Tag Archives: writing workshop

100 Word Book Blurb Writing Contest (Cash Prize)

Hello writer bees!

The lovely folks at QueryLetter.com told me about this awesome writing competition coming up, and I wanted to share it with you. Not your ordinary contest, they want book blurbs of non-existent novels. Sounds like a fun challenge. Here’s more on what their looking for.

Write and submit a back cover blurb of 100 words or fewer that sets the stage for a novel, establishes the characters, and raises the stakes in a way that makes readers want to find out more.

The top prize is $500. In the midst of the apocalypse, $500 can go a long way. Deadline is September 15, so hurry and submit your entry soon. Read more about the contest and it’s rules right here.

Aside from this competition, this site has some awesome posts about query letters and manuscript advice for aspiring authors. I recommend checking out their blog.


Interested in reading my recent dabbles in 100 word stories? Check out The Basil Sprites and Death by Dinner Conversation.

And for those entering the contest, best of luck!

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees.

— Lady Jabberwocky

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Death by Dinner Conversation (Crime Humor/100 Word Story)

“Well, I didn’t mean to kill him.”

A sigh came with her guilty surrender. “Alright, maybe I did mean to.” She smoothed a napkin over her lap before reaching across the table to clasp the inspector’s hand.  “Oh Detective, please understand. He was truly a slug of a man. Such boring dinner conversations, night after night. It drove me insane.”

“You killed your husband because of boring dinner conversations?”

No answer. Ever so casually, the woman returned to meal.

“You stabbed him several times,” The detective noted, exasperated. “With a butter knife.”

She sliced into her roast beef and shrugged. “Wouldn’t you?”


I’m still experimenting with writing an 100 word story. Give it a try, it’s a fun challenge.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

5 Legendary Lady Authors (Before J.K. Rowling)

Hello everyone!

So, a few weeks ago, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that Mary Shelley was trending. My initial reaction was “Yes, what a queen, she deserves to be trending in 2020.” Then, I found out why. Someone posted this.

And the #WritingCommunity on Twitter lost it. Women writers were unheard of before J.K. Rowling? Writers and bookworms alike began sharing some of their favorite female authors. And although it stemmed from an ill-informed tweet, it was amazing to see a community celebrate some outstanding ladies.

No, I’m not suggesting we burn this tweeter at the stake. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, I’m taking this as an opportunity to shine a light on legendary lady writers. So, here are some of my favorites female authors.

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Agatha Christie

The undeniable queen of crime herself. Some plot devices in the mystery genre, such as the plot twist and “parlor room scene”, came from her. With a writing career spanning decades, she is the creator of beloved fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Considered the most widely published authors of all time, her work is outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. Undoubtedly, Dame Agatha Christie is one of my favorite female authors.

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Toni Morrison

Known under the pen name Toni Morrison, this prominent female author has written many novels and essays focusing on the black experience. Featuring her poetic style and powerful voice, her most notable novels includes The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. In the time of the Black Lives Matter Movement, her writing and words on race relations are more important than ever. Sadly, Toni Morrison passed away last year, but her legacy lives on in her work.

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Mary Shelley

An English novelist from the 19th century, Mary Shelley is the inventor of science fiction and author of Frankenstein. As a Romantic female author using gothic elements, she created the most recognizable fictional monster and forged the start of a new genre. When I think of writers thinking outside the box, I look to Mary Shelly. The depth and complexity in her narrative still astounds me.

Fun fact, she is daughter of another famous female author, Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote feminist work like A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

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Gertrude Stein

A pioneer in the LGBTQ+ community, Gertrude Stein is a queer female author of the Lost Generation. Best known for The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, her playful prose style and lighthearted humor set her apart from the rest. Plus, she was friends with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso. Talk about squad goals.

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Harper Lee

You know the phrase ‘write what you know’? Harper Lee did just that. She drew inspiration from her own life, growing up in the deep south, and put that in her writing. Although she only wrote two books, Harper Lee has made a significant contribution to literature. In my opinion, To Kill a Mockingbird is a true American classic. And even decades later, her work still strikes a chord in all of her readers.


Of course there are a ton of other talented female authors throughout history. Virginia Woolf, Judy Blume, Ursula Le Guin, and Maya Angelou, to name a few more. The list goes on and on.

As a female writer myself, these extraordinary women inspire me to publish a book someday. I could only hope to follow in these ladies footsteps.

Who are some of your favorite female authors? Lemme know in the comments. And be sure to click all the links, it helps support this blog.

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees!

— Lady Jabberwocky

Act One, Scene One (Poem)

Hey writer bees!

I haven’t shared a poem in a long time. This one’s an oldie from my poetry workshop days. Hope you all like it.

Today, my boyfriend and I are heading to a baby shower celebrating our incoming nephew. A poem about beginnings just seems fitting.


It always starts with Act One, Scene One.

Take a moment, become your character.

The stage is set.

The cello strings moan in anticipation.

The audience is taking their seats.

Keep your toes pointed.

Remember your lines, remember your cues.

Remember to breathe.

Remember,

It always starts with Act One, Scene One.


Write With Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

A Crash Course in In Media Res

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.

And please click all the links, it helps support this blog.

Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Proud Colors (LGBTQ Flash Fiction)

Red. Red is the color of romance and passion and successful first dates. This red did not cut it. Need a darker shade of red. Like glass of chilled Merlot red. Like matching his football jersey red. Makeup remover to the rescue. I viciously wiped Ruby Explosion off my lips. What else is there? Tickled Pink. Burnt Berry. Cherry Pop will have to do.

Mascara gives me eye lashes like Ramona Ortega from down the street. That girl has ridiculously long eyelashes. And curvature like no other. I’m built like a tall can of beer. Light beer. The kind women pretend to enjoy at Super Bowl parties. Mascara can’t give me curves like her.

Eyeliner is a game. Playing connect the dots with you eyelids. I always manage to draw outside the lines. “Al,” My sister stands in the doorway, folding her arms across her chest. There’s a constellation of freckles scattered across her nose. A smile curls onto her lips. This week, Pepper dyed her hair purple. Purple. The color of childhood dinosaurs and artists on the brink of insanity. Moody purple is tied into a top knot. “Need help?”

My hands brace against the granite counter. Doubt is grey, if you look at it close enough. Grey creeps along the shell of my ear. “Be honest, Pep. Do I look like a clown?” I ask because a clown was definitely staring back at me in the mirror. What if baby deer eyelashes isn’t enough to win him over? What if cherry red lipstick isn’t enough to earn a goodnight kiss?

She stands beside me, offering a simple shake of her head. “Are we going for beautiful or handsome tonight?” She asks as she skillfully traces my eyelid with the pen. Like an artist at her canvas.

A laugh hiccups in my chest. “Both, if I’m lucky.”

“Good. Because you look like both,” Pepper straightens my jacket and runs her fingers through my hair. An encouraging, motherly touch that came from my sister. Stew together yellow, orange and gold and you’ll end up with a bowl of encouragement and pride. “He is gonna fall head over heels for you. I mean, he’d have to. You’re the only guy crazy enough to wear a full face of makeup to a roller skating rink.” She adds as she finishes a near perfect cat eye with a flourish.

I face off against my reflection and dust the nerves off my shoulder. The doorbell rings. A kaleidoscope rattles in my brain. He’s early. With a playful wink, she pats me on the shoulder.

“Go get ’em, Albert.”


To everyone celebrating Pride Month, this one’s for you.

– Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // 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

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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

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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

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Pick-Me-Up Gift Ideas for Struggling Writers

Hello writer bees,

With all the chaos in the world, some of us have a lot to say, and creating art is a great outlet. Now more than ever, an ounce of kindness goes a long way. Sending a small gift to a loved one says you are thinking of them, that you support them, and that you encourage their writing endeavors during this complicated time. Whether you want to spoil yourself or another writer in your life, check out these ideas of uplifting gifts for writers.

Mugs, Glasses and Other Goblets of Victory

It goes without saying, but I think we all need a comforting drink right about now. As cheesy as it sounds, a cute mug won’t go to waste in a writer’s home. And why not add these adorable literary tea bags? If the writer is in the editing process, maybe sending them a spiffy wine glass would be best. No matter coffee drinker, a tea drinker or a adult beverage drinker, raise a glass to the writer in your life.

Desk Essentials

Yes, you might be stuck at your desk, but you want to feel content and creative in that space. Consider purchasing some cute decorations or some useful office supplies. Like these hilarious scented candles that may or may no cure writer’s block. Also, note cards with words of encouragement would be nice too. I have this typewriter pencil holder on my desk that I absolutely adore. And trust me, I go through sticky notes like there’s no tomorrow. A thoughtful token for someone’s workspace is like a friendly reminder that there are loved ones out there cheering you on.

Aspiring Author Apparel

Let’s be honest, who wants to write their story wearing slacks, or a tie, or high heels? That’s right, nobody. Hoodies, t-shirts and socks, oh my! Some really enjoy wearing comfy clothing with a literary flair. Consider sending a fellow writer a cozy sweater to show off their bookworm pride. Even comfortable pajamas will do. Wearing something warm and snuggly is like a long distance hug they’ll be sure to appreciate. And with social distancing, I think we all need a long distance hug right now.

Weapons Against Writer’s Block

Many writers are struggling with writer’s block during lockdown. Myself included. Help get those creative juices flowing again. I’ve seen quite a few items online that help with fun writing prompts and exercises. This Writer’s Toolbox looks so fun. Also, journals can be used to plan out plots, jot down ideas or keep a WIP on track. And if they don’t use them, that’s fine. Plenty of writers out there with a unused journal collection. You know who you are.

Buy More Books

Sometimes, all we want is to escape reality and curl up with a good book. If you or another writer read or write a specific genre, buy a book from that genre. Or share a book that you are reading that made you think of them. One of my favorites is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s G’Morning, G’Night: Little Pep Talks for Me and You. I open that book anytime I’m feeling blue.


While my blog may be a small platform, I still want to do my part in encouraging and supporting writers during this chaotic time. To anyone reading this, spread a little love to all the creatives out there. We’re in this together. Let’s fight negativity with creativity.

Stay safe and keep writing, writer bees!

– Lady Jabberwocky

Writer On: May Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

Did I reach my writing goals for May? Keep reading to find out!


Writing Plans

  • Write mystery/detective themed blog posts for the entire month. – Done! I’ve had a blast writing posts dedicated to sleuths and murder mysteries this month. And you guys seem to be loving it too, which makes me so happy. Be sure to check out all the posts from May of Mystery right here!
  • Give characters from WIP some TLC. – You know, it’s interesting to see my characters evolve the more I write and flush them out. I asked myself, “How do I make these characters feel more realistic?” Characters should be well rounded, with strengths and flaws and personalities. This is something I keep in mind as I write.
  • Try to write a little bit everyday. – I’ve actually been writing more lately, taking advantage of our time on lockdown. Feel like creative juices are flowing again after a serious drought, and it’s beautiful.

Reading Goals

  • Choose a new book to read for lockdown. – Still looking through my TBR books. I’m in the mood to read a story with NYC vibes. Recommendations anyone?
  • Read more blog posts from other writers. – In an effort to support other writers during this time, I’ve read, liked and followed a bunch of new blogs recently. Seriously, you guys are posting some amazing content! Connecting with other creators in the blogging and writing community has kept me afloat.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Get a Clue: The 3 Types of Evidence In Mysteries

Hello writer bugs!

What’s a whodunit without some hard hitting evidence? Clues in mysteries can lead the detective and the reader down either the right path or the wrong path. I’m breaking down the three types of clues a sleuth will find during their investigation.

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Physical Evidence

Probably the most likely of evidence, these are the tangible clues. The kind of evidence the detective can physically hold, feel and smell. And remember, this item can be planted to frame someone else.

Examples:

  • Forensic evidence – Hair, fingerprints, blood etc. If you are writing a historical mystery, research how detectives used science to solve cases during that time period. You’ll be surprised.
  • Personal items – This could be anything, from jewelry to hand written notes to photographs. Whatever the object, it connects the culprit to the scene of the crime or connects the killer to the victim.
  • Murder weapon – Possibly the most important piece of evidence in a case. A bloody knife or a smoking gun can tip the balance of any investigation. Really consider where the weapon is found. Was it found near the dead body or was it disposed of?

Thematic Evidence

Here’s where the creative in creative writing comes in. As writers, we often use subtle nuances as hints to the reader. Think about how the audience experiences the story, the surrounding atmosphere of a scene.

Examples:

  • Weather can set the vibe of a scene. Tense situations tend to happen during dark and stormy nights.
  • Villains, especially Femme Fatales, wear light colored clothing then gradually transitions to a darker appearance.
  • That “invisible” character that is just too quiet and too innocent. Like the shifty looking butler or maid ducking in the background. You know who I’m talking about.

Verbal Evidence

Sometimes, mysteries are simply a game of questions and answers. Not only is who said what important, but what is not being said too, meaning body language and social cues.

Examples:

  • Verbal – How do suspects answer the inspector’s questions? How do they talk about the victim or the crime itself? Consider the tone of their voice. Do they sound abrasive? Defensive? Anxious?
  • Secrets – Everyone has their secrets. Who is gossiping about who? What lies are being told? What happens when secrets get exposed?
  • Body language – This is the “show, don’t tell” rule comes into play. Instead of writing “He was acting nervous”, describe how the body moves when someone is nervous.

With all three types of clues mixed into the plot, you will definitely had one solid mystery on you hands. What’s your favorite detective story? Lemme know in the comments!

Keep writing and stay safe!

Lady Jabberwocky

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