Conquer the Craft In 29 Days

What should I do after participating in July’s Camp NaNo? Join another challenge, of course!

August 1st-August 29th is the Conquer the Craft in 29 Days DIY MFA’s Writing Challenge. Every day writers will get a writing prompt to focus on, and for the last 2 days of the month, there will be a writing retreat (August 30-August 31). Anyone participating can use the hashtag #CTC29 to socialize with other members.

I’ve been searching for online writing classes to take, trying to learn more about the craft. But, everything seems to be the instructor won’t give feedback. So what’s the point? The line that got me to sign up for this 29 day challenge was:

We’ve designed this series of writing exercises not just to inspire you and get your creativity going, but also to help improve your writing. Each prompt targets a specific technique or element of craft so that by the end of the month not only will you be writing more, you’ll be writing better.

If anyone’s interested in signing up for the FREE DIY MFA challenge, here’s the link: Conquer the Craft in 29 Days.

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

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Creative Writing Prompts Are Here To Stay

School is back in session! I remember my first writer’s group meeting where I introduced myself as a creative writing instructor. At the end of it, they never really described what they do or what they’re about (red flag–they were a critique group disguised as a writing group), so I asked them if they assign exercises or anything. One of the ladies exclaimed, “We don’t have homework!”

A total dig. I could have been catty and said, “Apparently you need some, since you can’t grasp the constructive criticism people were telling you.” Instead I chose to laugh it off. No need to make waves on my first day. Who am I kidding? I’m nonconfrontational.

Anyway, this post has a point. I took a hiatus on writing creative prompts (or exercises)–so sorry–but I’m back now. Today, the one I left off on (celebrity nagged by fan) will be due on Tuesday.

Prompts help. I promise if you’re stuck with writer’s block or bored with your writing routine, try writing prompts. Go crazy. Be silly. Experiment. They can be useful later to create novel or short story ideas. For example, ‘the Vegas marriage’ prompt interests me enough to base a short story off of it. From ‘someone says no’, I can see a novel coming from it. It was going to be my NaNo inspiration in November; however, I think it’d be wise to turn Trapped into a novel.

When I submitted that short story to my writer’s group (well, my old writer’s group because I quit due to all the tension. They had a clique already formed and weren’t welcoming to newcomers), most of the feedback I received was expanding on it, revealing the beginning of Finia and Miki’s relationship. Especially the act of him sabotaging her birth control to trick her into getting pregnant. I might as well try it with NaNo while it’s fresh in my mind.

Who knows how many story ideas will evolve from these creative writing prompts. I’m excited to see!

For all the writers out there, do you give yourself writing exercises? Or do you feel like they’re a waste of time?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby