My first writing prompt and my response.

Hello,

I attempted a writing prompt yesterday, my first don’t you know, which was as follows:

‘One lazy Sunday afternoon, with the sun trying to push its way through your carefully closed curtains, your favourite mythical creature crashes through the window and pleads with you to help them with a quest. Because, naturally, you are the only one who can help. So,

Which mythical creature is it?

Why that particular creature?

And, what is the quest?’

Today in work I decided that I would attempt to write off the back of my own prompt. Just to see if it’s any good and, not being biased of course, but I believe it to be the best prompt EVER.

I would appreciate any feedback regarding this prompt. Is it good? Bad? Indifferent? I’ve enjoyed creating it so I may make it a regular thing. Anyway, here is what I came up with from my prompt.

‘Which mythical creature is it?

Dragon. More specifically, a sleep-walking male dragon named Stephanie. His owner does not believe in gender specific names and believes that any name can be given to anyone, especially a twenty-foot dragon.

Why that particular creature?

I’ve enjoyed seeing dragons in films and TV shows and reading about them as well. When creating this particular dragon I remembered how most of the dragons I had seen or read were either angry villains or bloody ‘magic’ dragons. I wanted a change and I think I’ve accomplished that.

And, what is the quest?’

Stephanie has climbed through the window of our hero’s, John’s, front room and pleads with him to help him carry a wooden chest filled with sacred scrolls to the dragon homeland. The scrolls contain spells which hide the dragon world from the human one. The spells were originally cast two thousand years ago, are beginning to fade and must be recited again in order to keep the dragons safely hidden. Without the spells, how would the human world react? The risk is too great and they need to be kept hidden.

The dragon chose John because the portal to the dragon homeland is located in Woodley, a small village where John grew up. John knows Woodley better than most and the dragon knows this as well. The dragon has watched John grow up and followed him as he left Woodley when he became fully grown. Stephanie finds that John is much like him, laid back and intelligent and a quick thinker with bags of unfulfilled potential, and sees him as a kindred spirit. John is scared for his life and agrees to go along with the quest through fear but quickly realises that the dragon could have killed him at any time and seems very nice. But, how can John sneak a twenty-foot dragon from Salford, Manchester to 10 miles away in Woodley? The dragon squeezed through a small window, what else can he squeeze through? How small can he make himself? John contemplates this and more as he sets off inexplicably with a dragon named Stephanie on a quest to save the dragon homeland.

 

My first attempt at a…Writing Prompt!

Writing Prompt

Hello,

I’m currently doing a ‘Blogging 101’ course, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Each day since 8th February I’ve been given a task to do that is designed to help to improve my blog (hopefully) and expand my audience (such as, following a certain amount of blogs I’m interested in, engaging more with the blogs I follow) and personal knowledge of what I can do with my blog behind the scenes (adding widgets and changing themes). Though this all probably sounds simple enough to do I have been neglecting my blog recently so it has helped me out immensely.

The latest assignment is too create a writing prompt. Now, I’ve answered many a prompt before but never actually created one. If it sounds too easy then I’ll make up a harder one next time. It is my first go after all. Alright, here it goes…

One lazy Sunday afternoon, with the sun trying to push its way through your carefully closed curtains, your favourite mythical creature crashes through the window and pleads with you to help them with a quest. Because, naturally, you are the only one who can help. So,

Which mythical creature is it?

Why that particular creature?

And, what is the quest?

Thank you in advance for those of you who take part. Go nuts with it and see what happens.

Hope to read your responses soon.

Getting back to blogging basics. Let me (re)introduce myself.

Hello,

Back in 2012, March 7th to be exact, I published my first ever blog post. This went as follows:

Well, I’ve took the plunge and created my own blog. Its use is to either:

  1. Read other writers blogs and stories and maybe have them do the same for me.
  2. Rant about stuff.

But which do i do first?

Short and sweet and to the point. Well, two points. Point 2 hasn’t happened that much as I don’t tend to rant that often. However, point 1 still rings true today. I want to read other authors blogs and stories. I want to do this to try and take in all kinds of styles and genres that may help me when I come to do my own writing.

Then, there’s the maybe.

I like the word maybe. When used correctly it can invoke intrigue and suspense. Or at least, I hope it can. But, when I used it in my first blog post ‘maybe have them do the same for me’, it was used incorrectly. In fact, it should not have been used at all. Now, I very much want other authors and non-authors alike to read my stories and blog posts so I can converse with them and learn and grow when it comes to my writing. Happily, I have made that clear since March 2012 and I speak to authors regularly but not as often as I’d like. But I would like to increase the amount of people I speak to.

So, I decided to take a ‘Blogging 101’ course to try and improve my chances and move my blog forward. The course’s first assignment is to introduce myself. As you can see, I’ve already done that but I would like to do this again. If you let me. And…

Good evening,

My name is John Robert Sermon and I’m from Stockport, Greater Manchester, UK. I have been writing on and off since 2001. With more emphasis on the off. But since 2009, I started to write more and more until March 2012 when I started this blog. Since then, I have written 21 stories (3 novels and 18 short ones) and this number is growing. I would like to use this blog to share those stories and the process I go through when I write them. I would also like to read other blogs and stories and interact with other authors.

I would like this blog to help me to improve my writing and to talk to some like-minded people.

There you have it. Happy re-meet you again. Now, back to the writing.

Bye!

 

 

NaNoWriMo has begun! (again)

Hello,

My preparation for NaNoWriMo 2015 had been gathering steam in the week before November 1st. Last time out I mentioned that I will be putting a story down on ‘paper’ that I have had knocking about my noggin for at least five-ten years. I’ve got a lot of set pieces and twists and turns already planned, but I haven’t yet done all I need to do to get ready for the challenge ahead. I’ve made some more detailed notes and come up with some chapter ideas so I’m on my way.

As I think back, I think I started to make notes regarding this story about a decade ago. The story is about a completely insane dictator, who can act better than most, who has been planning to conquer all the other realms, which includes Earth, for some time. For a long time. He now feels that he is ready to do this. Though, he’ll have to contend with the five enforcers and their army whose job it is to keep the piece and one of these enforcers may be his key to victory or spell his ultimate doom. That’s brief explanation from mostly the villain’s point of view. Our hero is taken from Earth and dumped in one of the realms to begin his training to become an enforcer.

Altogether this is my crack at telling an epic story across many worlds involving who knows how many people and creatures.

Whilst making some last minute preparations I somehow lost track of what dates and days are on my calendar. When I thought I had plenty of time I have in fact found that I had no time and 01.11.15 was upon me.

NaNoWriMo has begun!

This will be my third attempt in four years having been successful in my previous two attempts. I have started quite well I think and gone past the 10,000-word mark. But today and tomorrow and Monday I think will come unstuck.

I’m out for my friend’s birthday all day today, then nursing a hangover tomorrow, and then out to the Manchester Arena to watch WWE Raw. Unless I write whilst hungover, which sounds AWFUL, then I may have to take a day, hide away in my writing cave, and catch up to the word count I should be up to in order to complete the task. I’ve done it previously, why not this time around?

For all of you doing the 50,000 word, write a novel extravaganza NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) all the best I hope you all complete it.

I’m going back to my cave for a few more minutes before I have to head out. Happy writing everyone!

Catching up and looking forward (NaNoWriMo is coming!)

Hello,

It’s been a while. And the reason is that I’ve been catching up on reading and mentally trying to prepare for NaNoWriMo.

As I have mentioned before, I’m a monthly subscriber to the seminal magazine ‘Writing Magazine’. If you haven’t heard of this publication it is full of useful articles, tips, hints, and everything in between for writers of all levels. I enjoy reading this magazine but lately I have found myself falling behind. Way behind. I discovered, about three months ago, that I had a pile of magazines to read. Now, whenever I read one of these I always pick up something I can use for my writing or something that I could use in future. With this in mind, along with many scratch marks on my forehead wondering how I’ve let myself get into such a position, I have read and read and read. I’m almost up to date now and have picked up even more useful writing tips. But as I have been reading I have felt a gremlin on my shoulder. A nasty, annoyed and slightly vengeful one that has creepy crawled around me for a while.

But you see, this gremlin wasn’t always a gremlin.

This gremlin, known as ‘Chip’, was once a wonderful sprite to me that stood tall and was helpful and wise. For two years, I used this NaNoWriMo sprite to complete the challenge for two years running (2012 and 2013). But last year I took it for granted. And I did a month of editing instead. Though the editing was very helpful the sprite, now hunched and dripping with anger fuelled slime, was not happy at being unused. For the last year, it has been running around trying to get my attention. And now it has.

The sprite is getting back to its previous wonderful form as I start to prep for NaNoWriMo 2015 and I’ve settled on a story I want to write. It’s a story that I’ve been dwelling on for years. Almost a decade. And I’ve never put it down on paper. Why? I’ve no idea. I have all the details I need and notes required. So now is the time. I’ve done my stretches, signed back up on the official site (www.nanowrimo.org) and everything is falling into place.

NaNoWriMo 2015…Here. I. Come!

An interesting question following some very useful feedback.

Hello

I recently decided to put my short story ‘Do I have parents at all?’, which is about a 114 year old immortal man living in modern day Manchester, England trying to find his true calling, onto the writing feedback website www.critquecircle.com. The idea of this wonderful piece of the internet is that you have to critique other authors work to gain credits. These credits can then be used to buy a place for your story to be critiqued on their website. It’s a simple idea that has given me a lot of useful feedback over the years and has allowed me to read some brilliant prose as well. And my latest venture into the critique circle world has carried on this trend.

A reviewer by the name of ‘Fergie’ (Who is Scottish and is a brilliant name for obvious Manchester United related reasons) decided to read my little tale and provide feedback. Amongst the many things he provided was a closing comment about how he was unsure whether or not he would buy my story if it came to his attention on a book shop shelf. ‘Fergie’ was unsure in its current form if he would buy it.

This got me thinking about how important the first line of a story is and also how important the first page can be as well. If I was looking to buy a book I would read the first page and look at the synopsis before deciding to buy it so I asked myself, is the first page of my story eye catching enough to be bought?

I have to be honest and say I don’t think it is. It could be better. And using ‘Fergie’s’ and other’s feedback I hope to make it good enough. With this in mind…

What do you think? Here is the first page only of my short story and all I want to know is would you buy the rest of my story after reading it? Either way I would really appreciate your feedback. Thank you in advance if you decide to read and comment on it. If not, have a good week in whatever it is you end up doing. Bye!

I have walked the Earth for one hundred and fifteen years but the questions still remain. Where is the First? We should have some kind of connection should we not? Why am I here? Do I have parents at all?

Waking up on the ground of a forest is as much as I can ever remember about my birth. Which is more than anybody else I am sure. That first year is fragmented but there is enough to piece together the story. My story. The story of my birth or my…come now brain, let us do this dance again it may help this time around.

I am born into existence and I grow, develop, and so on until eventually I am found by that rich family and raised for a while until I age too fast and spend the rest of my first year between families. Next comes another year living with various well-meaning poor families who all end up abandoning me but, with reluctant thanks to the rich, I am prepared. By this point, I am the equivalent of a ten year old boy and I find an orphanage and live there for a year through threats and the bending the owner’s superstitious beliefs.

And so, after three actual years upon the Earth and I look fifteen. Each year equals five years until I am thirty, and then I stop growing. I just stop. But why? I travel, I learn, I earn, I frighten, as the anger builds within me and I continue to ask myself why? But remember Henry, take the best parts from life and forget the rest. You promised to stop doing this to yourself! Distraction. It is an overcast Saturday night and I will use it to take my mind off things. Manchester is the best place I know. The streets and buildings are drenched in history. I love how new and at the same time old the whole place looks and feels. The night is starting to get into full swing with people everywhere and I find myself walking inside a bar I do not recall the name of and I do not care to check. I just wish I had a friend I could share this with though I made my peace with that years ago. I will live, I always do.

“Same again?” I forget his name.

“Yes please. Thank you.” I wish these two drunken men would move from the bar. You have your drinks so why are you still here? It is time for the old nudge and move technique. I am glad I committed to the gym all those years ago.

“Hey Handsome, why do you get preferential treatment?” Handsome? Wait…I know that look. She is just after a drink. Women. I have given up trying to work them out. Some say handsome, some say ugly. I do remember one young lady telling me that my light stubble and blue eyes complimented my slightly square jaw and that I must keep my hair short and messy as tall men do not suit long hair. Of all the things I have heard why do I remember what women say about me the most? “Hey, are you okay?”

“Yes. Sorry I got distracted. My girlfriend should be here any moment.” And she is gone. I must stay focused. I cannot fall behind on my schedule. I am sure the First is in Manchester. But how can I be sure? How is it possible that I have not found him, or her, after all of this time?