Creative Writing Prompt #7

FRI. 8/17/12

Base a story off a song lyric or

an entire song…

Kayla looked out the window and waved to her husband. He smiled, driving off. She sighed. He’d be gone for a business trip, a total of seven days alone. She didn’t trust herself. Her husband deserved better.

Grayson, who was the love of her life, moved back into town a few months ago. She thought he was the one until  he disappeared one night. Turned out, he enlisted in the Marines without telling her, his family, or friends. No word, no letters. Two years later, he came back, more quiet, more broody.

She had tried to say hello, but he pretended like he hadn’t seen her. Out of embarrassment and heartache, Kayla decided to leave Grayson alone until he was ready to talk. She needed closure even if he didn’t.

She scanned the driveway, looking for her newspaper. She walked outside to retrieve it, but a light blue envelope caught her eye. It was tucked under the middle flower pot.

Kayla bent down and picked it up. Unmarked. She sat on the rocking chair, letting the curiosity get the best of her.

Was it for her? For her husband? Who was it from? She took a deep breath. What if it was from Grayson? He was always better at expressing his feelings with the written word instead of speaking out loud.

Dear Kayla,

I’m sorry for hurting you. It’s the last thing I ever wanted to do. I was messed up after my mom died, and I couldn’t get out of self-destructive mode. You deserved better than that.

I’ve worked through my issues in therapy, but I fear I’m too late. I would love to talk to you in person, but I understand why that can’t be. You’re happily married, and I can’t be the jerk who messes up your life twice. No matter how much I’m still in love with you. No matter how much I miss you.

Just know, even though I don’t speak to you, even though I’ve been avoiding you, I think about you every second of the day. I wish I could rewind the night I left, but unfortunately I can’t.

I love you Kayla. I love you enough to let you go, as long as I know you’re happy.

Love,

Grayson

Kayla’s tears smudged the blue ink into little puddles.

If only…

THE END

—-

****My song was based off the song Ne-Yo feat. Mary J. Blige Do You. If anyone would like to try this creative writing prompt and share it, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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Day 41 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

This morning I had writer’s block while trying to concentrate in Java. My mind was too distracted and I couldn’t calm it down. It’s my own fault for not going to bed at a decent hour last night. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Hopefully, by the time I reach home, I’ll be ready to finish my scene.

Normally, I write in the mornings. I’m motivated, hardly looking up from my paper. Then I go home to type it, sometimes including something extra if I’m in the mood. I’ve decided not to print this novel bits at a time like I usually do. When I hold the paper in my hand, it keeps me motivated because I see my story’s progress, I see it growing. This time, I’ll just wait until I’m finished my first draft since I’m writing out of order.

For some reason, the middle section is speaking to me more than the beginning. This story is fun to write. The female main character is the total opposite of me; she’s flirtatious and seductive. She can get whatever she wants from men without even trying. To help with showing rather than telling, I researched flirty body language, ways to know men/women are attracted to each other, when to notice they lost interest, with Google.

  • It’s been interesting creating those scenes. In a nutshell, this novel is about a love triangle. I write from the woman and the two guys’ perspectives. The girl will end up deciding she doesn’t want any of them; she’d rather be alone. One guy will respect that while the other guy will become a clingy mess.
  • I noticed the majority of my stories (novels, writing prompts, short stories) involve the guy pursuing a relationship but the girl hesitates. I wonder what that says about me…

Since I’m not concerned with word count this time around, it’s been less stressful. I’m confident that I’ll have a finished product on Day 90. I don’t care how long it takes to copy and paste a new document. Even though I’m focused on this new novel, I still wonder about One By One. I still haven’t heard from my betas yet. I feel vulnerable and exposed, which is hard for a shy person. I can’t wait to get feedback, so I can feel normal again. I hate not knowing; the suspense is killing me.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Giveaway!!! Free eBook copy of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel by R. Rodriguez

Five Lucky readers can win a free eBook copy of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel!!!!

The first five people to message the author on her fb page, with the correct answers, wins a free eBook copy of Chastity!!! You can provide your answers at: http://www.facebook.com/rrodriguezeternalbeloved  The giveaway ends tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.

1. Guess the main theme for Chastity.
a. Suicide
b. Promiscuity
c. Illness

2. One of these is the muse for the protagonist’s love interest. Guess who it is?
a. Jared Leto
b. Taylor Lautner
c. Robert Pattinson

3. If Chastity were ever a movie, guess who the author would cast as this teenage femme fatale?
a. Taylor Swift
b. Kristen Stewart
c. Julianne Hough

4. Where does Chastity travel after graduation?
a. France
b. Bali
c. Puerto Rico

5. Chastity has a very unique birthdate. Guess when her B-day is.
a. Halloween
b. Leap Year
c. Valentine’s Day

Google, Google, Google…

For the past month, my blog has gotten the majority of hits from search engines. Cool beans! It’s always fun to see what topic people searched for, then compare that to posts read that day to see if they would have been disappointed with the results they found.

Here’s a few interesting topics I’ve seen recently:

  • other peoples experiences of airports are they intimidating to sensitive people
  • what is an annulment yeah
  • he’s still not over me and we never dated–Interesting. Wish this person would’ve left a comment. I love gossip!
  • head-hopping nora roberts
  • fish kill research paper–This will never get old to see. Poor students…
  • yvonne hooters
  • learn to hooters imitators floot–Too funny
  • carton codependents don’t fall in love they take hostages
  • chicken wings date rape–What the…? That’s creepy on so many levels!

The majority of searches are always for a certain novel or book reviews, so I’m happy I included a book reviews section. Recently, it seems like someone typed “yawatta hosby book reviews” and my contact page was glanced over. I wonder if someone wants to ask me for a book review. If they do, I’ll make time. Anything to help out fellow writers.

It’s a good feeling to know people are finding my blog slowly, but surely…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

“One By One” Thriller Third Draft Completed!!!

Is there such a thing as editing burn-out? If so, I think I have it.

Last Saturday, I finished revising One By One, then I left it alone for three days. On Thursday, I decided it was time to read the entire novel out loud to hear any mistakes. At that point, I’ve looked over this thing for so long that I skimmed the pages. Things didn’t go so well; I found errors, changed them, read it again, found more errors, read it again, then went back to original wording. I was all over the place, stressing out. It’s pressure knowing that other people will read your work for critique.

I was honestly two seconds away from giving up, clicking out of Word, and ignoring the document for good. Good thing I talked myself out of it. I think it’s wise to get  other peoples’ opinions because I think I’m just being too hard on myself. Do most writers do this? While they’re taking a look to make suggestions for improvement and highlighting what works, I’ll be taking a much needed break from editing. I won’t touch One By One until I get everyone’s suggestions in front of my face.

I’m happy to say that my third draft is completed with 55,125 words, 12 point Calibri font, single spaced, 101 pages. Hallelujah! Finished August 16th at midnight–just in time to start my first rough draft of my 90 day novel challenge.

Needing a new pair of fresh and objective eyes, I’ve put on my big girl panties to ask for beta-readers. I found two in my hometown and one author. Just need one or two more. My goal was to get two readers and two authors–both have valuable information to share whether they realize it or not :).

I’ve always had a thick skin, so I like constructive criticism. I view it as a challenge to make my work better.  It’s best to work out the kinks in rough drafts, instead of publishing with many errors and getting blasted with negative reviews all over the place. I respect honesty. Besides suggestions of improvement, I think it’d be cool if my beta-readers wrote in the margins when they had a suspect in mind. This would help me know if I have the right balance of red herrings or if it’s too predictable. Actually any feedback would be much appreciated! The fact that people will be taking time out of their busy schedules to help me out means a lot…more than they’ll ever know.

However, I’m only human so I have fears. What if my story sucks but they’re too nice to tell me? What if I send it out and no one finishes it? That’s why I want 4 or 5 (I like to weigh different opinions). If someone fails to come through, then I’ll have back-up. I totally have a Chapter 4 curse–sometimes critique partners disappear after chapter 3, claiming they read and made suggestions on chapter 4, but end up never sending it to me. It’s happened to me twice already. Definitely not a good feeling.

So far, there’s been no massive rewrites. I had to add a lot of details about setting (what clothes characters’ wore, what they looked like, rooms they stayed in, outdoor scenery). I waited to do this last because it’s the most boring aspect for me in the writing process. I see everything vividly in my mind where sometimes it’s hard for me to express it on paper. Plus, my 12th grade creative writing teacher said I overwrite too much–maybe I took that to heart to the 10th degree? Maybe now I underwrite? My main goal is to keep action going with short, sometimes choppy sentences. Some say I have a fast paced writing style like a sportscaster. Definitely something I’m trying to work on.

Once again, I really want to thank my beta-readers! And I want to thank Melissa for being my critique partner, sticking with me to the end. Without her help, I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I hate reading documents on computer screens (it seems like the process is neverending), so I would never force the people in my hometown to give me their email address, so I could send it to them. Instead, I printed my story out, will bind it this weekend, then give them a hard copy the next time I see them. I’m nice like that 🙂

For all the writers out there, how long does the beta process usually last? How long of a break do I have before going back to work on One By One?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing Prompt #6

TUES. 6/26/12

A celebrity wants to enjoy his or her

time with family, but a fan is bothering

him or her because won’t stop nagging…

Sequoia strolled down Paparazzi Central to meet up with her sister Seneca. Seneca was finished her photo shoot and wanted to hang out before she left for LAX airport.

Sequoia texted: Almost there. Let’s eat at Luigi’s around the corner.

Diego crossed the street, camera in his hands. “If it isn’t the lovely Sequoia Pondelik.”

“If it isn’t the handsome Diego. When are we going on our date again?” She smiled, winking.

Even though the device covered half of his face, his cheeks showed a deep shade of red. “I get off at 6.”

Sequoia laughed. “A paparazzi’s work is never done.”

She slowed her pace so Diego could keep up; he walked backwards in front of her. She loved appearing on TMZ; it made her feel worthy. As long as she flirted and had a good relationship with paparazzi, they would give her good press.

The public hated her at the moment. No longer America’s sweetheart, she planned to win the hearts back of her fans and possibly gain new ones.

“Trust me, I’d make time for you…so talked to Perry lately?”

Sequoia lowered her gaze to the sidewalk, slipping her hands into her pockets. It was time to put on an Oscar worthy performance. “No, he’s away filming for a new movie.” She frowned. “He didn’t take Echo, but he won’t tell me where my doggie is. I want to see him to make sure he’s okay. To let him know mommy still loves him.”

“That’s cold. I’d never do that to you, Sequoia.”

“Thanks Diego. Then again, I didn’t break your heart,” she whispered. She put a strand of hair behind her ear.

“We all make mistakes. You’ve apologized. That’s all that matters. If he still wants to be a dick about it, then that’s on him.” Diego maneuvered to avoid stepping on a big rock. “Good thing you two never had children since he’s being so vindictive.”

She let him continue being worked up on her behalf. Inside, she smiled because her plan was working. On the outside, she had to fake vulnerability to continue getting sympathy, deserved or not.

“Hopefully, everything will work out soon. We have one more movie to film together, then I’ll be out of his life forever. Well, except for Echo’s visitation.” She knew damn well that she had already been let go of the trilogy, but she wasn’t allowed to speak about it. That whole confidential agreement.

Did Sequoia regret cheating on Perry? She honestly didn’t know anymore. It felt right being with Plaid at the time. Now, it felt right being alone to reflect on things, to reflect on life.

Sequoia was twenty-three, and ever since junior high, she was the girl in the arm’s of a boyfriend. Now, she enjoyed her freedom of being single. Neither guys took that news well, but they’d have to get over it. America too.

“I heard through the grapevine that the studio chose Perry over you.”

Damn TMZ was good. She still couldn’t blow her cover though, no matter how much she wanted to.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sorry, Sequoia, but I heard you were let go for scheduling conflicts.” Diego frowned. “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.”

“Who’s your source?”

“I’m not allowed to say.”

“Thanks for giving me a heads up, unless I’m being Punk’d right now.”

“I wish that was the case.”

Sequoia sighed, forcing back tears. That would work on the teeny-boppers. They loved their drama. Her bottom lip quivered.

“Sequoia, please don’t cry.” Diego didn’t set the camera down, but he angled it sideways, so he could step closer. He held her hand, squeezing it.

She smiled weakly.

“Do you have anyone you could talk to?”

“I’m heading to meet up with my sister now. Diego, thank you, but I’ll be fine.”

Why did he lower the lens? Hello, this needed to be filmed. Screw privacy. Show the world her waterworks. It’d be fun playing the sweet, innocent actress against the meanie, bully studio.

Game on bitches.

THE END

—-

If anyone would like to try this writing prompt, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com. Once I wrote it, I realized it didn’t even meet the criteria. Oh well, it was close enough; besides, the key was getting used to creating scenes again. For the past month or so, I’ve only been editing–hardly any rewrites.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby