. BEN-G567 programmed to endeavor and discover. Spare jets engaged. Accelerate.

Lost. Lost connection. Lost.

15 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Hello Writer bees!

Hope you are are staying safe and writing wonderful work. And if you are feeling stuck with your writing, that’s alright too. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the words on the page. Don’t be discouraged. Writer’s block happens to everyone, myself included. So today, I’m sharing some tips for beating the block and rekindling inspiration once again.

Be honest and ask yourself, “how do I break out of this funk I’m in?” and “What’s stopping me from writing?” Depending on what you need, there are three courses of action to take. Whatever route you choose, find what works for you.

See the source image

Push to Writing – the need to shake up you writing habits.

  1. Write in some place other from your usual spot. No need to chain yourself to your desk. Write in a different room of your home. Or outside. A new, quiet place.
  2. Freewriting: Write the first things that comes to mind, whatever it may be. Follow where the words take you. On a time crunch? Take a 5 minute writing sprint and write as fast as you can.
  3. Set deadlines and stick to them. Reach for a daily wordcount goal that’s achievable and works with your schedule. Even if it’s only a 100 words a day. You’ll be 100 words closer to your finished draft.
  4. Try writing exercises and prompts. They can be a fun, well-needed challenge for some writers. But where can you find prompts? I post a Prompt of the Week every Monday. Check them out!
  5. Use a different writing tool. Instead of a keyboard, switch to paper or sticky notes or colorful markers.

Recharge – The need to step back from your writing endeavors.

  1. Take a break! A real one. Relax. And don’t think about your story. A little separation from your WIP is fine. Sometimes, lightbulb moments happen when you least expect. I speak from experience.
  2. Go for a walk. Alone, with music, or with a dog. Walks are great. Socially distanced walks while wearing masks is even better.
  3. Get cozy and curl up with a good book. Fuzzy socks included. Let your mind unwind and dive into a whole new world.
  4. Drink some coffee/tea/alcoholic beverage of choice. And stuff your face with your favorite food. Writing is hard work. Treat yourself to that tub of ice cream or bag of potato chips. I won’t judge.
  5. Sleep it off, or just lounge around. Rest, physically and mentally. There are times when the best ideas can come right before you fall asleep. Keep a notepad on your nightstand ready, in case you need to jot down ideas.
See the source image

Getting motivated and inspired! – the need to get pumped to write again, or find inspiration.

  1. Browse through photos; especially images that relate to your story’s genre. Create an aesthetic board featuring images that remind you of your story. If you are writing historical fiction, keep a folder of snapshots from that time period.
  2. Talk it out. Talking to another person, writer or non-writer, about your ideas can get those creative juices flowing. Find someone you feel safe with and who encourages you. Don’t waste your time with people who judge you harshly.
  3. Read some quotes from some famous authors. Gather inspiration from the authors who came before you.
  4. Connect with other writers. The writing community is a fantastic group of creatives. Make friends, chat about WIPs, support each other through those tough times. It’s nice to have someone in your corner, to have that support system.
  5. Be okay with writing trash. Not everything you write will be perfect. And that’s fine, that’s what editing is for. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for the story that future readers can connect with. That’s the real goal, isn’t it?

How do you get through writer’s block? What’s your advice to a writer who is struggling? Let me know if the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky.

Follow Me on Twitter

Celebrating My Birthday with 700 Follower Milestone

Hello Writer Bees!

28 years ago today, in the middle of blizzard, I was born.

And this year, I’ve received a very special gift; I’ve reached the 700 follower milestone.

That’s amazing! Thank you all so much for all your support. You don’t know how much every comment means to me. I’m incredibly grateful for all of you lovely readers. All of your positive vibes keep me going and keep me writing.

I’ve been immensely stressed recently. Like cry-in-a-bathroom-stall, throat-constricting stress. This new work-life arrangement is overwhelming, at times. And my WIP was pushed to the back burner.

I’m happy I have the Lady Jabberwocky blog. This blog was meant to be a safe place for other writers. Amid the stress, it has also become my own creative santuary.

So, for my birthday, I’m going to take a me-day. Some time off, to relax a bit, sounds good right about now.

Once again, thank you for all the love and support. Still can’t believe 700 humans are interested in my content. Onward to…. 1,000 followers?

Love, Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

How to Choose a Read Worthy Book Title

Hello writer bees!

If there’s any silver lining to this chaotic time, it’s that writers are using their time to work on new projects. And with new projects comes a daunting task; Choosing the perfect title. It’s a huge question for any writer with a WIP. How do you create an interesting title that catches the readers attention and perfectly represents your story?

Today, I’m showing you what story elements can lead you to a read worthy title. Here are some ideas for where you can find the name of your book.

Character Inspired Titles

Image result for gatsby gif

If you have a character focused piece, pick a title that highlights the main character. Although it might be a simplistic option, a book named after a protagonist can be compelling to potential readers. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be the character’s name either. Think about the role the character plays in their world.

Examples

Setting Themed Titles

Consider naming the book after a prominent location featured in the story. Do the characters live in a specific town or residence? Or are they traveling to a certain destination? Settings transport the audience to a different time and place. Intrigue your readers with an invitation to a new world.

Examples

Memorable Line or Object

Is the adventure centered around a coveted object? Or is there a sentence/phrase that sums up the entire novel? A memorable line or item featured in the story can become a great book title. Search through the text and find those stand out bits that you feel represent the entire novel well.

Examples

Bonus Tips for Book Titles

  • Represent the right genre: If you pick a title that sounds like a fantasy story but it’s really a murder mystery, reader will be confused. Choose a title that reflects the genre. Research book titles in your preferred genre before naming.
  • Understand the theme: What themes does the novel explore? Underlying themes can be transformed into thematic phrases. Theme inspired titles give a nod to the audience of what the story is about. (ex. Pride and Prejudice)
  • Look through bookshelf: Check out your bookshelf, or the shelves at a library or bookstore. As a reader, what kind of titles catch your attention? Novels from other writers may inspire a title for your own piece.

Bottom Line

When coming up with a book title, focus on the core elements of the story. A character, a setting or even a memorable line can become a read worthy title.

What is the title of your WIP/Novel and how did you choose it? What are some of your favorite book titles? Lemme know in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Lady Jabberwocky

Follow Me on Twitter

How and When to Cut Unnecessary Characters From Your WIP

Hello writer bees!

Today, I’m sharing some tips on removing unnecessary characters from the narrative. No, I’m not talking about killing off a character, I’m talking about not giving life to begin with. While you are in the drafting phase, know that some fictional folks don’t always make it into the finished product. And that’s fine. How do you know a character is useless? When do you “kill your darlings”, as they say? Let’s figure that out together, shall we?

everything is trash, except for these books!; 9.26.18

My Personal Experience

This dilemma has actually happened to me before. Hopefully, you can learn something from my personal experience as a writer.

A couple months back, I decided to remove one of my suspects from my murder mystery WIP. I thought about it for quite sometime. He wasn’t a poorly constructed character, far from it. However, I realized, the story could survive without him, that his presence wouldn’t be missed if he was gone. And that was a problem. If Also, part of the reason I kept him around was because I wanted five suspects total. Bad idea. Now, I realize four suspects is enough. And perhaps this rejected suspect idea can be reused in another story someday. You never know.

A bit of change had to be done. For consistency sake, scenes needed to be rearranged and edited, plot threads knitted together. Relationships between characters shifted a smidge. An aspect of their nature transferred to another character, adding complexity to their personality. Very quickly, I learned an existing character could do the work of an unnecessary character. Because I removed this suspect, I feel like my story is much stronger without him than with him. I believe like I made the right decision.

Function over Beauty

At the end of the day, every character needs a function. Why is this character in the story? What purpose do they serve? What role do they play? How do they move the plot along? If you can’t answer these simple questions, that’s a real problem. Try to put each character under the microscope and really consider what function they serve in the grand scheme of the story. Then, you can start weeding out the undesirables and letting the true stars of the show shine. And listen, just because one character doesn’t fit one narrative, that doesn’t mean you can’t recycle that character idea in another story. Maybe they’ll be a better fit somewhere else instead. Save ’em for the sequel, I say.

Plot Hole in One

No matter how useless the character, when you do decided to remove them, there will be an empty space. And you don’t want your reader to know or notice a missing piece in the narrative. Think of it like hiding a hole in the wall by putting a picture frame over it, if that makes sense. Be certain all plot holes are covered and tied up any loose threads. That all the relationships and personalities of the existing characters are solid. It might take some rewriting, but don’t be afraid of a little extra drafting. The end result may be even better after these rewrites.

No Tropes Welcomed

Look, frankly speaking, I don’t think “trope-free literature” is a thing. Don’t be surprised if you find a cliché or two in your work. Keep in mind, too many tropes and clichés will drag the narrative down into total boredom. If the character is considered an overused stereotype, they probably fall in the “cut” category. Insist on keeping this extra character? Okay. Trust in your instinct as a writer. Nothing a little reworking can’t fix. Be creative and original and break the mold of a trope. Flush out a character’s personality and motivation, giving their real depth and complexity.


Bottom line, every character needs a function. No one wants dead weight in their story. Really consider what purpose a character holds in your narrative. Weed out unoriginal characters. And if you do decide to remove the character, the changes should make the plot stronger.

Have you ever had to cut a character from your story? Are you considering it? Talk about it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Keep writing and stay safe, writer bees.

— Lady Jabberwocky

Things I Miss (And Don’t Miss) About Freelancing

Hello writer bees!

Hope you all are staying safe and creating some beautiful work.

As many of you know, I started my new job a few months ago. Left freelancing behind for a cubicle job in insurance. What a life changing experience it’s been, I’ve learned so much. The other day, when I had to work from home, it reminded me of the good ol’ days of being a freelance writer. Now, I’ve written about the pros and cons of freelancing before. Today, I’m sharing what I miss and don’t miss about freelancing. To give you guy some insight on my time as a freelance writer.

Please note; This is solely based on my experience as a Freelance Writer. Freelancing is different for everyone. And it is possible to have a full time livelihood as a freelancer.

What I Miss

Freedom

With freelance, you really can be your own boss. If I wanted to wear pajamas and sleep in and work in the wee hours of night, I could. Also, I had the opportunity to control my workflow and to choose flexible hours. I miss the freedom to work on what I want, when I want. Sure, the structure of a 9 to 5 is probably better for me. I like the routine of an office job. But once in a while, I yearn for the luxury of sleeping in and wearing sweatpants all day.

Your Creativity Will Set You Free GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

The Creativity

I miss the innovative side of being a freelancer. Like outlining a post or editing material for a customer. Starting from scratch and building something worth reading. And when you finish a creative project and the client loves it, oof, that’s such a satisfying feeling. In the insurance world, the language used is so formal and specific. Nothing lighthearted about it. Thankfully, I have the Lady Jabberwocky blog and my WIP mystery novel, where I can write how I please. I don’t know where I’d be without those projects in my life. Creating engaging, fun content for readers just makes my heart happy. And I do really miss that part of being a freelance writer.

What I Don’t Miss

The Uncertainty

As a freelance writer, I had my dark and scary moments. Not knowing how much work I’d have in a week. Not knowing how much pay I’d make in a week. The stress crushed me. Often, I worried about if freelancing could support me and be a real career. Yes, I know there are amazing freelance writers out there making a good living. For me, it was difficult. Job security, benefits, a steady salary, all those things were uncertain for me. I feel so incredibly lucky right now just to receive a paycheck every other week. Some aren’t so lucky.

Rain Lonely GIF - Rain Lonely Alone - Discover & Share GIFs | Art, Window  illustration, Animation art

Loneliness

In freelance, you are basically a one person operation. Just you and your workspace. I rarely left the house. It got pretty lonely. Sure, you’ll get requests from clients, but emails aren’t enough. Don’t get me wrong, I like my solitude every now and then. I’m a shy introvert to the core. However, It’s nice to interact and collaborate and learn from other people. Being social and working with a team of really fantastic folks is a gift.


As overwhelming as it can be sometimes, this cubicle job is like my golden opportunity. It helps get my boyfriend and I closer to our goal of one day living together. And I can still manage on my WIP and this blog while still working a 9 to 5. It’s an ‘only for now’ kind of gig. Who knows, maybe one day I can make a real living as a writer.

What do you do for a living, when you’re not writing? Have you ever freelanced before? What do you like about freelancing, or what do you miss about it? Talk to me in the comments! I love hearing from you.

Stay safe and keep writing.

— Lady Jabberwocky

Remember the Crazy Times of 2020? (Humor 100 Word Story)

Sometime after the pandemic….

“Hey, look what I found.” She pulls out a crumpled mask from the bottom on her purse. “Remember those days?”

“How could I forget?” She cringes, inspecting her face in the mirror. “The mask acne.”

“The struggle to find toilet paper?”

“The orange president?” They laugh together.

“And all that hand sanitizer.”

She gasps. “So much hand sanitizer.”

“I’m still trying to lose that quarantine fifteen. During lockdown, I ate nothing but cereal and pizza pockets.”

“Those were crazy times, huh?”

“Crazy doesn’t cut it.”

“But we got through.”

Linking arms, they return to a crowded party.


Is this a great short story? Probably not. But it is a reminder, that eventually, this pandemic will end. And when we get through these crazy times, who knows, maybe we’ll laugh about it someday.

For now, stay safe. Wear a mask. Social distance. Take care about one another.

Keep writing, writer bees!

— Lady Jabberwocky

The Wonder of Wintertime – Fantasy 100 Word Story

“I love wintertime, Mama.”

“Do you?”

“Uh-huh. I like how the snow sparkles.”

Curled up in their den, the mother watched her child and the snowfall. A forest of evergreen trees coated with a thick layer of shimmering white. The little one skirted the entrance of the cave, sticking his forked tongue out to catch snowflakes. Icicles hung like jagged teeth above them.

“Can I catch one someday?” Claws reached for the sky. Snowflakes instantly sizzled, melting against red scales. “And keep it until the springtime comes?”

The dragon mother smiled at her youngling, “Of course you can, dear heart.”


I’m currently buried under a pile of snow, thanks to the nor’easter that just hit New York. This story was inspired by that blizzard and from watching the snowflakes from my window.

Happy holidays everyone! Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

Celebrating 600 Followers – Excerpt from Mystery WIP

Hello Writer Bees!

It looks like I’ve reached 600 Followers on WordPress! What a great present!

Thank you for all of your kindness and support. Every sweet comment makes me smile. Between my new job, preparing for the holidays, writing a novel and updating this blog, I’ve been juggling a lot lately. Knowing I have such wonderful readers out there keeps me afloat.

So, to celebrate this milestone, I’m doing something I rarely do. I’m sharing an excerpt from my WIP, as terrifying as that sounds. Usually, I don’t like others reading my unfinished drafts, but tis the season for exceptions. You’ve all been so lovely to me, I wanted to share a piece of my NaNoWriMo project with you all. Be gentle, I’m still drafting. Enjoy!


 This is my story just as much as it is his story. Fifty-fifty. And I’m going to tell it to you straight.

If he didn’t have his morning paper and cup of coffee by eight o’clock sharp, then he claimed to have a headache for the rest of the day. This meant that I too would have a headache for the rest of the day.

As I left our shoebox apartments, a brick of humidity hit me square in the chest. The Summer of 1924 was unbearably hot. A gift, perhaps, to make up for the blizzard filled Winter we had. Sure, I could go on and on about the smell of rotten garbage and livestock sweat, but I’ll spare you from that cruel and unusual punishment. 

Welcome to Brooklyn. More specifically, Coney Island. Even more specifically, Mermaid avenue. You will find the irony in this street name later on. Trust me. 

You know, some fools out there think that the streets here are paved with gold. That opportunity is dripping out of leaky faucets. Some will even cross oceans just to touch their nose to the sidewalk. What a bunch of suckers.

Forget about those glossy postcards, dispensing pictures of an unspoiled city. Of course, you’ve got those classic landmarks swarmed by tourists, like Central park, Empire State building, that place on Houston street that sells the best bagels. Don’t be too impressed. Let me tell you about the real monuments, the kind I strolled through every morning. We got monuments not found in brochures.  Those are the ones you should be looking at. 

Like the guy who digs through garbage cans named Mister Thumbs.  No one knows his real name. Everyone calls him Mister Thumbs. Each day, he smiles at passers by and jabs his thumb to the sky, happy as a clam. Rumor has it that he lives in a mansion.

Off Neptune street, a dewdropper fished for spare change. An exhausted mother, with raccoon eyes pushed a wailing bundle of colic in a carriage. And let’s not forget the string of Mrs. Popov’s unmentionables being hung in an alleyway. Those are the real genuine landmarks.  

My usual trek through the jungle wasn’t too complicated. Any fool with half a brain could follow the route. Cross Mermaid Avenue, pass the church, walk all the way to the hardware store. Jazz music  poured out of the windows overhead. Church bells clashed with a rebellious trumpet. I weaved through the bustle. You can’t help but find yourself marching to a beat. It’s an insistent, impatient cluster of bees settled under your rib cage. And if you stop, you get trampled over without a second thought. 

They call New York the great melting pot. And it is, really. But they never tell you what’s in the pot. What’s cooking for dinner? Ma called it a big stew, use whatever leftovers from last night’s supper that you’ve got. It will all taste fine, just the same. Gravy is gravy. 

You know, this may be the biggest city in the world, but there are these tight knit pockets no one ever hears about. Makeshift families of neighbors that relied on each other. Where everybody knows you, your mother, and those distant relatives. I always liked that about the city.  Every borough, every street is a home town. The patchwork of this quilt is top notch.


Hope you enjoyed this snippet from chapter one. That was my narrator, Oscar Fitzgerald, showing off his side of Brooklyn, 1924.

I’m opening the floor to you guys. What do you want to see more of on the blog? More on my personal experience as a writer? More creative writing tips? More short stories? Let me know in the comments. I’m really interested in what you all have to say.

Once again, thank you all for the support. Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

NaNoWriMo 2020 (Week 4)

Hello everyone!

There’s only a few days left on National Novel Writing Month. We’re in the home stretch. Keep writing everyone, the finish line is in sight!

Sorry, this update will be short. Recently, I’ve been starting to get wrapped up with holiday preparations. I’m spending time with family and doing some Christmas shopping.

For those wondering, I had a small, relaxing thanksgiving with my family. We watched March of the Wooden Soldiers, our holiday tradition. It’s a classic Laurel and Hardy film. I cooked a dairy free meal and stayed in sweatpants all day. A lovely dinner, indeed.

See the source image

Onto my NaNoWriMo progress! Unfortunately, I haven’t written much this week. What with the holidays and all. I’m still hovering around 10,000 words, halfway to my goal. Although, I haven’t made much progress word count wise, I’ve gained a new perspective on my story. There’s been some tinkering with the outline and characters.

Suspects are developing and growing more complex. New scenes and setting are being added and explored. Clues in my mystery are being more thought out and carefully placed. Despite the word count total staying the same, my WIP has grown/evolved this month. And that, I will celebrate.

Also, I’m acknowledging my weaknesses as a writer. Setting and character descriptions don’t come easily to me. It’s something I’m actively working on. I’m trying to take the time to imagine something in vivid details. Man, this Nano experience is becoming a real eye opener for me, huh?

Still, I’m inspired to keep writing even after the end of November. NaNoWriMo in December anyone?


Thanks for stopping by this blog! I appreciate all the support and positive vibes. How’s your NaNoWriMo project going? Did you reach your goals? Talk to me in the comments. I love to hear from you all.

Stay safe and keep writing

—- Lady Jabberwocky

1 2 6