Weekly Writing Exercise: Fantastical Fantasies

A day late, a dollar short as the saying goes. Although I’m a day late on this post, I don’t believe I’m a dollar short. Maybe a lot more than a dollar, but we’ll table that discussion for another day! My schedule was thrown off this week with having Monday off for MLK Day and so today feels like a Wednesday, even though it’s not.

But anyway, enough about me. If you’re reading this post, odds are it’s because you’re looking for a reason to write and not write at the same time. Don’t worry, I get you. You know you need to write today, you don’t know about what, so why not read a blog that tells you to and gives you ideas? Hopefully, it’ll also get you motivated to do the writing after you read it.

So this week I’m focusing in a bit on having the writing exercise focus around one genre. In a past post, I encouraged everyone to try and write a story outside of the genre they usually work in, knowing how challenging that can be. Well this week, I want to see you produce one work inside of one genre.

If you couldn’t guess by the title, that genre is fantasy. I myself don’t work to heavily in it, preferring to read and write science fiction and horror, but I do love watching it. There is just something about a world or realm ripe with monsters and adventure that can just lure me in.

So this week I’m calling on you to do the same! It’s time to create that adventure into a fantastical world full of beasts and creatures. One that is ripe with magic and full of princes or princesses to save. Create one where dragons destroy taverns because they’re jerks and goblins get the girls, because who doesn’t love a strange love story?

This exercise doesn’t need to be long or extremely well written, remember, it is practice after all. I’m certainly not expecting you to pull a Tolkien and create an entire language and map before starting (unless that’s your thing, then go for it!). Simply write a short story, poem, or whatever other medium you work in, that involves a fantasy world.

Once you finish, if you’re proud of your work, then keep going! Give it a few rounds of editing. Clean that new piece of art up and find a place to submit it! Regardless, if there is one thing to take away from this prompt, it’s this: WRITE.

That’s all for this week. Check out the bottom of my page to find me on social media where Facebook gets a heavy helping of writing memes, Twitter gets conversations with me whether you like it or not, and Instagram shows you my struggle to use that platform no matter how hard I try.

Weekly Writing Exercise: Social Media

It’s finally back! That’s right, the weekly writing prompt. Sorry for the delay this week, I had planned on putting it out Wednesday but life happened and so the writing got pushed to today.

So if you couldn’t guess, this week’s writing prompt is centered around social media. Lately I’ve been thinking about getting into the market to find an agent for my book and eventually the full length novel I’m working on.

While doing this, I began doing research into what agent’s tend to look for, specifically with writer’s that have already self-published a book but are thinking about switching to a traditional route. One of the things that I found in my research is that some agents like seeing a good social media presence and a strong following before signing authors.

Now this isn’t something ALL of them look for, but nevertheless, it was something that I felt I should try and do. As I assume many of us do in this modern time, we like to fill those small moments of nothingness with something to do, and that something is usually social media.

So this writing prompt isn’t so much any one thing in particular like my past ones, but generally a much larger call to arms to practice your writing on your social media pages. If you don’t have any or are missing some majors one, now is a great time to sign up and practice. Here are a few things you can do to start:

First, make sure you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I’d even suggest Reddit. With Facebook, an official author page can go a long way to distance yourself from your personal page. Twitter is a great place to meet a writing community and discuss ongoing work, as is Reddit. In addition, Reddit has some great threads to post short stories for people to read and interact with. Finally, posting Instagram photos can help build an audience.

So for this week, the writing exercise is to practice using your social media. Whether it’s crafting something fun to read for followers on Facebook, a #vss365 on Twitter, a photo on Instagram with an amazing caption, or posting a story or giving feedback on Reddit, do something to start broadening your social media scope.

A little bit of house keeping as well: With these weekly writing exercises, I generally won’t be writing my own response and posting them anymore. As much as I enjoyed doing this, I have several other projects that I will be working on instead. However, this week is an exception. Earlier today I posted on Instagram (which is surprisingly where I struggle to post the most) and had a lot of fun writing a short story going along with my photo. You can find it here. I had a blast doing it and may continue that trend.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s post. Have a great weekend and happy writing!

Weekly Writing Exercise: Small Towns

Guess what’s back? That’s right! It’s me, telling you to write so that I have an excuse to write as well. Isn’t it great?

Now this week’s writing prompt comes inspired from my wonderful wife who had a great story idea that she wanted me to write. I won’t be sharing it in this post, but instead will be bending to her demands and making her story idea come to life tomorrow.

However, just like all great ideas, it can be broken down to a simple concept. For hers, it’s that all small towns are the same. Now, this may be a touchy subject for some who have pride in the small areas they come from, but it is a trope in pop-culture.

So with that in mind, let’s go ahead and explore this idea a bit for our writing exercise, although I’m not pushing for you to write on just the idea that all small towns are the same.

If you write poetry, write one that describes the beauty of your home or maybe the angst you feel having grown up in a small area. Did your small town have a beautiful down town area worth describing in a poem or did it grow to a point that you don’t recognize anymore?

Non-fiction more your speed? Tell us a story of something that you did or had happen to you that would never happen in a major city. Maybe you woke up to a bear chewing a canoe in your backyard or you played tag in your cars.

Maybe it’s a fictional story you would prefer to write. You could write something about a monster that can only reside in a small town due to an ancient curse or witch that is hiding there to escape hunters.

Whatever you choose, just make sure to do the most important thing that I’ve stated in each of these posts. Just write. Practice makes perfect and hopefully this prompt will continue to help hone your craft.

Weekly Writing Exercise: Food

Hello and happy Wednesday! If you couldn’t guess, the writing prompt this week has to do with food. So why did I choose this topic? Well obviously, it’s to present a challenge to you, my fellow writers.

Just kidding. My wife and I just ate and it was the only thing on my mind. But for real, I believe a writing prompt centered around food this week is a good challenge for all of you to try out.

I mean, think of the various things about food you could write on. There could be the story of how a burger comes to life and attacks an entire city. There’s the classic “Spaghetti Monster in the Sky” trope that EVERYONE knows and loves.

If you’re into poetry, let everyone know just how comforting your favorite ice-cream is after a long day of work. Or maybe the poem can slowly transition into a rap about how Chinese buffets are significantly better than american buffets, don’t @ me on this.

There is always the option of writing some non-fiction as well. Tell your reader about a time some food embarrassed you in front of a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. Let us know in extensive detail how your level of spicy is different than what your server’s was.

Just have fun with it! I know food may be an odd topic to write on, but that’s the point. So quit searching for that reason not to write something today and get it done!

Oh, and as always, follow my blog for all my latest posts or on any of the social media outlets I have below.


Weekly Writing Exercise: School

Hello and welcome to that time of the week where I tell you to write stuff! That’s right, it’s the weekly writing prompt. I know, I know, it’s a fan favorite and that’s why I continue to put them out.

So living in a college town and working at a school, one thing I’ve been hearing a lot about lately is how school will be resuming soon. For a lot of people, this seems like a very exciting time, good or bad.

So in honor of school starting back up, I decided to make this week’s writing prompt all about school. As usual, you’re encouraged to write in any format you would like. Whether it’s poetry, non-fiction, or fiction, always make sure to be writing to hone your craft.

Now some of you may be thinking “Ty, I haven’t been in a school for years, how am I going to do this one?” Well that’s a great question reader! If you haven’t been in a school for several years and not sure what its like, do some research.

Yes, I said research. Believe it or not, most of the writing you love involves some sort of research. Whether it’s doing a quick google to check and make sure a scene is written properly, or pouring over books to make sure you’re an expert in the area you’re writing, research is always important.

With that being said, get to writing! If you loved school, write a poem about what it meant for you to attend. If you currently work in a school, write some non-fiction describing what it’s like for the average teacher. If you didn’t enjoy school at all, make up a story showing just how awful it was.

As I do with all these prompts, I insist that at the end of the day just write something. When you’re done, either comment on this post or whatever social media outlet you’ve seen this on, and let me see what you wrote!

Happy writing.

Weekly Writing Exercise: Ecosystems

Anyone that follows my blog knows that my weekly writing prompts generally reflect what is going on in my life. So following that trend, this week’s prompt has to do with writing about your favorite place to either live or visit.

For me, it’s a toss up between the mountains or living by the sea. Both places that I’ve visited this year were absolutely gorgeous and I felt sluggish to try and leave the area.

With that being said, if I were to go in and write something for my own prompt, it would be some kind of story taking place in the mountains or down at the beach. Maybe I would write a horror piece about all the deadly animals in the area attacking our camp in the mountains.

Odds are I will write on this topic for my blog, but the writing would exist more in the non-fiction section. After a few month’s of wandering, I’ve gained a lot of stories that I am excited to share with everyone.

But again, this prompt isn’t just about me, it’s about us, the writers. So as I usually suggest with my prompts, pick your format first. Determine if you’re going to write poetry, a script, fiction, or some other form.

Next, reflect on what ecosystem you would love to visit or live. If you haven’t been to an area but believe you would love it, that’s fine too. Just make sure to do some research on where you’re writing about. Even if it’s fiction, the more you know and understand a location, the easier it is for a reader to believe what you’re writing.

Well, that’s it for today! Pull up a new document, think about the ecosystem you want to write about, and get to work! As always, commenting is available on all my posts, so if you have something you’d like me to read, feel free to send it my way!

Weekly Writing Exercise: Summer Days

Hello all, and welcome back to my weekly writing prompt!

Sorry about the delay but hopefully people are still craving some new writing ideas for practice! This week I was thinking we would try and keep things short and sweet with an easy prompt.

If you can’t tell by the title, I believe we should all take a moment and just write about something we love about summer. This can be anything that your heart desires. Just make sure it has to do with relates to the season.

For example: if you’re like me, you absolutely hate cold weather. I would much rather sweat daily than stand out in the cold for over five minutes. So write a classic story of heat prevailing over ice.

Also, don’t forget that anything you write does not necessarily have to be fiction. For me, it is my area of expertise and I love writing narratives, but that doesn’t have to be for you.

If you prefer poetry, write something poetic about how swimming in a pool with friends and family makes you feel loved. If you’d rather write non-fiction, just tell your audience about something fun you’ve done one summer.

These writing prompts are here to help you practice your writing craft, no matter what it may be. So what are you waiting for? Quit reading and get writing about summer!

Weekly Writing Exercise: Let’s Get Spooky

Hello one and all! Sorry for disappearing over the last four days, let me just say sinuses can be a pain. Literally. I’ve been dealing with sinus issues here in Illinois where our temperatures have gone from high’s of mid 60’s to highs of mid 80s, then back down again. It has lead to a lot of headaches and more. However, I know many of you don’t read my blog to hear about my sinus woes. No, you come here for the writing content. So let’s get to it.

If you haven’t seen from my last several posts, or have been hiding under a rock, it is October, which means several things. First and foremost, it’s my birth month (huzzah!), it’s SUPPOSED to feel like fall now, and of course, Halloween. Now if there is one thing that I’ve expressed in many of these weekly writing prompts, it’s that I love the genre of science fiction and horror. However, in most of my writings, I have avoided such things and for good reason. This is simply a practice session and practicing what you’re already good at isn’t much practice, now is it?

However, for this entire month an exception is going to be made, and every week we will be doing some kind of writing prompt that has to do with Halloween. So if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, I’m not sure what will.

So now you may be asking, but Ty, what are we going to be writing this week then? Well that’s an excellent question. This week’s prompt is going to focus on something very close to home for you. In fact, it’s so close that odds are while you read this, you’re already there.

We’ll be focusing on writing something that scares you in your home. One of the things that I find most terrifying in horror is when something takes place in a character’s home. I mean think about it, your home is your safe place. It’s your sanctuary and escape from all the things in the world that scare you. That being said, when something is written or said about your home that changes that perspective, makes it terrifying or brings a sense of unknown into your sanctuary, that can be one of the most horrifying things possible.

So scare both yourself and me. Write a short story or a flash fiction involving the character getting terrorized in their home. Remember to, the only parameters are that the story take place in the character’s home and that it’s scary. If you want your character to deal with a haunting, go for it! Or maybe a mass murderer is on the loose and stalking outside of your character’s house. Maybe the zombie apocalypse has arrived and the character is making a last stand in their childhood home. No matter what it is, make it terrifying and make it fun.

To help get you started, let me remind you of the famous quote from the movie The Strangers. In that movie, the characters, who are obviously murdered, ask why they were the ones targeted. The response: “Because you were home.” Same premise for this prompt. So let’s get to work!

Come back tomorrow to see what my story entails.

Weekly Writing Exercise: Something New

Hello fellow writer’s and welcome to Tuesday’s Weekly Writing Prompt! As always, I’m here to encourage you to make sure that you’re writing everyday. Not only is practicing writing a good habit, but will also make you better at it in the long run. That and reading, reading is also important. But I digress.

For this week’s writing prompt, I thought I would issue a challenge over something to practice with. I feel that it’s always best to try and find ways to improve your writing. Obviously, reading and practicing as I stated above will go a long way, but that isn’t the only thing you should be doing.

So here is my challenge: Break from your usual routines and read and write something unique and different. I’m talking a whole new genre for you. Many of us writer’s find ourselves in niches, certain genres and writing styles we love, and don’t worry because I’m one of those writer’s. If you check out my book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, you’ll quickly see my influence from H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and more.

There is good reason those influences show up too: it’s because it’s the genre I love to read. Even looking at the bottom of the page you’ll see on my Goodreads that I’m currently reading more Lovecraft, some Neil deGrasse Tyson for science, and Leviathan Wakes for my science fiction. These just happen to be the genres I love and so I constantly look to them for inspiration.

However, just like I stated in my challenge, we as writer’s need to be able to work outside of the genres we love. That’s why I’ll also read books like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, or Total Frat Move, both of which are comedies about college party life. Is this a lifestyle I personally lived? No. Is it one I wish I lived? Probably not. However, the books are comical to read and give insight into an area that I don’t know well and can transition into my own work.

So this week, first go out there and try to find a short creative work in a genre that’s new to you. It could be erotica, if you’re in the mood for that, or maybe a romance piece. Maybe you’ve stayed away from the horror genre because you’re worried reading it will make it hard for you to sleep, well just read it during the day! Find something outside of your comfort zone and just read it.

Then, once you’re done reading, I highly suggest trying to imitate the work you read and write in that genre. Even if you have a manuscript or a small piece you’re working on, you never know how this study and practice of a new genre may help you. Do you feel like two of your characters may fall in love? Then read a romance and see how an author handled a scene like that. Maybe you’re planning on having a character do something in the realm of science. Perfect! Read some science fiction and see how those authors handle science and then write it your way.

This week’s prompt is fun and easy. Find a new genre. Read the new genre. Write in new genre.

Simple. See you tomorrow with mine.

Weekly Writing Exercise: Weather

Hello everyone! It’s that early time of the week again where I force everyone that reads my blog to consider doing a bit of writing. For many people that read this blog, the death throughs of summer are upon us as autumn tries to claw desperately into the limelight, bringing promises of pumpkin spice, colored leaves, and of course spooky time events.

The reason I’m bringing all of this up is because I absolutely love autumn. Besides my birth month (October) being encompassed by this season, it also brings on cooler weather and my personal favorite type of drink, apple cider. However, that is neither here nor there.

No, as much as I would like to continue talking about myself and about fall, it is time to get onto this week’s writing prompt. What I think would be fun to do for any writer reading this is to to write a short piece about your favorite season and the weather that corresponds with it. Maybe you love summer and the hot 90 degree days that come with it. Could it be you love spring, a season that breaks from the icy death of winter and brings blooming flowers and warmer weather with it. Maybe instead you love winter, when time finds a way to stand still when snow gently falls.

No matter what, write a bit about your favorite season and the weather that takes place in it. The goal of this prompt is to really make your reader feel like they’re experiencing your favorite weather and season all at once. As always, I will be giving my take on the prompt, and if you haven’t pieced it together yet, mine will definitely be singing the praises of autumn and why it’s clearly the most superior season of them all.

Now get to writing!