My Favorite Blog Moments from 2021

Hello Writer Bees,

Once in a while, it’s good to take a minute and reflect on your accomplishments. To be proud of yourself. Plus, with the year we’ve all had, I think we’ve deserved some positivity. Often times, I stress and put myself down, like nothing I ever do is enough. In an effort to improve my mental health and confidence, I’m reflecting on some of my favorite posts and moments from 2021. Come stroll down memory lane with me.


May of Mystery

Every May, I shine a spotlight on the mystery genre. Being an aspiring mystery writer myself, it was thrilling to write posts celebrating detective fiction. Check out my posts from May of Mystery.

Reaching 1,000+ Readers

For me, it has never been about gaining a mass of followers. I started this blog to connect with and encourage other writers. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I had to say. And now, I’ve reached over 1,000 amazing, super supportive readers. In the span of 4 years, I might add. I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of the wonderful writing community.

Writing Advice

I’m no professor, just an ordinary writer who helps other writers. I try to share writing advice in a conversational, lighthearted tone. Here are some of my favorite writing tips posts from 2021.

Top Writing Blog Award from QueryLetter

Frankly, I’m still in shock over this one. How did a knucklehead like me earn a blogging award? I have no clue what I’m doing. Seriously though, this blog is a labor of love. For my humble little platform to be recognized in such a way is so special to me.

Very Short Stories

Apart from writing advice, I’ve also shared my dabbles of flash fiction. In 2021, I stepped outside my comfort zone and wrote in genres I don’t normally write it. It’s a fun challenge, I encourage all writers to try it sometime. Here are a few short stories I’ve written last year.


What did you accomplish in 2021? For fellow bloggers out there, what are your favorite posts from your own blog? Share your stuff in the comments.

Thank you all for the love and support over the years. Hope this year is even better.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky

What Do YOU Want to See on My Blog?

Hello Writer Bees!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all nothing but positive vibes and creative energy in 2022. Hope you had a wonderful holiday. Mine was lovely, got to spend it with family. Unfortunately, New York has been hit with another surge of COVID. We’re pretty much on lockdown again. I’ve been working from home the past few weeks, which I don’t mind. Reminds me of my freelancing days.

To start off the new year, I want to hear from you guys. My purpose for this blog has always been to support and encourage other writers in their creative pursuits. So, I want to know what you want to see on this blog. Seriously, writer bees, if there’s a topic you want me to talk about, I’m open to ideas and happy to help. Somes things to ponder include….

  • What do you want to learn more about in fiction writing or blog writing?
  • What are your writer struggles? What skills do you want to improve on in your own writing?
  • What do you want to know about me and my writing journey? Ask me anything!

Talk to me in the comments. Sorry, this first post is short and sweet. Life on my end has been hectic. But, I promise, I’ll try to ring in the new year as best as I can. Thank you for all the love and support.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky


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The Wonder of Wintertime – Fantasy 100 Word Story (Repost)

“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 taking a sick day and reposting an old short story. Thanks for understanding! Hope you all enjoy. – Victoria)

Happy holidays everyone! Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

My 2021 NaNoWriMo Plans: A Month of Editing?

Hello Writer Bees!

National Novel Writing Month is almost here! What are my plans for November? Am I going for the 50K word count goal? Spoiler alert; No, No I am not. However, if you want to know my goals for this month, then keep reading to find out.

Meet My Forever Work-In-Progress

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you probably already know about my WIP. I’ve even shared an excerpt of intro. For the new readers, welcome to my train wreck. Currently, I’m writing a 1920’s murder mystery set in Coney Island, New York. The plot follows Detective Barnaby and his assistant Oscar, the narrator, as they investigate the murder of a sideshow mermaid. It’s been a few years in the making. And it’s what I’ll be working on this month, like every other month.

Mostly Editing

Editing will be my main focus for NaNoWriMo. Smoothing out the rough edges. Reworking scenes. Maybe even rearrange scenes. Adding details and weeding out the unnecessary, when needed. A red pen will be glued to my hand for a month. I’d hope to have a finished piece at the end, if I’m lucky. I say this with hesitancy, but I think I’m heading towards the final drafts on my mystery WIP. Since I’ve been working on it so long, finally finishing sounds surreal. I might try to add 5,000 words to the wordcount, but overall, I’ll be mostly editing and revising my WIP. National Novel Editing Month anyone?

If you’ll be editing your work too, let me know!

The “Crater”

I’m being totally honestly here. Recently, I’ve had some writer’s block. There’s this gap in the story, an empty parking lot lot. A small section between the middle and the ending. It’s the part leading up to the finale. Right now, it’s pretty blank and it’s bothered me to no end. I lovingly call it “the crater”, cause it feels like a big empty hole or a missing puzzle piece. I’ve been struggling with what should fill the space. For NaNoWriMo, I’m going to experiment with my writing and be creative. I’m going to listen to my own writer’s block advice. I’m going to not be hard on myself, because all writers – great and small – get writer’s block.

Support Others

One of my biggest goals in life is to help other writers. During NaNoWriMo, I’m hoping to be more active on Twitter. Giving support to others participating in the event. Cheering them on. Promoting fellow writers and bloggers. Lending a hand to those who need aid in their creative endeavors. Being a shoulder when writing gets tough, because writing can be tough. That’s how I want to celebrate NaNoWriMo. So, if you’re looking for writing advice or positive vibes, I’m right here. I’m not going anyway. The writing community must stick together.


What are your plans for NaNoWriMo? Talk to me in the comments! Good luck to everyone participating.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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3 Terrifying Tips on Scaring Your Readers

Hello Writer Bugs!

In any kind of fictional story, a little bit of terror can go a long way. But how do you strike fear in the hearts of your readers? Have no fear, I’m here to help! Here are three tips on how to scare your audience senseless.


Setting the Mood

A spooky setting can be a total game changer in a horror story. With this literary element, details are key. Paint a horrifying picture for the audience. No, that does not mean you need copious amounts of blood and guts spilled everywhere. Even the most ordinary places can be transformed into a scary environment. Build an atmosphere that unsettles readers, that only enhances the fear factor of the antagonist. Consider what the weather would be like, or how a room is furnished, or the architecture of a building. Once you provided them with vivid descriptions, let the audience’s imagination handle the rest. Not sure where to start in descriptions? When it doubt, the “it was a dark and stormy night” trick never fails in fiction.

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Solid Characters

In horror – or in any genre, really- you can’t skimp on the characters. The audience isn’t going to care about a damsel-in-distress, Mary Sue who happens to tumble into a haunted basement. And if readers don’t care, they won’t keep reading. And they won’t be afraid when that character is put in danger. Simple as that. However, they might care more about a child running around a creepy hotel. Create complex characters and give them real struggles, flaws and life problems that the audience can identify with. The goal is to make readers care and want to protect the main character. To make them feel like they could be standing in that character’s shoes, facing the same horrors. To have them biting their nails until the very end, just to make sure the character survives the ordeal.

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Pacing Makes Perfect

Specific phrasing or wording can enhance the scary factor in horror fiction. When you have longer sentences, it slows down the action, thereby torturing readers with the suspense. On the other hand, quick and short sentences can keep readers on their toes and get their hearts racing. Those fast, up-tempo phrasing works best when a character is running away from the monster or is internally spiraling into panic and confusion. If the scene doesn’t feel quite right, try switching up the pacing. This one element can change the entire vibe of a scene.

Last week, I experimented in writing horror. I noticed that using short sentences added to the claustrophobic feeling. I almost made myself panic as I was writing the story. And if it scares the writer, it will most definitely scare the reader.

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To my fellow writers out there, how do you go about scaring your audience? Also, with Halloween around the corner, what are you dressing up as for Halloween? Talk to me in the comments.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

5 Subgenres of Horror Fiction Explained

Hello Writer Bugs!

Since we are officially in spooky season, I wanted to dedicate a couple posts this month to horror writing. Horror fiction is intended to frighten the audience senseless. A lot of people love a good scare. As a genre, horror can come in a variety of shades of darkness. Today, I’m breaking down the most notable subgenres of horror fiction.


Gothic

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The gothic horror subgenre is a healthy mix of horror, mystery, death and a little romance. And some would say it’s the true beginning of horror fiction and the jumping off point for other horror subgenres that developed over time. The macabre takes takes center stage in this type of story. Setting plays a key role in gothic horror. The atmosphere must be dark and moody, usually taking place in a castle, religious abbey or haunting estate. The theme of death and love are prevalent in the plot. It’s a dreary, decaying world full of ominous omens and unexplainable events.

Example: The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Monster

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Let’s do the monster mash. A true classic in horror genre. Typically, the plot centers around a character(s) encountering a creature. Creatures of the night are either the result of scientific experiments, born from fantastical means, or simply urban legends come alive. Iconic monsters including – but not limited to – werewolves, vampires, mummies, zombies etc. An argument could be made the even gigantic monsters like Godzilla would be included in this horror subgenre. Sometimes in the narrative, there are underlying themes of duality, an internal conflict between good and evil. It’s an interesting battle to explore within characters. Is the monster really a monster at all?

Example: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Paranormal

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In the paranormal subgenre, it’s all about the fear of the unknown. Evil spirits, wicked witches and demonic entities wreck havoc and chaos in the lives of mere mortals. Ghosts, demons and haunted houses tend to fall under this category. Exorcisms – whether the holy kind or the high-tech ghostbuster kind – occur in paranormal horror. Similar to the Monster horror subgenre, antagonists can have supernatural abilities and there’s usually a struggle between good and evil. However, paranormal creatures are derived from mythical, other-worldly origins. And let’s be honest, the things that go bump in the night are often what scares us the most.

Example: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Killer

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A killer is on the loose! For this horror subgenre, the story focuses on a central killer. The main antagonist can be a supernatural entity or a natural born psycho. Whatever their reason, the killer’s sole mission is to annihilate anyone and everyone they deem a target. With elements of a thriller and/or crime plotline blended in, building suspense is crucial in this kind of story. You want the reader to feel like the killer is breathing down their necks and lurking around every corner. Will the killer be brought to justice in the end? That’s entirely up to the writer. In horror, no one is promised a happy ending.

Example: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Psychological

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Send readers into a living nightmare. Throw rationality out the door and turn the mundane into something terrifying. Characters in psychological horror have either fallen into madness or are trapped in extraordinary situations. Surreal imagery or bizarre visions experienced by the protagonist only add to the insanity. For this horror subgenre, the narrative would benefit from a tight viewpoint, not a multi-narrator piece. A single character’s internal conflict can be just as compelling than an external conflict, if written well. Phobias, paranoia and one’s deepest fears are explored in this type of plot. In psychological horror, there’s not overarching monster or antagonist, the real monster is the human mind itself.

Example: The Shining by Stephen King


Personally, I’m not a fan of excessive gore. However, as a mystery writer, I sometimes must describe a corpse or a crime scene, for the sake of the fictional investigation. A little bit of horror can go a long way in any genre.

What’s your favorite subgenre of horror fiction? And if you are a horror writer yourself, how would you categorize your story? Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love hearing from you.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Should a Writer be the Same Race & Gender as Their Narrator?

Hello Writer Bees!

So, the other day, I was scrolling through Twitter when a post caught my attention. It was a #WritingQ. The question was: Does a writer need to be the same race or gender as their narrator?

As a female writer with a male narrator, I felt the need to dip my toes into these controversial waters. Let’s talk about this for a second.

My Opinion.

Does an author need to be the same gender, race or sexuality as their narrator? In my opinion? No. That’s part of creative writing. We use our imaginations to create realistic characters, even if they’re much different than us. A narrator doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of the writer. And a writer doesn’t have to limit themselves and write only in a box. Don’t be afraid to write out of your comfort zone. When we do create characters outside of our own experience, it’s important to do them justice. Here are some quick tips for writing a character from a different background.

  • Be aware of stereotypes. Step above the stereotypes. If it comes off as cliché, a character will lose their authenticity. Also, if it’s not done properly, a character could come off as offensive.
  • Do your research.  – When a character comes from a different cultural background, research that culture. What names are common in that ethnicity? What are some typical meals? Do they have certain habits, rules, or traditions? Dig deep, you may actually learn something.
  • Be open to writing a character unlike yourself. Challenge yourself and stay open minded. The fun part about writing is stepping into someone else’s shoes – someone else’s brain – and telling their story.

My Experience

As many of you know, I’ve been writing my murder mystery WIP for quite some time. Many times, my main characters have made appearances on this blog. On paper, my narrator and I are completely different.

  • My narrator – Oscar Fitzgerald – is a young Irish man living in the 1920s. He/him pronouns. Attracted to women.
  • I’m a Puerto-Rican-Italian millennial. She/her pronouns. Attracted to… Mister Jabberwocky.

And maybe some readers will be put off by that stark difference. How can a woman writer do a man justice? Impossible!  I can understand why some readers feel that way. I’ve seen some men poorly portray women in fiction. Truth is, choosing a male narrator was barely a thought to me. I honestly thought nothing of it.  When I began crafting my detective duo and their dynamic, both characters being men fell into place naturally. If it works, it works. Why fix it?

How do I go about writing in male perspective? Frankly, I don’t set out to. That’s the secret. When I sit down to write, I don’t go “Okay, let me pretend I’m a dude now.” For me, gender isn’t often considered. Usually, I focus more on the character’s personality more than anything else. I keep our similarities and our differences in mind at all times. That mindset guides me through writing a male narrator. And look, I’m not perfect. I’m sure I’m missing some nuances of being a guy, especially one from the 1920s. But I do my best, that’s all anyone can do.


I want to hear from you. How do you go about writing a character from a different background? How are you similar to your narrator or main character? How are you different? Let me know in the comments.

I understand this can be a touchy, controversial subject for some people. Everyone has their own opinion. Please be respectful in the comments. I’d appreciate it.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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How to Consistently Create Content for Your Blog

Hey Writer Bees,

I received another great question from my Q&A, this one from dharkanein. They write:

Congrats dear. I just want to know how you keep yourself on track…of course of writing daily that too for such a long period. As I have gone much up and down through this journey and stop writing…and I too have completed my 4 years of blogging a week ago. So basically I want a tip for the consistency.

First off, congrats on your 4 years of blogging. That’s awesome!

Its a lot of pressure to create blog content consistently. Other bloggers will probably agree. Regularly pumping out content can be stressful sometimes. Here are three ways I keep myself on track and stay consistent.

Have a Schedule

Calendar GIFs | Tenor

Maintaining a posting schedule is super important. When you set yourself up with deadlines, you fall into a rhythm. Choose a specific “post day” and find a schedule that works best for you. For me, I post prompts on Monday and on Friday, I post writing tips and stories. That 2-posts-a-week routine fits my life. I try to stick to that plan as best I can, but things happen. And when they do, you can’t be too hard on yourself. Scheduling posts ahead of time helps manage that posting plan too. I have a couple weeks worth of prompts pre-scheduled for September. If you can’t write ahead of time, have a general idea of what you want to write about on posting day. Honestly, most of my Friday posts are written Thursday night. I’m a self-proclaimed procrastinator, but I’m a procrastinator with deadlines and those deadlines keeps me on track.

Knowing Your Voice

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In every post, I use the same tone and voice. When I started this blog, I wanted to write about writing in a candid, conversational way. I didn’t want to sound like a professor giving a lecture. I wanted content to sound fun and relaxed but also informative and honest. Readers should expect the same kind of content each time they read a post. When you write a post, remember who your audience is. Remember the tone you are going for. Keeping the overall vibe the same is a big part of being consistent as a blogger.

Brainstorming Ideas

Brainstorm GIFs | Tenor

Easier said than done, but brainstorming posts ahead of time helps with consistency. Sometimes, post ideas happen when you least expect. I always keep a scrap of paper or notebook handy, just in case inspiration strikes. Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about blog ideas while brushing my teeth or doing the dishes. I’ll just stop for a second and think ‘huh, that’d be a good post for the blog’ then write it down. If you build up a stock pile of potential posts, ideas that suit your niche, you’ll have ideas ready for when you need them. And you won’t be scrambling to write a post last minute. Because, let’s be real, we’ve all been there.


Thank you for the awesome question. Hope you find these tips helpful.

To my fellow bloggers out there, how do you keep consistent with your blogging? How do you stay on track and manage it all? Share your experience in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and stay creative.

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

A Crash Course in In Media Res – Hook Readers Instantly with this Trick!

(This is a repost! This lady is on break, but will return soon. Thank you for understanding. – Victoria aka Lady Jabberwocky)

Hello Writer Bugs!

Today, I’m sharing with you a writing trick that will hook readers from the first sentence. Yes, you heard right. Grab the audience’s attention instantly with In Media Res.

Confused by this Latin phrase? Don’t worry, I’m simplifying this narrative technique. This is the crash course in In Media Res.

Short and Sweet Advice for Writers – Start in the Middle (In ...

What is In Media Res?

Glad you asked! The term In Media Res translates to “In the midst of things.” This means a story hits the ground running and begins in the middle of a scene. Forget about lengthy exposition or flowery description. Start in the middle a conversation or an action sequence. Later on, you can drip feed readers information and backstory through flashbacks and dialogue.

Why does this trick work? Because it piques the audience’s curiosity. And that’s any writer’s goal, to catch the reader’s interest. It makes them feel like they have to catch up with the plot to learn more about the characters and their world. Think Alice chasing after the white rabbit.

No Context? No Bueno.

Yes, there’s is a wrong way of applying this writing technique. If you start a story too late, and don’t give any bits of context on characters and setting, the audience will be lost and confused. They wont’ keep reading if they have no idea what’s going on.

Be smart about when and where you choose to start the opening scene. You want to hook readers while giving them enough context to keep their attention. A fine line on balance on, I know. However, when you use in media res right, it can turn your story into a page turner.

Stories that Start In Media Res

Want to see this technique in action? Check out some of these attention grabbing titles.


Hope you guys found this post helpful. In media res can be a powerful tool in your writer arsenal. And if done right, you’ll have your readers on the edge of their seats.

What are your favorite stories that jump right into the action? And what do you think of this writing technique? Have you used in media res before? Lemme know in the comments. As always, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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Taking a Break from Blogging (Mental Health Check)

Hello Writer Bees,

Ever feel like a candle burning at both ends?

Yeah, me too.

For some time now, I’ve being feeling stretched thin. Pushing myself and trying to everything until my battery depleted.

Keeping my mental health in mind, I need to take a step back from blogging. That might mean no Friday posts for awhile, or posting every other week, or reposting old posts. I’m not sure yet. Prompts of the Week will still be happening on Mondays though. The next few weeks will be up in the air. Sorry about that, I hope you guys understand.

This is such a hard post for me to write. I feel guilty. Creating content and encouraging other writers is my passion. I feel guilty about taking a break, like I’m letting you guys down. But when your head and heart need some time off, it’s not about when it’s convenient for others. It’s about taking care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Guess I’m still learning that.

I need to focus on life outside of the blog for a bit.

Thank you all for understanding and supporting my humble little blog. It means a lot to me.

Stay safe and keep writing.

Love,

Lady Jabberwocky