March Promptlies + Starting Your Story

March 23, 2019

Happy Saturday!

*gasp*

Yes, I’m slightly deviating from my regular posting schedule. But the only way for this to work is if I posted this sometime Saturday. So, of course, I just posted it really late today. XD IT STILL COUNTS, SARAH! IT STILL COUNTS!

Anyways.

Today's going to be somewhat of a random post. As I was answering my blogoversary questions, two of them (Nicole's and Isabel's) took a really long time for me to answer. So I decided that I would just put them together in one blog post and spare you all the ramblings!

(By the way, the Q&A will be posted on Monday, as that’s the actual blogoversary day. And I’ve got a special surprise for you all then - that also has to do with the Q&A. *vanishes into cloud of mystery*)


So, Sarah @ Sarah, Plain and Average has been hosting this weekly linkup designed for short story-writing! I haven’t been able to participate for the last two weeks because of my stupid EIGHT PAGE HISTORY PAPER I had to write. -_- BUT! This latest prompt was just too juicy, I couldn’t resist.

And a few weeks ago, Nicole asked me to share a piece of writing I’m particularly proud of, and this one . . . oh man, I feel a full-length novel approaching.

THE PROMPT:

Honestly, I’m not sure how dark it actually turned out . . . I mean, it takes place at night???? That counts, right??? *cough* sure it does.

Anyway, I give you: Mission: Mulberry Bush! yes, I’m horrible at naming things
“Here we go round the Mulberry Bush,” Kaylin muttered, passing me the sonar binoculars. I peeked through the lenses, afraid of what I would see.
    The stone fort below us - code-named Mulberry Bush - was packed. Guards reigned all along the wall surrounding it, and others mulled on the grounds inside. We’d known that already. We’d come prepared for that.
    But we were not prepared for the flames that rose out of the moat - the moat that had, just yesterday, been filled with water. The fire illuminated the otherwise-black night.
    “What the . . .” I trailed off and passed the binoculars back to her.
    “They knew we were coming,” she said, swiping a hand across her neck. “That’s the only explanation. They’re trying to drive us off..”
    “And they’ll succeed,” I said, leaning against a nearby rock.
    “Not if we’re careful.” Kaylin rummaged around in her knapsack and pulled out two pistols: sleek, shiny F1-2100s. She tossed one to me and loaded the other one.
    “Boss said ‘no casualties,’” I reminded her.
    “Boss didn’t know about the fire. He knows how we work - no heat.”
    I shivered. Sadly, Kaylin and I had made quite a name for ourselves in the bounty hunter business. And everyone who knew about us knew that we had a weakness for fire.
    Pushing past the bad memories, I refocused. “So how do we get across?”
    Kaylin looked through the binoculars again. “You brought that grappling hook, right, Raven?”
    I rolled my eyes. “Yeah. I didn’t think we would actually use it.” But I still yanked it from my knapsack and tucked the gun in my belt. “Where’re we aiming?”
    Kaylin took the hook, attached its anchor to another rock, stood up, stepped back, wound up, and threw. The hook sailed at least 100 feet and hooked on the top of a watchtower, some distance below our mountain perch.
    Kaylin’s strength always amazed me, even though I’d seen her Glimmer used countless times. My Glimmer was far less dramatic.
    My partner hooked the two handholds onto the rope. “Ready?” she asked me.
    I shook my head, but took my position on the second handhold. “Why not?”
    Without another word, Kaylin pushed off the mountain, and I followed close behind. We descended sharply. I closed my eyes as we neared the fire. I imagined its tongues licking my boots, my legs, my body . . .
    “Raven!” Kaylin’s call brought me back to reality. I opened my eyes just in time to see the watchtower just a few feet away. I lifted my legs high enough so I wouldn’t hit the wall and break them. Kaylin helped me get down from the grappling-hook-turned-zipline, and together we raced down the guard tower’s stairs.
    “Someone should have been up there,” I whispered. “Something’s wrong.”
    “You always think something’s wrong, Raven. Relax.”
    But when you’re a bounty hunter, you can’t relax.
    As we passed stair after stair, I refreshed myself with our target’s description. Black hair, black eyes, black soul. He was a Cursed, a child born on the full moon of the month. Cursed with terrible powers.
    Powers known as Glimmers.
    Some parts of me wondered why Kaylin and I were always sent to capture or sometimes kill people who were just like us.
    But then, our employers were the people who had saved us those eight years ago. I remembered nothing before then, but, from what the two of us had been told, we’d almost been killed. And now we were in our saviors’ debt.
    We reached the bottom of the staircase. Kaylin hadn’t even broken a sweat, but I needed a breather. As I gasped for air, Kaylin tapped her watch, turning on the small screen. “Target is still in position,” she told me. I nodded, words physically failing me.
    I loaded my pistol and tucked back my black hair, the cause of my name. I was never quite sure how Kaylin had received her name.
    “Stay sharp,” I whispered to Kaylin. Her usually serious face gave a slight indication of a smile. Then we moved out, sticking to the shadows along the wall, avoiding the torches lining it.
    The grounds were deserted. Odd. Just moments ago, guards had been all over the place.
    “We need to abort,” I said, my voice barely audible. “They know we’re here.”
    “We have to complete the mission!” Kaylin told me, raising an eyebrow.
    “Not at the expense of our life! If we stay here, we are going to die!”
    “Raven. Do you not appreciate the second chance we’ve been given?”
I sighed. She used the same argument every time. And it always worked.
Not saying another word, we continued moving through the shadows. Our destination was a door on the other side of the grounds. I adjusted my pistol in my hand, my finger hovering over the trigger.
Kaylin punched a hole in the iron door, and the clatter made me cover my ears. We raced up yet another staircase, the smell of mold lingering in my nose.
Skidding to a halt at the top of the stairs, Kaylin kicked the door open. We abandoned all hopes of being quiet and ran into the room.
I stared.
“No one’s here,” I said.
“I don’t understand. My tracker said -”
Then Kaylin gave a little yelp and fell to the floor. I jumped and turned around, readying my pistol.
There were no soldiers or guards behind me. There was just a boy, about my age. With black hair and dark eyes.
Black hair.
Black eyes.
Black soul.
It was him.
I acted on instinct. I pulled the trigger.
One minute the bullet sailed towards him. The next, he was holding it.
“Don’t kill me,” he said, deadly serious. “I just want to talk.”
I kept the gun up.
In a split second, the boy ran up to me, took the gun from my hand, and went back to his original position. In a second.
“Just to talk,” he said.
*deep breath*

Well then. There’s that. I don’t know how well it turned out, but it was a blast to write!

Part Two

Again for my blogoversary, Isabel asked:

What tips do you have for people (*coughcough* me) who loves writing and has tons of ideas but has actually never written a full story before (and v much wants to xD)? 

I LOVED this question. However, I found that the answer would be too long to put in the Q&A post - I rambled on for quite a bit. XD  

So. This is just going to be in bullet point format, and I’m going to shove a whole bunch of random information at you. It’ll be fun. I’m not sure how helpful it’ll be, but we'll give it a shot!


  • You have ideas! Yay! You’re one step there!
  • If you’ve never written a full story before, I recommend starting out with a short story. Just pick a random idea you’ve got, think of maybe one or two things that could happen, and just start writing!
  • It’s not going to be perfect, I promise. Maybe another time I’ll delve into exactly how bad my first stories are (and most of them are unfinished). But the only way you’re going to get better at writing stories is if you actually write stories. 
  • that was totally clichΓ©, I apologize.
  • If you need motivation, I highly recommend Camp NaNo, where you can pick your own word count goal. The one story I’ve actually finished, I began in Camp NaNo last year. 
  • Yes, the blank page is intimidating. Slam your hand on the keyboard so you can get some words on it. (And yes, I’m actually being serious.) Then write a sentence of your story. Then delete the original gibberish.🀷‍♀️
  • Don’t put yourself to a time limit to finish anything. The one story I’ve actually finished a draft for was written over about 3 months, and it’s super short. 
  • Also, I highly recommend reading "Spilling Ink," by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter. That book was probably what made me start writing seriously. Plus, it’s just a fun book to read in general.
I hope that helped. I’m not the best advice-giver ever, but I did my best!

So. My blogoversary post is going up Monday. *rubs hands together* I can’t wait! Hope to see you all there!

-Nicole

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28 comments

  1. First things first, THAT SNIPPET IS AMAZING, BUT WHY THE CLIFF HANGER!??? Seriously, I want to know what happens.

    Second, I love your sixth tip! I am totally going to use that.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my word, THANK YOU SO MUCH! *evil laughter* I guess you’ll just have to wait and see . . . (Honestly, though, I plan on expanding this into a full-length story, so maybe you’ll read the rest of it at some point!)

      Yay, I’m glad it helped! XD

      Delete
  2. YOU DID ITTTTTTTTT!!!! Your story is AH-MAZING. I most definitely wanna know more of these characters! BOUNTY HUNTERS??? I mean---WUTTTTT??!? I'm one who'll always be drawn by those bounty hunter, gypsy, pirate-y characters. Can anybody relate? *raises hand* Well done, girl! Loved it!!! And thanks SOOOO much for joining in!

    Also, I didn't realize I wasn't following your blog! I thought I was for some reason, but now I am for sure. *^ _ ^* How exciting your blogoversary is Monday! Happy day! I'll be looking forward to your posts!

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    1. YAY, I DID!!!!!! Oh my word, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! *also raises hand* bounty hunters are AMAZING! Thanks for hosting this linkup!

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much! *gives you chocolate* :)

      Delete
    2. *drools with you* it's the absolute BEST, isn't it?

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  3. BTW, don't forget to add your link!! :D

    https://sarah-plainandaverage.blogspot.com/2019/03/march-promptlies-week-3.html

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  4. THE SHORT STORY WAS SO GOOD!!! I need more. Now???
    And thanks for the answer to my question! Super helpful. I'll check out that book for sure.

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU, Isabel!!! Hehe, maybe soon???? If I can get more written......

      No problem! I’m glad you thought it was helpful - I really wasn’t sure whether any of the advice would work for you or not. :)

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  5. AHHHHHHHHHH THAT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!

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  6. 😱 Oh i loved the characterizations in your snippet! And the super-powers. And everything else. πŸ˜‚ Seriously, the actions were super smooth and I had no problem following what was happening. Great job!!! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ And now I can’t wait for the rest of the Q&A!! πŸ˜„

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much, Nicole! That means a lot to me - I'm not that great at writing flash fiction, so this made my day! And hopefully you WILL get to see the Q&A tomorrow, provided technicalities don't ensue . . .

      Delete
  7. Oh, the story is AWESOME! Can't wait for more. :) you must write more. (:

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Rakayle! hehe, yes, I'm planning on writing more at some point. :)

      Delete
  8. WHOA that story. *deep breath* Wow. Your writing ROCKS, Nicole!! Also, I can't wait for your blogiversary post!!

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU, Merie! This comment honestly made my day! And don’t worry - the post is coming tonight!

      Delete
  9. That short story was SO GOOD.

    What happens next? XD

    ~Ceci

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    Replies
    1. Oh my word, thanks, Ceci! And I really don’t know where the story leads from here.... XD

      Delete
  10. WHAT????? YOURE GONNA END THERE???? I NEED moooooooreee!

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    Replies
    1. BWAHAHAHA!!!! XD don’t worry - I plan on continuing it! ;)

      Delete
  11. Oooh, this was SO good! Super intriguing—I'd love to see more about these characters and what happens next!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you so much! (Also, I think you’re new around here? Welcome! And I’ll have to check your blog out!)

      Delete
  12. great story! And amazing advice for writing ... it was through short stories that I came to figure out how to write an ending, and then write a novel ;D

    keturahskorner.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Keturah! And wow, that’s so cool! :)

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  13. Ooh, that's such a cool prompt, and I love what you did with it! I'm intrigued. ;)

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

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Welcome to the comment section! I love hearing what you guys think and seeing you guys talk. Just remember to keep it clean, and as always, check back for my replies! <3
-Nicole