April 18th Writing Prompts and Exercises

It is exciting to find out that more of our members are doing some of the writing prompts. If you haven’t done so yet, try to this month. You can also do any writing prompt from another month or from somewhere else.

You can write the challenge as long as you want, even if it leads to a short story or a longer work. But when we share them at the meeting, we need to remember there are more people with something to share. Because time is limited, we need to keep a reading to approximately 500 words or a couple of pages.

April Prompts

  1. Write a scene that includes time travel.
  2. Use this phrase:  When you realize you have to parallel park….
  3. Write a short story about a wedding cake.
  4. Your main character is a female swashbuckler. What’s she up to this week?
  5. Write a scene using these three elements – Genre: Young Adult; Person: A bored inventor; Problem: It’s been raining for a month with no signs of stopping.

Words:

Injury – stranger – protest – summon – verdant

Exercise:  Guy with a Gun (from James Scott Bell)

“This was a Raymond Chandler idea. If you’re writing along and the going gets dull, he said, just bring in a guy with a gun.

Justify it later.

It’s a great trick. (Yes, it’s OK to call these things “tricks of the trade.” If you’re angling for a position on the Yale faculty, you can call them “advanced literary operandi.”) It brings instant conflict and juices up your story.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a literal gun. It can be almost anything:

•           An unexpected guest
•           Someone from the past
•           An upsetting phone call
•           An accident
•           A cop
•           A nun
•           A con artist
•           A news item
•           A death
•           A sudden shock (“You’re fired!” or “Will you marry me?”)

Try it by writing a scene with an unexpected event.

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NO Meeting March 21st

There will be NO monthly meeting March 21st due to the coronavirus problems. Stay safe. Stay home. Keep writing.

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March 21st Meeting

The March 21st meeting will be in the same location, but at a different time: 10 am – 12:30 pm.

Louise Pelzl will lead a program on understanding GMC: Goal, Motivation, Conflict.

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March 21st Writing Prompts & Excercise

It is exciting to find out that more of our members are doing some of the writing prompts. If you haven’t done so yet, try to this month. You can also do any writing prompt from another month or from somewhere else.

You can write the challenge as long as you want, even if it leads to a short story or a longer work. But when we share them at the meeting, we need to remember there are more people with something to share. Because time is limited, we need to keep a reading to approximately 500 words or a couple of pages.

Prompts:

  1. Your main character reacted badly when he/she was told they would have to travel to < ……..>.
  2. Going through your grandmother’s attic you find an old flute. When you blew into the mouthpiece the oddest thing happened. 
  3. The thief who steals rare books always leaves a sonnet behind.
  4. Create a scene of chaos. Perhaps a character is panicking, a bunch of different things are going on at once, there’s a huge mess, or someone is running out of time—or all of the above. (prompt from GRRM – George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones author)
  5. Your main character wants something badly. Have him/her convince another character to give that something up. Use seduction.

Words:    hesitate — cool — freedom — cheek — nebulous

Exercise: Internal Conflict

Internal conflict is a device used in fiction writing that enables the author to portray character development. Characters face internal conflict when they struggle to make a choice. Struggles may involve fate, morality or personal beliefs. It can also be mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses.

   Your main character has had a really bad week. He was stopped on a speeding violation and got into an altercation with the arresting officer. Now he’s spending the next 60 days in jail. This is going to really mess with the timeline of your novel. Write a transition scene that delves into the interior goals and conflicts your character has yet to face. What else has he got to do? Try to show character growth or change during this trying time. Be sure to use your characters thoughts, actions, appearance and dialogue.

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February 2020 Templates

Some are Microsoft Word docs and some are Excel spreadsheets

Character Profile Contrast – Word

Character Profile Contrast – Excel

Story Progression – Excel

Research Tracker – Excel

Author Book list Distribution – Excel

4 Chapter Plotting Template – Word

7 Chapter Plotting Template – Word

12 Chapter Plotting Template – Word

15 Chapter Plotting Template – Word

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February 2020 Handouts

Click to download the pdf file

Range of Romantic Fiction

Adding Romantic Elements to Other Genres

Romantic Plot Structures

Basic Romantic Elements

Showing Body Language

Seduction

Microsoft Word Tips

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KWA Write-In, Networking

We are going to try having drop-in meetings weekly again. These are for anyone just wanting some time away from their everyday life to do some writing away from home. Or for anyone wanting to do some networking with other writers, maybe get some feedback on a project you’re working on or thinking about.

We tried this a couple of years ago and it was good until we lost the place where we met and people just drifted away. We’ll try it again for the next month and see if there is any interest in continuing it. Again…not a real meeting.

Location: Panera Bread 1605 N Rock Rd

Time: 5-9 pm, drop in whatever time works for you

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February 15th Meeting – Romance and more

The program for February will have two focuses: Romance and Tips for writers using Microsoft Word and Excel.

We will have handouts and discussions about:

  • Range of Romantic Fiction
  • Adding Romantic Elements to Other Genres
  • Romantic Plot Structures
  • Basic Romantic Elements
  • Showing Body Language
  • Seduction
  • Tips for writers using Microsoft Word and Excel
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February 15th Writing Prompts

Last month we had a few members who took up the writing challenges. Let’s see if more of you try them this month.

February Writing Prompts, Words, and Exercises:

Prompts:

  1. With respect to love, there is one thing I will never do again
  2. Two coffee shop regulars frequent the same store at the same time. One day they finally meet and share a table. What starts off as a casual conversation turns into much more.
  3. Clarence the Candymaker rubbed his hands gleefully. On February 14, he would introduce the world to a whole new kind of Valentine’s Candy.
  4. End your story with these words: I turned around and shrugged. There was nothing left to do, and besides, I had to go to work in the morning.
  5. Genre/Person/Problem prompt:  Your genre:  hardboiled crime / Your person: a fetish model  / The problem: Time-travelers from the future have arrived, and they’re not very nice.

Words: 

Deprive  –   virtue  –  linger –  goofy  –  sample

Writing Exercise:

Showing Emotions through the Action/Reaction Cycle (C. S. Lakin)

Try using the action/reaction cycle to express your character’s behaviors and feelings in a story of your own choosing or using one of the prompts above.

The action/reaction cycle in writing follows a realistic flow of behavior.

Action > Reaction > Process > Decision

Here’s an example:

Joan hears a crash. (action)

She turns around to see what happened. (reaction)

She sees her favorite bowl lying on the floor and her cat sitting on the table where the bowl used to be. (process)

Joan cursed and put the chipped bowl further back on the table so it couldn’t fall again. (decision)

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Academy Award Shorts Film Festival

The Wichita Public Library hosts an annual film festival showcasing the short films nominated for an Academy Award in the animation, live action and documentary categories.

Check out the locations and times at wichitalibrary.org

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