One Lovely Blog Award: I Nominate…

Yesterday I found out I was nominated by the lovely breakfast with words for the One Lovely Blog Award. If you’re nominated for this award, you have to share 7 facts about yourself, follow the person who nominated you and then nominate 15 other bloggers. Although, some people have changed the rules around with this nomination, so don’t feel pressured to follow :)

Since I share writing tips and do the odd book review on this blog, these facts will be writing and book-related.

So here are 7 random facts about me:

  1. The first books I read were the Sweet Valley High series, the Nancy Drew series and the Anne of Green Gables series.
  2. I wrote my first creative story in second grade and it was about a lizard living in Canada.
  3. The Time Traveler’s Wife has been the only book so far to make me cry.
  4. I had a short story published in an anthology when I was about 13.
  5. My top 3 favourite authors are Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen and J.R.R. Tolkien.
  6. I write best at night, when most of the day’s chores and to-do’s have been crossed off the list.
  7. My favourite genres are science fiction and fantasy.

And here are the 15 bloggers I nominate for this award:

AshleyNicole

Nicholas C. Rossis

Seán Cooke

Teenage Introvert

Your Blog Coach

Brin’s Book Blog

Silver Threading

Shawn L. Bird

urbanpoetrees

A Word of Substance

Write Through It

Daily (w)rite

A Writer’s Life For Me

A Blog to Regret

The Bookie Monsters

Writing Lessons from Stephen King

I just finished Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and really enjoyed it.

It’s a practical, no-nonsense reflection on the writing process. Stephen King offers solid advice on how to shape yourself as a writer: from cultivating regular habits of reading and writing to exposing yourself to different styles of writing. Continue reading

The Magic is in the Details

“The sky was as blue and delicate as a porcelain teacup, and the hills rolled gently in all directions, intersected occasionally with the silver ribbon of a river.” -Alyxandra Harvey, Haunting Violet

Descriptive detail in stories is an important but tricky element of writing.

How do you know if you’re using too much? Or too little?

Mosaic

I believe knowing when and how to use the right amount of description is an intuitive skill that’s learned over time and is mostly based on personal preference. Establishing the perfect balance between description and action in a story is like trying to achieve the perfect balance between dressing acceptably but still maintaining individuality. Continue reading

Read-A-Thon Update: Summer Reflections

My read-a-thon did not go exactly as planned.

But that’s okay because I plan to foster my reading habit everyday. Even if it means just reading an interesting article on communications or social media, an engaging blog post or a how-to book.

I’ve actually learned a lot about myself this summer. Continue reading

Weird But Useful Writing Prompt: Paint Swatches

This may seem really unusual but whenever my family and I look at paint colours in a hardware store, I always take a paint swatch or two with me.

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Vibrant pinks

I’ve gotten into the habit of collecting them (sometimes for possible new paint colours for my room) but mostly because of the creative names associated with them, like Blue Midnight or Summer Rain (I’m totally making these up). Whenever I read the names, a certain image or feeling pops into my head and I think later on that I might be able to use it for inspiration. One of the colour swatches even reminded me to get back to my high adventure story about pirates.

When I explain this to my family, they’re really surprised that I use these swatches as writing prompts or that I collect them.

Writing Prompts

The paint swatches that inspired the writing prompts below.

 

It makes me wonder: Am I the only one who experiences this?

Perhaps it’s the combination of visual inspiration and the written word that gets you writing. This is the case with paint swatch booklets that feature artfully-decorated and beautifully-painted rooms as examples. I know some people who search up images as a form of a prompt, using that picture to tell a story or to brainstorm.

While looking at some paint swatches the other day, I discovered something really fun. The format of the paint swatches was fairly uniform: there would be three colours, of varying shades, each with a unique but related name. Sometimes it would be various lilacs or roses, other times it would be similar concepts like “ghost ship” and “evening eclipse.” These two could easily be paired together and prompt one idea to the next, creating a snowball effect.

I ended up finding some more paint swatches, stored away in a box while cleaning. I decided that instead of hiding them away I had to place them somewhere else as visual reminders instead of just letting them sit in a dust-covered shoebox. I finally added them to my writing notebook, leaving them there as visual prompts in case I ever needed them.

I’ll share my most recent writing prompts, based on the paint swatch names:

September fog, frappé, carriage house 

Ghost ship, shark loop, evening eclipse 

 I put these writing prompts to the test and found they really stretched my creative muscles, challenging me to successfully work them into existing stories or connect all three together cohesively into a new story.

Do you have any quirky techniques you use for writing prompts?

Do these work as writing prompts for you? Let me know in the comment section below :)

Do You Ever Revisit Old Writing?

The other day I read an older piece of writing I had written a few years back.

Usually my response in these situations is to laugh and see how much I’ve improved since then. But I read it and felt somewhat satisfied with my writing. Continue reading