Monthly Writing Prompt | February 2023

Are you a writer looking for some inspiration for your next scene or story? Read this month’s writing prompt and let your Muse guide you:

Ping. Another one drops, and your heart races inside your chest. How many are there now? You’ve lost count. Ping. You try to remember all the ones that came before… it’s imperative that you keep track. Ping ping. Your mind scrambles, overwhelmed. It’s all just too much.

Muse Stimulators:

  • What is dropping?
  • Why does the POV need to keep track of the pings?
  • What will happen if the POV can’t keep up and what will happen if they do?
  • How did the POV get into this situation?
  • What happens next?

Happy Writing!

~MJ

WIP Challenge – January 2023

Write a short description of something important to your character. Include where it came from, why it’s important to your MC, if it’s value is monetary, sentimental, or functional, and how your character typically interacts with it.

Now write a short scene where your character loses this thing. Address the following elements:

  • How is it lost?
  • What does your character feel?
  • How do they interact with their environment after?
  • How does this impact their relationships with other characters? Consider short term and long term impact.
  • How does this influence what they do next?

Happy writing!

~MJ

WIP Challenge – September 2022

Looking for a fun writing challenge to add comedy to your narrative and more distinct character voices?

Write a scene where your character gets a superficial–but annoying–injury (stubbed toe, jammed finger, papercut, etc). Then make it a nuisance for following scenes.

Happy Writing!

~MJ

WIP Challenge – August 2022

Ready to add depth to your work in progress (WIP) with a new writing challenge?

Write a scene in the place where your main character (MC) feels the safest. Draw attention to the elements or characteristics that contribute to their feeling of safety.

Happy Writing!
~MJ

Petey says hello!

I’m Editing my Novel | January 2022 Highlights

Editing is a painful, but necessary process. Blegh.

And to complicate matters, it’s not a process that is easily repeatable from one chapter to the next.

In preparing my manuscript to begin querying agents this year, I am dissecting each chapter, slashing content, adding content, moving content–everything I possibly can to make this novel the best it can be. And in this process, I am incorporating feedback from my critique group as well.

Objective third parties are amazing! If you don’t have a critique group, get one.

Here are my youtube shorts for this month describing the issues I discovered in my manuscript, what I decided was the best method to resolve them, and what my critique group thought about those methods.

There are a few general writing tips in there as well that you will hopefully find useful whether you are writing a new story or editing an existing one.

Please subscribe to my blog and youtube channel for future videos!

Chapter 23 was a total rewrite vs just an edit, which can be tricky when polishing a manuscript as a final draft. Predictably, my critique group found a few residual issues.

Chapter 25 went under the knife! See why moving half of the chapter to another character’s POV was necessary, and why I thought my characters needed major reworking here. This one made me nervous too because there’s a steamy sex scene in it!

What did my critique group have to say about my sex scene and my re-characterization of these two characters?

The small changes I’ve been making so far are beginning to amount to some pretty drastic plot alterations, resulting in another complete rewrite of a chapter, but for different reasons than chapter 23.

My critique group had some great feedback for my edit of chapter 26 here, providing an excellent example of “Author Blindness”. With the right tools, this writer’s ailment can be remedied.

“What do my characters do while they wait for the big battle?” Enter the mid-novel slog and exactly where this chapter lands. This is a BIG issue. Mid-novel slog is never a good thing.

Critique group comments on mid-novel slog and my solution to this problem: add more chapters!

Happy Writing!

~MJ & Petey

Petey says hello!

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