Tag Archives: Writing

Stop the Presses (Short Story)

You know, if the school wanted to foster a love of writing and journalism among the students, they’d have given us a nicer room for the school newspaper.

The musty smell of that room still lingers on my coat. A dark, dreary janitor closet of a room with murky windows. File cabinets, cramped desks and windows that were stuck shut. Oh and a coffee machine that only produced mud flavored water. What a inspiring, creative place it was.

Only three of us students ran the school newspaper. That week, two were out sick with mono that they contracted from each other. And our supervising teacher had a meeting with their divorce lawyer.

I, Bianca Pellegrini, had to singlehanded write, edit, proofread, publish the entire ‘Sullivan Spectrum’ newspaper before the impending deadline. And I refused to miss a deadline. Thank goodness nothing interesting ever happened around here.

There was a knock on the door. No one ever knocked on that door.

By Thursday, the mountain of stress and my foul mood reached it’s peak. You really shouldn’t meet the love of your life in such a state.

With frizzled curls tied into a messy bun and raccoon bags under my eyes, I stalked over to open said door. And there he was. Picture handsome and humbleness wrapped in a theater kid package. Tobias Bernard.

“Can I help you?”

An earnest smile greeted me. How dare he. “Hey, I’m Toby B-“

“Oh I know who you are.” A proper journalist needed to know who’s who. “Your sister made the front page last week.” How could I forget that cover story? A picture of a “artistically defaced” statue and his sister Kimber with paint on her hands. Literally caught red handed.

An amused smirk played on his lips as he scratched the back of his head.”Yeah, that’s my sister. Don’t hold it against me.”

“Actually, that old statue needs a pop of color.” We shared an awkward laugh. “Did you need something?”

Without an invitation, he waltzed himself in the room. “Bianca, right?” I nodded as his hand rifled inside his backpack. “You wrote the review for the school musical.” From his backpack, he pulled out a rolled up, crumpled newspaper. “I need you to change it.”

Crossing my arms, my brows knitted together. Excuse me?

A bit hesitant and bashful, Toby continued. “See, my friend was the lead. And there were some… Critical things written and she’s been crying about it for days.” He offered me the newspaper, to see for myself, but I didn’t bite.

“It’s called being honest.”

“You called her mediocre.”

“I called her singing mediocre.” I corrected. Trust me, mediocre was an understatement. “Besides, I can’t reprint my review. I’d lose credibility.” Definitely couldn’t lose my credibility. I slumped back in my seat behind my desk. “Sorry about your friend, but there’s nothing I can do.”

After a brief stalemate, he conceded. With a deep sigh, his shoulders shrugged. “Well, It was worth a shot.” His fingers idly lingered on my mug of coffee, peering inside with a grimace.

Snatching the mug from his grasp and turning back to the computer, I began working on the next article. A half baked piece about the prom’s unoriginal theme, under the sea. Drown me already. I thought he would leave, but he didn’t. His eyes glanced around the empty room. “Wait, are you working on the paper by yourself?”

“Yep.” I grumbled before sipping my coffee, which no longer tasted like sludge but like a fancy, overpriced espresso. Little did I know, that was the first sign of his “magical talent”.

Toby leaned against the desk, tossing me a skeptical yet intrigued look. “But you’re only a freshman.”

Okay, make that one big gulp of coffee. “Bottom of the totem pole. I know. Gotta work my way up.”

As it turned out, we kept talking until free period was over. All thoughts of stress and deadlines lifted off my shoulders. The conversation was oddly comfortable. Toby had brought me a welcomed break, I’d say. Talk about stop the presses. I told him about my plans for my own column next year. He asked what I’d write about.

“Paranormal investigation.” Unusual subject matter, I understand. Ever since I was a kid, I chased the things that go bump in the night. Stories of witches and ghosts and aliens caught my interest.

His once relaxed demeanor grew tense. He shifted away from me, rubbing his arm. Trying to play it smooth, a magic he had yet to learn. “That’s pretty cool.”

The bell rang and we parted ways.

“We should hang out sometime.”

“Yeah, maybe we should.”

As he walked away, he sent me a wink. Corny fool. But that corny fool eventually became my boyfriend. Who was the fool now?

“Lemme know if you find any witches, Bianca Pellegrini.”

3 Tips on Writing the Love Interest

Happy Valentine’s Day, Writer Bees and Bugs!

Love is in the air, even in fiction. No matter the genre, a love interest can add complexity and conflict to any story. If your MC is feeling the love, then check out these helpful tips on creating a character’s sweetheart.

Experiment with Chemistry

Love at first sight doesn’t make for an interesting story. Maybe attraction at first sight, sure. For the most part, feelings must develop gradually, not instantly. No matter what stage in the relationship, take the time to build up and explore that chemistry. A great lover could become an even greater foil for another character.

See the source image

Also, keep in mind the kind of relationships your characters would pursue. What’s their sexual preference? Are they interested in one night stands and flings? Or are they looking for a serious relationship? OR are they even looking for love in the first place? These factors will dictate how their romantic relationship lives and breathes over the course of the story.

Flaws, Glorious Flaws

Look, how many hot billionaires with six packs are there in the world? Seriously? Don’t create a character that is the ideal partner. Give them flaws. Real flaws. Consider physical and/or personality quirks. Are they short and stubborn? Are they pessimistic with a crooked nose? Be creative but be careful making a completely unlikeable character. Find that balance.

See the source image

A romantic interest shouldn’t just be a cookie cutter person. They must be able to stand on their own, as a complete character. Their entire world cannot revolve around another person. Whether the love interest is a main character or a side character, at the end of the day, readers want complex, relatable characters.

The Big Bad Conflict

No romance is perfect. Every couple has their struggles. With an internal or external battle, conflict is needed so things aren’t so lovey-dovey. Maybe one is afraid of commitment? Or are outside forces (society, race, war etc.) are straining their bond? Give the couple obstacles that they can (or cannot) overcome together.

Try tying the their conflict to the overall plot line, that way, the relationship won’t seem forced or out of place. Set the stakes high to ensure the problem is meaningful enough to the characters. Like a problem bigger than leaving the toilet seat up.

Bottom line, love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, and that’s a good thing. Embrace those imperfections and write a real romance.


How do you guys write love interests? Any tips? Talk to me in the comments. And Happy Valentine’s day everybody!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Become a Patron! // Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Is The Sims 4 Freelance Career Accurate? A Real Freelancer Finds Out.

Hello writer bugs!

My birthday was this week. And the Sims 20th anniversary was this week too. So, to celebrate both, I’m gonna kick back and play the Sims.

Now, I’m no gamer. Sorry. On occasion, this lady enjoys playing the Sims for hours at a time. Whenever lighthearted entertainment is needed in my life. But there’s a twist! I’m mixing my love of the Sims with my freelancing adventures. This is a post I’ve wanted to do for so long, and today feels like the perfect time.

How accurate is the Freelance career in the Sims 4? This lady freelancer is putting it to the test.

Meet Brie Lance, the freelance writer. Note the messy bun and the oversized sweater. A typical appearance for a freelancer in the wild.

I played through a couple of days (sim time, of course) and found that some parts of the freelance career path were nailed perfectly and with that iconic sense of sim humor.

  • Sometimes you get assigned those fluff articles, or “clickbait” articles. Yes, I’ve written those listicles. Yes, I’ve written those oddball topics. Everyone starts somewhere, right?
  • The whole rewrite and revisions aspect of the game is 100 percent accurate. And I can confirm that that initial disappointment to rejected content is also accurate.
  • What I loved most was the diversity of projects. Everything from articles to ghostwriting to proofreading essays. All of it. Freelancers must be incredibly versatile. You never know what you’ll be working on.

However, not everything about the freelance career was correct. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing EA nor expecting changes. This is just one lone freelancer’s opinion.

  • Freelancers can have regular 9 to 5 jobs while also freelancing. I know a lot of writers who have day jobs. Actually, It’s odd that sims weren’t able to even have a part time job while perusing freelance work too.
  • Working on multiple projects at once. Freelancers are hustlers, and usually are juggling several different projects at once. That would have been a cool game function for the more experienced freelancers.
  • I’m surprised her social meter wasn’t in the red all the time. The poor girl never left the house or talked to her neighbors. “Chatting with the client” isn’t really social interaction.

And when Brie Lance the Freelance writer needed a break, she just hung out in her pjs and played sims in her sadness. Sounds about right to me.


Happy freelancing (and simming), writing bugs! Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: February Writing Goals

Hello Hello Writer Bees!

Today is my birthday. I’m an old 27.

And what better day to start a new series than on my birthday?

I’ll be sharing my writing goals for the month with all of you. Come follow along my writer journey and check in at the end of the month to see if I achieved my goals.


WIP Novel Plans

  • Add 5,000 words to total word count.
  • Change setting in one of the final scenes. (Rewrite needed)
  • Give some TLC to a character. One suspect in my mystery needs work.
  • Rearrange sequence of events in the beginning. (Editing needed)

Reading Goals

  • Read a book. Literally one book.

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Become a Patron! // Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Prompt of the Week: A Surprise Tattoo

Whether it be an impulsive decision or not, your character gets a tattoo that really says a lot about them. What is the tattoo of? And where on the body is it? Tell a story about getting inked.


Shout out to Bookmarkedone for an awesome story in last week’s prompt.

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

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky


Become a Patron! // Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter