Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Writing Prompt: Fantasy Horror SciFi from the ImaginOn Library Write with Us

We changed things up a bit for the ImaginOn library event with Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC last night! We took a bit of a shortcut with the brainstorming, and then started the story and began to tell it a sentence at a time. What happened was definitely unexpected.

Aparently, in future London, a villain named Norm decides to reanimate a corpse, which turns out to be Jack the Ripper. Not sure how this happened, but the first sentence included the "package" arriving on Norm's doorstep, and then, because they didn't have electricity in future London, there was some sort of scientific hocus-pocus that actually created the reanimation process, which also involved quite a few other deliveries to Norm's doorstep, including pizza. Jack, apparently, is a fan of pizza.

Having decided that reanimating Jack the Ripper wasn't exactly what he'd had in mind, Norm leaves Jack behind and wanders to his nearest bar, where he settles himself on a barstool beside an aging Prince Harry, who--by the way--has not lost his hair, because it is the future and somehow hair loss is now resolved. After a few drinks during which Norm and Harry become fast friends, Jack also wanders into the bar and demands that Norm reanimate some of his best--evil--friends. This will, of course, require that they kill some additional folks, and so Norm and Harry reluctantly set forth to do just that until the Queen steps in and orders them all to stop.

Which is where we stopped.

Frankly, while we all had a great time telling this story, it is not one that really works terribly well as a story.

Want to jump in and fix it?

Give us some suggestions or go ahead and take another stab at it! Write it and we'll stop by over the next week or two, and one or more of the authors on the #CompellingReadsTour will stop by and comment! : ) 

Happy writing!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Writing Prompt: Meet Me at the Morgue -- A Fantasy Horror Story Begun in Tryon, NC

We had a great event at the Lanier Library in Tryon, NC on November 3rd. The event was pretty packed, and there were actually people standing through the presentation, which was amazing and wonderful.

Image via Amanda McCrohan
As promised, you can continue the story in the comments or go off and write it on your own. Use it as a writing prompt, or just something to get your imagination flowing : )

Title: Meet Me at the Morgue
Genre: YA Fantasy Horror
Plot type: Quest
Setting: Modern High School and Medieval


Our main character, Buffy, is 17 years old. She is in band, plays the tuba, (i.e., has some muscles :)), is smart, pretty in a Sandra Bullock girl-next-door kind of way. Her mother died ten years ago of an unspecified disease for which there is no cure, and she has been raised by her father.

Our love interest and villain(ish), Tristan, works in the morgue, which is the family business. He is 18, and in a misguided attempt to save people, pushes those with the disease through one of two portals which his family has guarded for generations. One portal is located in one of the refrigerator drawers at the morgue, and the other is locker number 47 at the high school. Believing that the modern bacteria that caused the disease wouldn't survive the journey through the portal (why?) he sends people through, not knowing that the time period on the other side is full of leprosy and leprous zombies, including zombie dragons.

When Buffy goes through the portal (how? why?) he goes after her.

Obviously, there are a lot of questions in this set up. But it has the potential to be very fun! So take off with it, folks. Give us a story (or hopefully lots of stories) that will plug the holes and tell us what happens next. What does Tristan do to save Buffy? What does she do to save herself? Who's the Big Bad? And what happens when Buffy and Tristan start to have feelings for each other, but she realizes HE is the reason they are stuck in the awful time period in which they find themselves?


Have fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Today we wrote with some fantastic upcoming writers in Chapel Hill. How do I know they were fantastic? They came up with some really fresh and fun ideas. We were all a bit worried about getting to Asheville tonight, so we covered the basics and picked some general story ideas.

It worked super well and we ended up with a story I would love to work on.

Instead, we'll leave the work up to you! Feel free to use this as a writing prompt, and if you'd like to share anything you've written with us in the comments, please jump right in. We'd love to take a peek!


Genre: Paranormal Dystopian based on a "Quest" plot structure
Setting: Post-apocalyptic, radioactive Chernobyl, Ukraine (possibly reunited with Russia)
        Heroine: Katya, a girl who wakes from a medically-induced coma in some type of stasis device. She has a paranormal power.
        Villain and Love Interest: Misha (Mikail), a boy who wants to use Katya's power for his own benefit. He is a ghost.
        Mentor: A caretaker who has kept Katya alive in stasis. Robot?
        Others? A dog?


How did Katya come to be in stasis?
How did she wake up (inciting incident?)
Does she know that Misha is a ghost?
What is the power she has that he wants?
Are there any other people?
What does Katya want? How does this conflict with what Misha wants and put them in opposition?
When they fall in love, will they have to choose between their romance and what they each want/need?
Is there some way they can bring Misha fully to life? Is he truly a ghost, or does he only seem to be a ghost?

Lots of things to think about, right?

Don't forget to fill in the backstory, setting, and other characters!

There's lots to discover in this story!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

You're Invited! Write with Us Event 10/30 at Fountain Books, Richmond VA 6:30 PM


6:30 PM, Fountain Bookstore
1312 E. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 788-1594

Love reading? Considered becoming a writer?

Come talk about your favorite best-selling YA novels and build a story with the authors of five hot young adult novels in an interactive audience-participation event. Work as a group to create a story in the same way that the authors of blockbuster novels create theirs. Using examples from familiar audience favorites like Divergent, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter, the authors will guide readers and aspiring writers through a fun, often hilarious, and educational event.

Come see us -- or join the fun afterwords. We'll be posting the story here on the blog the day after the event so that the audience and anyone else who is interested can finish it or do their own version. : )

We'd love to see YOU participate!

Martina Boone (Compulsion -- Simon Pulse)
Kimberley Griffiths Little (Forbidden -- Harpercollins)
Kristen-Paige Madonia (Fingerprints of You -- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Gigi Amateau (Seven books for MG & YA, including Come August, Come Freedom -- Candlewick Press)
Diana Peterfreund (Nine novels for adults and teens, including For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star Swept Sea -- Balzer & Bray)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Grave Girl -- A Novella Written at Arlington Public Library 10/26/14

What better way for book lovers to spend a fall Sunday afternoon than at the library writing a novel?

As part of the Compelling Reads Tour, four authors of young adult series hosted Write with Us, the first of many activities where attendees start their own group novella. The authors, Martina Boone, (Compulsion, which launches October 28) (that's me! :)), Kimberly Griffiths Little, Wendy Higgins, and Jessica Spotswood shared the basic steps of writing a novel: genre, setting, characters, theme, plot types, point of view and style.

We all had a blast brainstorming and working with the audience. After a little more than an hour, the group had created the startings of a paranormal historical story that takes place in the Arlington National Cemetery on the night of the moon landing in 1969--at the height of the Vietnam War. Our main character, Zoe, is the daughter of the cemetery’s caretaker and was born with a limp. Every day the seventeen-year-old limps through the cemetery leaving flowers on graves to honor the soldiers, like her own father, who died in Vietnam and whose sacrifice was not honored as deserved due to the Vietnam protests. 

During each of her daily walks, Zoe often notes a particular soldier who guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and starts to fall in love with him. The soldier, Liam, is the son of an abusive father and has demons of his own to battle. Determined to rise quickly in the military, he does his best to ignore the girl who would tempt him away from his duties. 

But Zoe's sensitivity and innate kindness creates a connection to the dead that results in her often seeing a shadowy figure standing guard beside the living sentry. The ghost of the unknown solider is still on guard after decades and decades, waiting for someone to identify him and let his family know what happened to him.

On the night of the moon landing, however, as everyone in America is glued to their television sets, the son of a disgraced soldier turned Vietnam War protestor leads his mob of followers to Arlington Cemetery to desecrate the graves. And that puts him right in the path of Zoe who is out on her nightly walk.

And that's where we leave the story with YOU -- finish it up. Add to it here or on your own blogs or wherever you want!

Leave a comment with some additional pieces of the story below, and Wendy, Jessica, Kimberley and/or I will stop by now and then to read and comment!

WRITE WITH US and learn as you go! 

Check out the tab above for plot structuring information -- and, of course, there's TONS of information on writing at, my own blog which I share with a slew of talented folks. Adventures has twice been names a Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Blog, so there's lots of information for everyone!
Want to see our next writing or fiction event? Stop by to learn more! : )

Looking forward to seeing your stories!