NaNo Crash Course

So, it turns out that school and NaNo don’t really mix this year, so I haven’t gotten time to get all my ducks in a row, but I will be participating this year. So let’s do a crash course NaNo prep!

Make a plan!

To reach 50,000 words, you must write 1,667 words everyday for all 30 days. If you’re a student like me that sounds impossible. I can type pretty fast, but all of the projects and meetings can sometimes get in the way. That’s why you need a backup plan. If you know there are some days that you just can’t get it done. Make Saturday or Sunday (or both) your catch up day to get to where you’re supposed to be.

Don’t get frustrated!

I know it gets frustrating sometimes when you get blocked and can’t bust out that chapter, but don’t fret. Take a break, have a meal, read a chapter. Just do something that takes the stress away.

Break up your word goal for the day

Since I’m always on the go, I’ve found it helpful to break up my daily writing goal. I write for 20 minutes four times a day. Each time I write about 400 words. That means by the end of the day, I end up with 1,600 words. I’ll find a way to add on an extra 67 each day or just wait until Saturday or Sunday and finish off the words then.


If I’ve learned one thing from NaNo, it’s that it’s easier when you love what you’re writing. It’s okay if you don’t know what your writing, just keep writing.

If you have any questions or you need a writing buddy, leave your comments with your NaNo Username tags and/or questions below

Are you Ready for NaNoWriMo?

25 Days. Let the games begin.

25 Days. Let the games begin.

In 25 or so days, writers all over the world will suffer from lack of sleep, caffiene addiction and…writer’s block.

But Jordan, that sounds like NaNoWriMo!

You bet your 50,000 words it’s NaNoWriMo!

I’m not prepared! What am I going to do?!

Don’t worry, I’m not prepared either and for most of us writing isn’t our entire lives. We have work, school, kids, so we a battle plan going in. That’s where I come in. We are going to plan these novels down to a T over the next 25 days. Think of us as pre-NaNo buddies!.

What if I haven’t done NaNo before, Jordan? 

Not to worry just go sign up at You’ll be fine I promise. This is only my second one and I’m going to be prepared this time.

I know writers all over the world are ordering their coffee in bulk right about now, (I probably should too) but there are plots to be finalized, character to be made, wars to be planned!

Ask yourself: Is my story ready for NaNoWriMo?

If yes, great! Sit back and drink that coffee, you deserve that coffee! If your answer is no then you’re on the struggle bus with me and a million other writers. Not to worry, we’re driving to preparation station where everyone exits the struggle bus…and boards the struggle train to NaNo Town! At least you’ll be prepared when you get there!

Now that the rant is over, let’s get down to business. Since I usually start with characters we’ll start there.

Do you have a main character?

Do you have all of the characters you need at the moment? (Your answer is no if you have less than 15)

Have you established which characters are primary and secondary?

Have you established each characters role in the story?

All of these components help you determine how your story is going to go. Your characters, their motivations, their hopes and dreams need to be flushed out before you start writing. Otherwise, you’ll be banging you head against the table before you know it. I’d suggest looking into character profiles. Click here to read my post on character profiles.  It’s one less thing to worry about when you need to reach 50,000 words.

If your looking for inspiration I go to Pinterest and search “character inspiration”. I’ll be talking more about characters and next week we move on to….PLOTS! At the end of the next two or three weeks, I’ll have a check list put together so people can keep track their progress. Let’s whip our characters into shape!

The Confessions of a Writer TAG

First let me thank Nicole for tagging me in this. I meant to do this a couple of days ago, but school had its claws in me. If you want to go visit you can click on her name above or the highlighted text in the rules section.

Rules of the tag:

  • Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

I started writing in the second or third grade, but I stopped somewhere along the way and started again in high school. I don’t think I actually wanted to be a writer until about a year and a half ago. I always assumed my sister would be the writer.

What genre do you write?

I like to write fantasy stories. I believe reality is just a string of controllable and uncontrollable events. Since I find my reality to be mostly uncontrolled, I write what I believe I can control. The weird thing is, if my story gets away from me I don’t freak out.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

A lot of people think my work in progress involves my character, Remi, since I write about her the most, but her story is actually my side project. I’ve mentioned Ri before and her story is my work in progress. She’s a part of the lower class (of course) and it’s up to her to stop her nation from tearing itself apart

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

I remember writing a story in the second grade and it won my class contest. I got to attend a pizza party. I’m not sure what the story was about, but I’m pretty sure dinosaurs were involved.

What’s the best part about writing?

The best part about writing is that feeling you get when everything comes together. Whether if it’s you finishing your story or just when you have your WIP planned out, it feels good when it all works out.

What’s the worst part about writing?

The worst part is being stuck and you just just sit there staring at the blinking cursor, mocking you until you slump down in defeat…or just running out of snacks.

What’s the name of your favorite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well.)

I don’t think I have a favorite character, but I have a thing for names. I love rare and exotic names when it comes to characters. If it hasn’t been used a lot, then I love it.

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I don’t get to write as much since the semester started, but I still try to write on the weekends. The best time for me to write is probably late at night. If it’s too early in the morning then I’ll just want to lay in bed. If it’s midday then I’ll probably still want to lay in bed. Late at night is probably when I get tired of laying bed.

Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

I’m in college! Yay (stay in school kids)! I’m currently getting a minor in creative writing. I didn’t do a major because I wasn’t sure if it was really what I wanted to do, but I wouldn’t trade my current major for anything.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

I think spelling errors because I’m pretty good at spelling. I don’t really follow the laws of punctuation as much as I should so I wouldn’t judge someone else on that. I pride myself on not being a hypocrite 🙂

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

Write for you- my entire support system

What advice would you give to another writer?

You’re good enough. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your characters, your plot, your everything. That alone makes you good enough.

What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

I can’t remember any of the sites. I just search “writing tips” on Pinterest or Google. Sorry 😦

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Besides writing…hmm…my life is a mess so I’m not sure what I do. Let’s just say I reading books and try not to flunk out of school. #lifegoals

What is the best book you’ve read this year?

I’m not sure if I read it this year, but I read this book called Graceling did a book review on it I thought it was amazing!

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ask me again in February though.

What is your favorite book or series of all time?

It’s between the Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series. I’m a sucker for flying kids and Greek mythology.

Who is your favorite author?

Veronica Roth because I can relate to her. I want to write a book before I graduate college and that’s what she did!

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Go through the fiery pit that is NaNoWriMo and come out with a ragged first draft. Then polish said rough draft into a semi (but barely) acceptable second draft.

Where else can we find you online?

I’m on Twitter @JordanHolman_ feel free to follow me and tweet me. We can commiserate together.

Update! I’m back!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks, with school starting and moving places it’s been a pretty busy couple of months. As you know, I’m a college student and that has played a major factor in my absence. Between meetings, classes and homework it seems as though the time has just disappeared. However, I’m back in action now and I can’t wait to tell you all what I’ve been up to.

I moved back to my college town a week before school started and it took that time to get everything unpacked and put in place. I honestly never want to move again. After that it was just trying to get back into the groove of college life. I’ve settled into the groove of classes and I like it. There’s this one class that I’m not really feeling and it had to be the only English class I’m taking.

This is a class that helps you learn all about the fiction. However, I don’t feel like I’m actually learning. I feel like I’ve been downgraded to a middle school reading class. I know reading is a part of learning, but when you spend the first 8 weeks of class in silent reading time then you just feel like you need your money back. Also, we are confined to only writing proper literary fiction. No sci-fi, no fantasy, no nothin’. She tells us that there’s a way to do it, but isn’t really teach us how for the students (like myself) who haven’t really written literary fiction. Am I just a ranting student? Are my rants misplaced?

Anyway, all of my class problems aside, during my impromptu hiatus, I got to write a guest post for Writers Helping Writers. It was a really cool experience and I’m glad I took the chance to do it. It gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my ability to write. If you want to check out my article just click here.

If you want to guest post I highly recommend it.

Other than that I haven’t had too much going on. I’ve been on the job search and that’s pretty much it. How have you been?

Let me know how your summer went, or just whatever you want to share. Finished your novel? Entered a contest? Went to the beach? Let me know.

Writing Challenge Countdown: Day 147

So I’ve gotten a late start today due to appointments and whatnot which gives me enough time to write this post. I haven’t gotten to write today, (I will after work) but I’m super proud of my story so far. For a first draft, I love it.

So today, were going to focus on your character’s motivation. What or who do they love? Who or what do they fight for?

I know Remi fights for survival, but she also fights for her mom and little brother. I’m not sure what Ri fights for at the moment, but I’m getting close to what motivates her.

Motivations aren’t important to just main characters, but all characters. What drives your antagonist? Why is your secondary character going on the adventure with your main? These are things to think about when you’re creating characters. So, what’s your character’s motivation?

Today I challenge you to give your character the ultimate motivation. What that motivation is, is for you to decide. Don’t just make the antagonist jealous, make him vengeful and corruptive. Don’t make your protagonist a justice seeker. Get them personally invested in a conflict.

Here’s some more info on character motivation from

Keep on writing, the fruits of your labor will pay off.

Writing Challenge Countdown: Day 149 and 148

Sorry! I know I was supposed to write a post yesterday, but it was just a non-functional type of day. I’ve been keeping up with my writing though and I hope you have been too.

Current word count: 1,610

I couldn’t figure out what I wanted today’s challenge to be, but after some Pinterest searching, I figured it out. Today is all about the character’s journey. What makes your character special? What can they go through to make them stronger? I always like to ask myself “How can I throw my character into the abyss?”

So today I challenge you to challenge your character. Put them through hardship, let the odds stack up against them and see where it takes you. Here’s a coup;e ideas to get you started:

1. Torture them (mentally or physically)

2. Make them wanted fugitives

3. Make them get robbed

4. Have someone close to them die

5. Kidnap them

6. Make them just have a bad day

I think I’ve always had a problem with putting my characters through hell, but I’ve practiced and now I think the things they’ve gone through have help me make them and the story more interesting.

Have you put your character through something? Are you just struggling with your story? Let me know in the comments what your your problem is. Don’t worry you aren’t alone. We’re all on the struggle bus together.

Keep on writing!

Writing Challenge Countdown: Day 150

For those of you that have been following me for a little while, you know that I am working on my first novel. The entire task seemed daunting at first, but I found a way to make it work. I gave myself the deadline of December 31st to finish the first draft and started planning. I haven’t really given myself an end goal in terms of word count because I just wanted to write and see where I got.

To make the task less challenging, I’ve decided to write 500 words a day for the next 150 days. This will help me reach small goals while making it toward my big goal. 500 words doesn’t take me that long to write so I know it’s manageable.

So the reason I’m telling you this is because I want to invite you to join me on this little (actually pretty big) writing adventure. If you join me on this writing challenge, by Dec 31st you will have 75,000 words. If you want to write short stories, non-fiction, or fiction that’s fine. Honestly, you can write anything you want to this is just a way to help people to reach their goals.

As of today, I have 559 on my story. I have another 5,000 somewhere, but I need to find it. So I’ll do daily countdowns with tips, exercises and short stories and hopefully we’ll be able to help each other get through the next 150 days.

Happy writing!

Which Plotting Technique is Right for you?

I so desperately wanted to make the right/write pun in the title, but I resisted. I’ve seen a lot of different plotting techniques on Pinterest and I couldn’t decide what was right for me (again the pun…). I’ve seen everything from plot boards to book binders to idea webs, but my first mistake was trying to do them all. Don’t get me wrong, doing a bunch of different plotting techniques may work for some, but it tends to get really confusing for most. I try to use a couple in different stages of planning. Here’s a few different techniques to help with your plotting.

1. Outlining

The first technique I saw a lot of people suggesting was outlining. I think outlining didn’t grasp my attention at first was because I’d been forced to do outlines for school and I hated it. The more I started to outline for my stories, the more I actually found it helpful. Outlines tend to be for writer’s that are all about organization, but keep in mind that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s for those who need or want to add more detail and it will essentially make writing your story easier overall.

2. Plot Boarding

For those of you who aren’t familiar with plot boarding, it usually involves one of those tri-fold cardboard display boards and some sticky notes. Each section of the board represents either Act I,  II, or III. You stick the post it notes that have different parts of your story on them in their respective acts. I think plot boards are for the writers that work best with visuals. It gives you the space and the freedom to move scenes around. It can also help you keep track of characters and sub plots (different colored sticky notes).

3. Scene List

I use the scene list all the time even though I find it less structured than the outline. It’s for those writer, like me who can work with a bit of untidiness. This is better for those writers that just need to write things out sometimes. I typically use it as an extreme rough draft of an outline. I don’t always put it in order so I take what I write in my scene list and put it in an outline. I see scene lists as the gateway of plotting, it’s better for me to  write everything out before I put it in order.

4. Book Binder

The book binder is for the extreme planner and is basically the holy grail of your book. All of the information you need is in one place. Outline, character list, scene list and so much more. I’ve wanted to do a book binder for my novel, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If want to have everything you need to know about your book all planned out then I’d definitely suggest the book binder. I’ll put some links below that will show how to make one.

5. Idea Map

Idea maps are definitely for the visual writer, if you like to see things before you write then this is for you. I used to idea maps in elementary school, but I don’t remember doing them anytime after.  I’m not that much of a visual person when it comes to writing so I don’t really do them, but I made a basic one just so you could see what it looked like.

Idea webIdea webs could be pretty helpful if you want to keep track of where your story is going, but you can’t easily switch it around like the plot board. However, if you use a computer, changing it shouldn’t be too hard.

I hope you enjoyed some of the techniques here. Some of them are pretty fun to try so if you have the time try a couple and see which ones work for you.


Plot Boarding:

Scene List:

Book Binder:

Who are you?

I remember when I was 5 years old and I told my mom that I wanted to be the first African American, female president. Then, by the time I was 10 or 11, I wanted to be an aerospace engineer. I never wanted to be a writer from the time I was young, but I was always a dreamer. A dreamer of imaginary places and imaginary people.

I wrote for a little while in the 3rd grade, but ultimately my sister was the one who was the writer, and she was good at it. She used to tell me stories as a kid and I loved each and every one. We always joke about how she wrote FanFic before FanFic was cool. I got to be friends with Harry Potter or have powers like the X-Men and I think that’s where it started.

Even though I didn’t always write, I loved to read, I’m pretty sure that it was a prerequisite in my family, but I never minded. I read books of Greek Gods, spies, and kids with wings. By the time I’d gotten to high school, the public school system had already instilled the “wonders” of academic writing and I hated it. It took forever for me to realize that creative and academic writing are two different arenas.

I finally started writing again 2 years ago around the time I started college and I loved it!  The more I wrote the happier I was. Yes, sometimes it was frustrating and daunting, but it never compared to the feeling I got from creating something and watching it take form.

So here I am, a junior in college, plagued by the question “Who are you?” That question I couldn’t really answer for a while because I couldn’t really say I was writer could I? Wrong. I don’t consider myself and author, but I do consider myself a writer. I’m still trying to figure out where I fall, but I know that I am Jordan, writer, dreamer, future author.  Who are you?

Camp NaNoWriMo: Take Two

In less than 24 hours the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo will be underway. If you don’t know what Camp NaNoWriMo is then click here to head to their site. Trust me, it’s worth the look. The camp is used to give writers a practice run for the main event which would be NaNoWriMo. This event is held every November, but you can still check out the site here for more info.

I started this blog at the end of April which meant I was coming off the last camp session. I had met my goal and I was happy, or so I thought. I got into this rut that prevented me from not only writing, but reading my own work. I started to realize I wasn’t just happy putting anything down. No, I didn’t just write random words, but I did spew a whole lot of unnecessary scenes into my story. So this time I’m gonna do things a bit differently.

Plan, Plan, Plan

This time I’m planning and organizing. I’m making scene lists and I’m making my very own book binder. Think of it as a manual to your story (I’ll post the how-to for that later this week) and if you can’t remember something or need to work through your character’s issues, you can turn to it.

Don’t Follow the Order

I didn’t write in order last time and I’m not doing it this time. Writing out of order helped me get more ideas out instead of getting mentally blocked. I don’t know about you, but I am complete crap at writing beginnings; I know I’m crap and I accept it. It helps to plan out the middle and even the end before tackling the beginning. I know, I’m backwards.

 Make Friends

I’m going to try to engage the people in my cabin more this time around. Writers that support one another can go a long way. You can commiserate and cry with one another, but you can also celebrate together and push each other. I’ve always wanted to expand my circle of writing friends so this is my chance to do so.

Make a Schedule

With work and it being summer and all, I find myself to be getting lazy. That stops now. I’m going to make a schedule and stick with it. I find that I work better late at night or in the afternoon. So I will schedule some time around then to write. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, hopefully I carry this habit on past July.

Make a Snack Box

During writing, I get hungry so I get up and get food. This action somehow leads to getting on Facebook or Twitter or watching TV. I’m going to get a box and put a few healthy snacks inside. If you missed it, here’s my healthy snack post.

Are you joining Camp NaNoWriMo? Are you just writing a novel? No matter what your doing, leave your routine in the comments below. I’d love to see what your doing.

Writing and Eating Will Always Mix

As a writer, I find it pretty easy to grab junk food when I’m in the zone. It’s quick and I don’t have to worry about stopping. However, all of the chips and dip (my personal favorite) or candy isn’t going to be good in the long run. That’s why I’ve gathered a couple of healthy sweet and salty snack ideas for you to try. Some of these require a bit of preparation, but if you take care of it before you sit down to write then you should be able to enjoy without any distractions.

Frozen Yogurt Dots 


First, put the yogurt of your choice into a sandwich bag. Then puncture a hole in one of the corners. All you have to do is squeeze it on a tray and pop it into the freezer.

The first time I tried this, it was a great snack, but warning: don’t leave them out to long or they will melt.

Yogurt Covered Strawberries:


It’s pretty simple, just dip the strawberries in the yogurt then freeze. You can do this with any of your favorite fruit just make sure the yogurt your using compliments the fruit. I’ve seen people try blueberries and raspberries and they’ve said they liked it so put your own spin on it.

Handful of Cheerios

This one doesn’t need a source and it’s still quick and easy. Just pour some in a bag and get to writing.

Pretzels and Applesauce

If you’re looking for something salty and sweet then just grab a bag of pretzels and a jar of applesauce. Just use the applesauce as a dip and keep on writing.This one is my personal favorite. My sister and I grew up eating this and I’m pretty sure I passed this on to my boyfriend. He was skeptical at first, but once he tried it he ended up loving it.

Note: I’d suggest refrigerating the applesauce first. I think it tastes better when the apple sauce is cold.

Apples and Peanut Butter

Just slice up those apples and slide them through some peanut butter. They taste pretty good. I only put a little bit of peanut butter on so it doesn’t just taste like peanut butter.

Bonus: Here’s an easy lunch recipe for those long writing days.


Hawaiian Grilled Cheese


2 slices of bread
3 slices of pineapple, fresh or canned
3 slices Canadian bacon
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
oregano and parsley


Butter one side of each slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley and oregano to taste
On non buttered side of bread place the shredded cheese, then the Canadian bacon, pineapple, and top with the other slice of bread, buttered side facing up.
Cook sandwich on stove top on a griddle or frying pan. Once bread is toasted on one side flip the sandwich to toast the other side. Cook on a low heat to allow the cheese to melt while the bread is toasting.

**Regular grilled cheese’s are good too**

I hope this helps you on your writing endeavor. Snacks are good every once in a while, but moderation is key. I’m still working on the whole moderation thing myself, but I’m getting better. Well that’s all for today and I hope you guys have found some recipes here that you like. Let me know what else you’d like to see and I’ll try to make it happen.

Earth as We Know It Chapter One: Let the Games Begin

Hey guys!

     So I finally edited my story that I wrote for class and decided to share it with you guys. This is all about practice so I’m open to feedback. You can leave it in the comments or send me a message through the form on my “About” page. So here it is. Earth as We know it Chapter One: Let the Games Begin. I hope you guys enjoy it. 

Earth as we know it Final

My body throbbed and ached through the aftershock of the fall and the pain gripped me as I rolled over on to my back. I knew I should be scared for what was coming, but I wasn’t. Anyone who was ever taken by The Collection never came back. Stories said that no one had ever survived wherever we were sent, but I wasn’t staying around to figure it out. I was leaving. I needed to get home. Mom and Noah needed me.

Of course there wouldn’t be a door marked “exit”, but regardless I looked for one. The fog walls climbed upward and beyond my line of sight and my feet were planted on something solid. People started to rain down from the dark ceiling and fell until they disappeared through the floor. I tried to dodge them as I ran toward the wall, but they fell through me and like a chill running down my spine, I felt them. Eventually, I made it to the wall that was devoid of any falling bodies. Fear crept up my back leaving tiny goosebumps in its wake. Where they were going didn’t really matter to me as long as I didn’t go with them.

Even though the walls seemed too be made of fog, I didn’t think leaving would be that easy. I slowly reached for the wall. Everything in my body was telling me not to touch it, but I couldn’t stop. My fingers inched closer and I tried to prepare myself for what would come. When they lightly reached for the fog, they were met with resistance. Solid smoke. Its surface swirled and shifted, but it was solid. I continued along the edges of the smoke, dragging my hand along its surface. I started to move away from the fog when I got slammed into the ground. The air flew out of my lungs and I was flattened to the floor. It took me a moment to realize that it was a person that bulldozed me, more specifically a guy. I’d been tossed around, dropped, and now flattened. He rolled off of me and started to stand.

“Who are you?” I wheezed. The air hadn’t quite returned to my lungs yet.

“Crap!” He said after he rolled away from me.

The nerve of this guy! I was finally able to sit up and take a good look at him. He was extremely tall and was built like a linebacker which surprised me since I hadn’t broken a rib.

“Listen, I don’t know-”

Two loud thuds cut me off. Groans mingled as our two new strangers picked themselves up off of the floor. Two boys and two girls was the score at the moment. This boy was thinner than the other. His slender build hunched forward and his spiky blond hair contrasted the other boy’s floppy brown hair. The girl on the other hand looked like she’d break if you touched her. Her raven dark hair fell closely over her hollow gray eyes and judging from her tiny stature she couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12.

We all looked between each other, waiting and wondering. The falling bodies faded until they eventually disappeared and it seemed that we were alone for the moment.

“Hey, are you okay?” The boy with the brown hair asked.

“I’m fine.” I said
I’m pretty sure my ribs are bruised, but he doesn’t need to know that. Another thing that I’m sure of is that I probably can’t get out of here without their help. Four strangers trapped by solid, fog walls. I’d never met any of these people before in my life so they couldn’t have grouped us by association.

“I’m Levi.” The blond boy says.

He isn’t looking at us. His blue stare is assessing his surroundings. He walked around the perimeter until he stopped at a wall and reached for the haze. His brows furrowed together the moment he saw the smoke for what it was. His lips began to move, but no sound came out. It looked more like he was thinking out loud than actually trying to have a conversation. The other two watched his movements and reached for the walls as well. The unnamed boy ran his hand up and down the wall then punched it. A visible shock vibrated through his body. Dark shades of blue and purple struck his skin like lightning. It wasn’t enough to kill him, but it was enough to lay him out.

“I’m Wes.” He muttered as he stood up.

“Why would you do that?”

“I was just trying to find a way out.”

“You could have died!” Anger pulsed through me, causing me to clench my fist. This guy was probably an idiot and I didn’t need him dying and making more work for me.
“At least I tried something! You all are just sitting around petting it like it’s a cute little puppy!”

“And guess what? We didn’t laid out by a damn wall!”

“Whatever! Just sit here and wait to die!”

“Says the idiot that just got struck by lightning!”

Levi took that moment to intervene.

“Yelling at each other won’t get us out of here. So chill out, both of you.”

Silence passed through the four of us. Something about this kid made my blood boil and I wasn’t sure what it was. I matched Wes’ heated glare until a small voice spoke up.

“I’m April.” The girl said. She spoke a bit above a whisper while rubbing her hand up and down her arm. It honestly looked like she wanted nothing more than to hide herself behind the dark smoke.

“Hi, April, it’s nice to meet you.” I chirped.

“Do you know what’s going to happen to us?” She asked.

“No, but we’re going to get out of here. Did your parents tell you about this?” I asked.

She shook her head so I took a moment to think. I didn’t want to scare her but she needed to know the truth.

“We were taken as part of The Collection”, I said, sitting down next to her. “People are being taken prisoner by beings from far away. I’m not sure why, but I am sure that we will find a way out.”

She looked at me with wide, sad eyes. I could tell she still didn’t grasp the severity of the situation, but she was getting there.

She started to speak when four dull, long beeps grabbed our attention.

“Welcome to Planet Warfare!” A flat voice said, “Over the years, species from all over have competed in teams of four in our tournament style battles. This year we have a very special treat for our viewers. We have our first Earthinan team in the history of the games. If you haven’t heard, the Xeben Alliance is in the process of completely converting the human race and will try to integrate them into our society. Now let’s meet our brand new team!”

“What’s Planet Warfare?” April asked.

3 shrill beeps preceded the same monotone voice while footage came up of raging green fire and bodies writhing in orange liquid.

“Planet Warfare is a free for all, to the death tournament .” The voice said.
Levi looked back and forth between April and the screen. He rubbed his hand through his hair, and began to speak.

“What type of games do they compete in?” He asked.

Pictures appeared of an arena teeming with vicious looking creatures.

“A traditional tournament” The voice answered.

“How is the winner decided?” I asked

“…the battles are to the death. The only way to survive is to win the tournament.” The voice answered.

Knots formed in my stomach as I connected the dots. We weren’t in a prison, we were in These scum don’t particularly like handing out information like that so they don’t.

The face reappeared in the smoke.

“Let’s welcome our new team from Earth!” The female announced.

“Our first team member is April Anderson!”


“Next up is Levi Shane!


“Our third team member is Wes Lockley!”

No no no no no no…

“And finally, their team captain, Remi Ellis!”

The reality of the situation slammed me in the chest; We could die and I may never get home. A section of the smoke parted and light shined through. The smoke began to crackle and close in. My lungs burned and my eyes watered. My choices were to stay in here and die or go out there and die. My feet began to carry me forward before I could even make a decision. We ran down the path and followed the light until we were let out into dirt. I looked around and everything all I could see was dirt, rocks, and a strange violet sky.

Laid out a few feet away were four identical bags. As we got closer, I noticed that each of them had each of our names on them. I dropped down to my knees and began fiddling with the case that was in my bag. Once I got it open, I sifted through the contents and found a strange piece of metal. It was shaped like an octagon with lines of intertwined gold and silver. I pulled out what seemed to be a dagger and under it there was a tiny metal case. In it, there were other knives all different lengths. Next, there was a small box. As soon as I got the lid off the box expanded. In it were pieces of armor. Everyone else opened their cases and found similar items inside. The only difference was that we each had a different weapon. While I had knives, Levi handled a long piece of metal. From the apparent barrel and trigger, I assumed it was a gun.. April examined her metallic whip while Wes played with his laser sword.

“So Light-sabers do exist.” He joked.

I took inventory on the collection of knives and all of the other contents of the case. I wasn’t sure what everything did, but I knew I would soon find out. Levi looked around and worked his fingers through his hair.
“Okay, we definitely aren’t in Kansas anymore.” He said.

A large screen appeared in the sky.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just dropped our finally team off at their starting point.

Each participant has been given a tracker to locate all of the other contestants.”

The metal octagon appeared on the the screen. Apparently, you just pressed the top and a map popped up. I dug mine out of my bag and followed the gestures on the screen. An expansive map appeared in front of me, speckled with bright red dots. Four blue dots stood out among the crowd and I could only assumed that those dots were us.

“They were also given weapons and some provisions. They will have two minutes to grab their gear, weapons, and trackers before the games start.” The announcer chirped.

Games, how ironic.

“I can’t do this…I can’t” April sobbed. She collapsed on the ground and pulled her knees up to her chin.

I bent down next to April and rubbed her head.

“It’s going to be okay. Just think of your strengths. Is there anything you can do?” I asked.

“I was the fastest runner at my school. ” she sniffled.

“That’s good. They’re going to have to catch you first, girl. Plus you’re small so definitely take advantage of that.” I said. “What about you two?”

“I used to go hunting with my dad. Shot a buck from 60 yards back.” Levi said.

“That’s great. Wes?”

“Boxing, wrestling, weight training.” He said

“That’s good, we’ll need that.”

“What can you do?” Wes asked.

I didn’t really know how to tell them that I’ve had to fight every day of my life. Whether it was my father, the kids at school, or some random thug standing in my way, I fought and won. I’m pretty sure it’s a self-preservation thing.

“Before the world went to hell, I was sitting in prison for theft and assault.”

I busied myself with contents of my bag so I wouldn’t have to look at their faces. I did what I had to; for Noah and for Mom.

“30 seconds!” The female voice announced.

“Everyone get you your gear on!” I demanded

Seconds later, everyone was in their gear. I looked at those three strangers and hoped that we can become some semblance of a team. If not, we’d die.

“We have to stick together here. We don’t have the luxury of arguing. We watch each other’s backs and we make it out alive.” I said.

They all nodded in agreement.


A portal opens and we prepare ourselves.


Book Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know

Rating: 3.8/5 Stars

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it’s just the risk she’s been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

First off I’d like to applaud Trish Doller for her ending. The was one specific detail about the ending that I really liked, but I won’t spoil it for you. She did a really great job dragging the reader into the story and make them go on the adventure with Cadie. Also, Arcadia is a great name choice.

This story reminded me of a short story that I read in high school. It was called Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. Definitely look it up, because it’s worth the read. Anyway, it reminds me of that story in the aspect of her getting into a car with two strange guys.

Now, for the Pros. I loved the language in this story and the places that she gets to go see even though my inner good girl is screaming “What the actual f****!” I loved how Doller kept the reader hanging on. Something was always happening whether it was action or Cadie’s growing relationship with one of the boys. That brings me to our cons.

There were two major Cons that put me off slightly. The whodunit aspect wasn’t believable. Once you read the book and you realize how she is with each of the boys and how they are with her, it’s pretty easy to guess who she ends up with. Maybe it was just me. The other Con is that the bad guy’s motive for doing what he did wasn’t as fulfilling as I wanted it to be. It seemed like he did what he did for simple reasons and maybe that was supposed to be the point, but I don’t know.

This book was written from Cadie’s point of view and honestly  I wouldn’t have it any other way. Honestly, if I didn’t know her reasons for running off with not one, but two complete strangers, I wouldn’t have thought she was a reliable character (she’s still completely reliable, but hey who is?). I think Doller nailed down Cadie’s motives well.

If I had to have a favorite character, it would have to be between Matt and Noah. When you read the book, you’ll probably think I’m crazy. I like both characters because of how they are with each other throughout the book. They seem to have tension, but they also seem to be like brothers (they’re cousins).

That’s honestly all I’ve got right now, but I’d recommend this book. It definitely makes you want to go on an adventure…with people you know…that won’t try to kill you.

Welcome to the Planning Stages, Writer.

Well, I’m off to a bit of a rough start on my writers pact. I didn’t begin writing the manuscript, but I did begin the planning for the manuscripts. I’ve started messing around with archetypes and plot ideas. My struggle of the day is outlining. I’m not sure  it’s for me, but I think it would help organize everything.

If I do choose to outline it will be one of the things I put in my book binder. My book binder is where I keep all of my stuff pertaining to the story I’m writing. You’ll hear more about that in my blog post next week. Along with working on my manuscript, I will also try to start writing more of Remi’s story and posting it here and on Wattpad. Hopefully, I can get this all rolling by Monday and keep posting every couple  of days.

I don’t have much for you this time it was really just update, but no worries. Next week will be full of useful tidbits. Until next time, may the word count be ever in your favor.

The Writer’s Pact

I wrote a blog post a while back talking about blocking out doubt. When I wrote that I was going through my own insecurities about my own writing. It’s like I would love an idea and I would spend so much time working on it only to turn around and hate it a few days later. I realized that writing is like a journey, just because you make a wrong turn doesn’t mean you need to hate the entire trip. So, I’ve decided to push myself in the write direction. I love writing and everything it makes me feel. It helps me escape to a place that I can create, where I can free my mind. Sometimes it’s stressful, but it will always be fun. With that being said, I’m going to make a promise to you and to myself.

First Draft Deadline

Today, June 1st, I promise that I will complete the first draft of my novel by the end of the year. This will give me enough time for school, work, and whatever else may come up. I will not back down and I will not give up because this is something that I want. I acknowledge that I have incomplete stories that I could finish, but there’s a project that I want to start from the ground up.  No matter how much I start to hate it I will keep working and I will go back and change things until I like it. That is my promise.

If you’d like to make your own writer’s pact then do it! Give yourself an amount of time to finish something. Even if it’s just editing, or finishing the first half or blogging just set a time frame and do it. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to hear some your pacts . Send me an email through the contact form on the “About Me” page and tell me a bit about your pact, maybe we can help each other.

I’ll still post between then and now, but  I’ll make sure to tell you when I’ve met my goal. I’m ready, are you?

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.”
― Tom Hiddleston

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.

-Tom Landry

The Duff- Kody Keplinger

The Duff

Goodreads Synopsis

After watching the movie, I had to read this book. It turns out that even though I loved the movie, I loved the book even more. To me, the movie tried to be the next Mean Girls, but the book never felt that way to me. It felt genuine and different. For one reason or another I loved that Bianca was sort of out of control in her head. She bottled things up which made her more relatable in the books than she was in the movie. I’ll just talk about the characters a bit and I promise I’ll try not to spoil the book for those of you that haven’t read the book.

Bianca Piper: Bianca was flawed, but in a good way. Flaws are what make a character real in the eyes of the reader. If Bianca were this perfect girl who looked down on everyone, I would probably hate her and put the book down immediately. In this case, I’d rather her be a hypocrite than a snob. I like how we got to see two different sides to  Bianca. The tough side she had with her friends and Wesley, and the softer side she had with her father. I like to believe that we each have two sides of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with it and I thought it was really nice to see in this book.

Wesley Rush: Wesley Rush was seriously a grade A piece of you-know-what. I liked that he wasn’t necessarily an idiot in this book like he was supposed to be in the movie. I think I liked Wesley because I love Robbie Amell and since I saw the movie before I read the book, I spent most of this book picturing Wesley as Robbie and Bianca as Mae Whitman (Honestly I love her too). Wesley had his own problems too which we found out later in the book. He was the character that I loved, but hated too. Why did you have to be shallow Robbie Wesley?!

Narration: This book was told in 1st person from the perspective of Bianca and truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The narration was witty, sarcastic, and insightful. She seemed really self-aware which was something I could really relate to.

Overall book impressions: I might have to buy this book. If I did, it would be Megan Meade’s Guide all over again. I’ve noticed that some teen books lately have fluff, but there was none of that in here. Bianca was real, what she went through was real. We all have problems that we run from and Kody Keplinger brought that to life. I’d strongly recommend this book.

Say Something Interesting, Dammit!

There is one thing that can make or break a story. It can wilt characters and frustrate authors to the point of overused expletives. Do you know what that thing is? No? Well, the thing that I’m talking about is something that I’m still working on. That one thing is…DIALOGUE!

Dialogue is an integral part of storytelling. It helps the reader understand the character a bit more and shows them what the character is saying and what they aren’t. Yeah,I know that was a bit confusing, but I promise it’ll make sense soon.

Dialogue needs to be realistic. It’s basically a representation of the character.  You get a feel for a character by what they say as much as what they do. So their conversation with someone needs to seem natural. It doesn’t have to be proper and it doesn’t have to have a lot of slang in it. I’d suggest paying attention to a verbal conversation that you have. Pay particular attention to the way you and the other person communicate. Do they use filler words? Do they talk with their hands? These things can be useful if the character calls for it.

Another thing is to use tags. I remember my creative writing teacher talking to me about tags in my story. I tried to use vivid detail where it wasn’t needed. I could have just wrote “Remi said” but where would the fun be in that? In all reality, I did need too learn when to scale back. Use words like “replied” or “said” it makes things a bit easier.

One last thing is that action and dialogue go hand in hand. This is where I tend to mess up. I’m more of an action person so my action tends to outweigh my dialogue. I think dialogue used to be scary thing for me. I felt like my dialogue was too stiff, but as I keep practicing I find myself getting better. That what it takes; practice. Just remember that dialogue is just as important as action.I know you can conquer the hill (a mountain would be an exaggeration) that is dialogue.  Keep on writing.

Before you go here are a few tips:

  • Don’t make it clunky. Think of how a normal conversation would go and draw from that.
  • Use dialog tags.
  • Give a mix of action and thought. 

Here’s a couple of lists to help you say said differently

Dialogue Tags: 100 Ways to Say Said

100 Ways to Say Said

Here’s a list of facial expressions. I honestly just like the list and the blogger’s page so here it is.

Master List of Facial Expressions

And click here for the link to my Pinterest creative writing board. It has a lot of useful tips on it.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: First Impressions

The Darkest Minds

First impressions are everything and The Darkest Minds made a wonderful first impressions. I am in the middle of reading this book and I just thought I’d share some of my first thoughts since I loved the prologue. It had this grim and sinister feel that I find it hard to capture in the first lines of a novel.

When I started the book this morning, I wasn’t sure what to think. Once I started, I was hooked. So far I think that the book is interesting. That word doesn’t really do it justice, but I can’t think of the right word at the moment. It seemed to have a  bit of a familiar story with the disease and special gifts and whatnot, but it still seemed like a different story altogether.

Opening paragraph:

” When the white noise went off, we were in the garden, pulling weeds.I always reacted badly to it. It didn’t matter if I was outside, eating in the Mess Hall, or locked in my cabin. When it came, the shrieking tones blew up like a pipe bomb between my ears. Other girls at Thurmond could pick themselves up after a few minutes, shaking off the nausea and disorientation like the loose grass clinging to their camp uniforms. But me? Hours would pass before I was able to piece myself back together.

This time should have been no different.

But it was”

Here’s the Goodreads summary of the book.

The Darkest Minds-Alexandra Bracken 

I have high hopes for this story and will post more about the book after I finish. Also, I’m always open to suggestions for books to read so let me know some books that you love.

TBR List

I wasn’t planning on this, but I am posting my “To-Be Read” list. This is mostly because I write them on random sheets of paper and here I can just keep it all in one place. This is mostly YA  fiction and fantasy so be prepared. So here are the books on my list and the links to their Amazon pages. Enjoy!

Jordan’s TBR List:

Ruby Red- Kerstin Gier

Deadfall- Anna Carey

Proof of Forever- Lexa Hillyer

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids- Sarah Ochler

Every Last Word-Tamara Ireland Stone

The Witch Hunter- Virginia Boecker

Anatomy of Evil- Will Thomas

Fatal Enquiry- Will Thomas

The Death Code- Lindsay Cummings

Daughter of Deep Silence- Carrie Ryan 

Crimson Bound- Rosamund Hodge

Angelfall- Susan Ee

Beautiful Sacrifice- Jamie McGuire

The Distance Between Lost and Found- Kathryn Holmes

Queen of Hearts- Colleen Oakes

Black Chalk- Christopher J. Yates

I Am Her Revenge- Meredith Moore

Court of Fives- Kate Elliot

Red Queen- Victoria Aveyard

The Devil You Know- Trish Doller

The Stars Never Rise- Rachel Vincent

Snow Like Ashes- Sarah Raasch

Garden of Lies- Amanda Quick

Dorothy Must Die- Danielle Page

The Darkest Minds- Alexandria Bracken

Becoming Jinn- Lori Goldstein

Magonia- Maria Dahvana Headley

Dream a Little Dream- Kerstin Gier

A Court of Thorns- Sarah J. Maas

Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi

City of Fae- Pippa DaCosta

That’s it for now. I haven’t gone on a Barnes and Noble run since I’ve  been home, but here is the link to my book board on Pinterest. That’s all for now!

Keep on reading!

7 Potential Conflicts for Your Story

We all know that there are the big four conflicts in storytelling:

Man vs Man

Man vs Self

Man vs Nature

Man vs Society

These conflicts are woven into the each layer of storytelling. I mean, what would a story be without conflict? Storytelling now uses these devices to find the right problems for their stories. There are also 3 other types that have become somewhat popular:

Man vs Fate/God

Man vs Supernatural

Man vs Technology

These seven conflicts fall under one of two major categories. internal and external. These two can help you portray your character’s wants and needs. They can also help you figure out if one of your character’s needs conflict with another’s. The other’s are just    My question to you is: how do you figure out what conflict is best for your story? Let’s say you have two options. Your character can either fight a societal battle or natural battle. How to do you choose the method in which you throw your character in a hole?

We all know that using this device isn’t as cut and dry as Man vs Man or Man vs Nature. We partner it up with other devices to create wonderful stories. I thought about ways to use these conflicts for my own story and started writing out different scenarios. They worked and now I can move on to actually writing different scenes for this story.

When you begin to add conflict to your story, ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • What does your character want most?
  • Does this conflict with what someone else wants? Does it conflict with what they want?

That’s honestly all I’ve got at the moment. So, I’ll post again soon, until then keep writing!

P.S. Here are some websites that talk a bit more about conflict. check them out!

How & Why to Use Conflict Types

The Secret to Creating Conflict

Conflict in Literary Fiction

Conflict and Suspense

Books Books Everywhere!

Welcome back! Sorry I’ve been a bit in and out lately, but I’ll try to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Today’s topic is…BOOKS!

I’m a huge fan of fantasy and YA books (Happy “I Read YA” Week, by the way). Anyway, in honor of me getting a job working with books,   thought that it would be fun to talk about books and for me to give a couple of recommendations.

1. Graceling- Kristin Cahsore


If you haven’t read this book yet, then read it! I love how Cashore develops her main character, Katsa. I also love the amount of creativity that went into this story. I remember seeing a map at the beginning of the of the book. It showed every where they’d be going and it helped give me a good visual throughout the book. Cashore also did really well with imagery. What Cashore calls a “Grace” just screams The Young Elites, but that book didn’t come out until 2014 while Graceling has been around since 2009. I’d definitely recommend this book.

Amazon synopsis: Kristin Cashore’s best-selling, award-winning fantasy Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable yet strong Katsa, a smart, beautiful teenager who lives in a world where selected people are given a Grace, a special talent that can be anything from dancing to swimming. Katsa’s is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his thug. Along the way, Katsa must learn to decipher the true nature of her Grace . . . and how to put it to good use. A thrilling, action-packed fantasy adventure (and steamy romance!) that will resonate deeply with adolescents trying to find their way in the world.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone- Laini Taylor


This book spun me for a loop at the end. I liked the book, but there was something off about it that I couldn’t really put my finger on. I think I was just a bit confused on one (or two) of the characters. You’ll understand what I mean when you read it. I have the second book, but I’m waiting to read it since I’m reading Cinder right now. I’d still recommend the book since it’ll probably take you on the feels train.

Amazon Synopsis: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

These are just a couple of books that I like. There’s this Sci-Fi book that I’ll probably recommend next time since I still haven’t gotten over that book and I read it back in December. I’m a sucker for anything creative. If it’s original and it works, then I’m on board. However, I still look at dialogue, character development and other things like that to figure out if it’s a good book to me. If you check out these books, I hope you like them.

Using Music to Write Your Scenes

I have finally come out of my finals/moving out induced coma. Once I wiped the sleep out of my eyes, I realized that this summer is full of opportunities. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing this summer, but I know that I’ll try do enter some writing competitions and participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. This will all accompany working of course. This summer will be all about exploration and inspiration. I’ll post short stories here and on Wattpad. If you’re not on Wattpad then I’d definitely suggest getting one. I haven’t posted my stories there in a while, I just use it to read people’s stories. It’s a really great place to find creativity. Now, I know I said that I’d post a book review, but I decided to wait until Friday. It’s all a part of a weekly plan that I came up with.

Today we’re going to talk about music. Certain types of music evoke certain feelings from the listener. That why I listen to music with heavy drum beats and guitars if I’m writing an action scene.

Here’s a couple of songs that I listen to lately to write intense action scenes.

This Will Be the Day-Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams

Red Like Roses Part II- Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams

If I’m going for something a bit more tame, I listen to this video on YouTube. For some reason this particular piece of music makes me think of a scene with no guns. It’s this fantastical journey that helps tremendously with mood. This video contains different pieces of music so just skip around and see what you like.

2-Hours Epic Music Mix | THE POWER OF EPIC MUSIC – Full Mix Vol. 2

If you want more music like that then follow Pandora Journey on YouTube. There’s a lot of mixes on their channel similar to the one above.

Praise Be! Finals Week is Over!

I have officially kicked the ass of Finals Week: Spring 2015. I spent a lot of time studying and what extra time I had left I used sleeping. I’m not talking about a light sleep, I talking about deep not-even-the-rapture-could-wake-me type sleep. You’ll be happy to know that I’ll probably be rounding off this semester with 3 A’s and 2 B’s or, if I’m lucky, 4 A’s and 1 B.

Finals seemed to add a lot of stress because I couldn’t seem to revise my portfolio for Intro to Creative Writing. No matter how many times I looked at it, it seemed to just wreak havoc on my emotions. I am extremely critical of my work and it takes a 15 minute speech from Bryan to bring me out of my funk.

I do’t have much to write about today, but I promise tomorrow I’ll post like a book review or something tomorrow.  Expect a fantasy novel.

Gumbo for the Creative Writer’s Soul: Blocking Out the Doubt

I’ve decided to change it up for today. I wasn’t going to force myself to write a story when I can’t even string together a sentence. I think I’ve reached a low point that I get to when I’ve become stuck. It doesn’t happen every time I get blocked, it just happens when I feel like everything I write is complete crap.

So here’s the issue, I feel like my writing is horrible. When I look back on everything I’ve written for class and things like that, I just see utter failure. I think this wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t care, but I do. I want to go into publishing one day and hopefully make a career out of the things I love most in this world; reading and writing. These moments (more like hours) of doubt had altered the way I saw my writing, but it took the advice of a really wonderful guy (thanks Bryan) to help me shake off my little doubt bug. From my conversation with Bryan I learned 3 things and decided to pass them on.

1. Support System

Having a support system can work wonders for your confidence. I know the people who will always have my back when it comes to my writing. They won’t lie to my face if it’s horrible, but they’ll have enough tact to give really good constructive criticism.  Bryan is a part of my support system and he gives me really good advice on what I should do when it comes to my writing.  

2. Words of encouragement

Words of encouragement can always help. I don’t meant from your support system (they give you encouragement anyway) I mean from yourself.. You have to be able to encourage yourself and tell yourself that your working hard and that your getting better. Here is an article with some quotes that should help inspire you.

3. Practice is the key

Writing isn’t an exact science. It takes practice. I had to realize this in order to get out of my mood. I think I expected to be the next Jane Austen straight out of the gate, but I have to keep reminding myself that I’m Jordan. I have a weird sense of humor and dialogue isn’t my best friend at the moment. Remembering this reminds me that to get where I want to be, I need to practice. Nothing comes without hard work.

Sorry about my ranting today, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve been thinking about grad school and internships and it kind of got me to this point. I just want everyone to know that doubt is something that is inevitable, but as writers it’s our job to bury that doubt under the worlds we build, the characters we make, and the words we write.

Happy Mother’s Day! MWC: Day 10

Happy Mother’s Day! I called my mom at midnight and I called my grandma around noon and talked to them for a bit. While I was talking to my mom, I realized that I had my mom to thank for my love for books. For as long as I can remember, she was a reader. I used to see her with books all the time. It eventually rubbed off on me and my sister and now we read books all the time too.

I was trying to figure out whose mother I would write a story about. I figured since I briefly talked about Remi’s mom yesterday, I should write a story about her. I haven’t really thought of a name for her mom yet, but I feel like Helen would be a really good name for her. So here’s a bit about Helen.

The clock chimed out, alerting Helen to what time it was. She knew right about now Remi was preparing for her job. Her daughter ran like clock work. At eight o’clock on the dot Remi had run down the stairs, like she did every night, and kissed her goodbye. Every time Helen felt some sort of guilt for putting her in this situation. She ran her fingers over the arm of her wheelchair, reminiscing over the night she’d almost lost her life. Remi being the strong headed girl she was volunteered to take her place as mater thief. It wasn’t a savory profession, but it helped pay the bills. Helen knew she wanted something different, something better for Remi, but Remi wanted this and she couldn’t stop her. All she could do was make sure that Remi was properly trained. She was going to try her best to convince Remi that this wasn’t the best option for her. With a yawn, she rolled herself to her room, telling herself that she was going to talk to Remi in the morning. 

So there’s a short little blurb about Remi’s mom. I’m still working on emotions and things like that. I feel like I made her too laid back, but that will definitely change. I feel as though my writing has been a bit off lately. I’m trying to figure out what direction I want to go in and write at the same time; it’s pretty difficult.  It will get better, just bear with me for a bit. I have some other stuff that won’t involve as muc story telling cocming up and I think you’ll like it.

Getting to Know Your Character: MWC Day 9

So, for today’s challenge I came up with a character profile for Remi. I’m thinking of doing a project series for Remi’s story since I’ve been getting a lot of different ideas lately. I think her story is an interesting one. When I submitted a a part of her story for a class project people really seemed to like it. I haven’t really gotten a chance to get to know Remi’s character like I should have, but I’m working on it. I’m thinking of the profile below as sort of a getting to know you exercise.

Name: Remi Kincaid

Age: 17

Gender: Female

Physical Appearance: Lean, average height 

Quirks in thought or behavior: Remi tends to have conversations with herself in her head. She also bites her lip and plays with her knife. 

Personality: Remi is skeptical due to her trust issues. She isn’t really a big fan of new people, but she given her situation, she’s learned to adapt. She’s really sarcastic and realistic. She never likes to sugarcoat things that are really important. 

Likes: She likes being in charge, eating, and the little figurines her mom makes her. 

Dislikes: Remi dislikes Bishop and Kieran, feeling like she’s been backed into a corner, and feeling like she’s lost control of something. 

Internal Conflicts:  She feels like the others are looking to her to get them home alive, but she’s not sure she can. She feels a lack of self confidence in herself.

External Conflicts: She’s wrestling her fate from the clutches of other worldly beings. 

Secrets: She’s a famous thief (or assassin, I’m not sure).

Other background info: Her father died when she was young so it was just her and her mother for a long time. Her mother was a famous thief (again, or assassin) before she got sick. Now her mother makes her cool little figurines to take with her when she goes on jobs. Remi started these jobs with her mother’s friend’s son, Bishop. It was a way to make ends meet so she would take jobs that people needed done. 

So that was Remi’s profile. I may post other ones about other people in her story. I’m still figuring out the the details in terms of setting. Once finals week has concluded, I’ll be able to work on her story like I want to.

May Writing Challenge: Day 7

I’ve spent most of my day thinking about the worst day ever for my character, but somehow I couldn’t really figure out which character I wanted to use. So I flipped a coin and the fates chose Remi.  If this is your first time reading this name then check out my letter to Remi.

Since I don’t really know Remi’s full background I’ll just play around with an idea I’ve been wanting to try out. Without further ado, here’s Remi’s Night at Work.

My watch began to beep, alerting me to the time. I moved into a seated position and prepared myself. I unfastened the watch from my wrist and slipped the battery out of its compartment.

“Hands up!”

I rolled my eyes, not playing into an aging joke. I glance over my shoulder at the approaching figure, immediately recognizing his stride.

“Bishop, bite me…” Indifference dripped from my words.

His warm hands slid around my waist only to meet at my stomach. He pulled me flush against his body and chuckled.

“I’d love to.” He whispered.

He chuckled and released me, leaving me wanting to throw him off of the roof.  I shimmed out of my jacket while he slipped on his boots. To me, the boots were a horrible decision, but he insisted that we needed them. I pretty sure he just wanted new shoes.

Moments later, we stood at edge of the roof preparing to do what we’d done for the past 2 years. I tugged at my rope, checking its security. No matter how many times I did this, I still got a rush from it. However, the fact I was about to commit a crime had dulled my senses. I jumped off of the roof and planted my feet on the side of the building. I looked up and saw Bishop sail over the side and plant his feet next to mine. We repeated our motions until we stopped next to large window. Bishop fiddled with the lock for a moment then pushed open the window.

“Ladies first.” He whispered.

“Can you shut up?” I said while simultaneously rolling my eyes.

Once through the window we unlatched ourselves from our ropes and closed the window. We wouldn’t have to worry about anyone seeing the ropes since the window faced an alley way that not even the dirtiest bum would sleep in. We searched for our target among the antiques, but came up short. We entered the adjoining room and found what we were looking for. A small, solid gold statue sat on a pedestal at the far end of the room. All we needed to do was grab it and go. As soon as I grabbed the statue sirens sounded.

“I thought you had unarmed the security systems!” I yelled over the alarm.

Bishop did what Bishop does; he smirked and shrugged. Letting out a puff of air I stowed the statue in my pocket and ran for the exit. We opened the door and were met with 4 flashlights in our face. We fought to close the door, but it was turning into a losing battle. Before I knew what had happened I felt a warm hand shove me through the door. With the slam of the door I was left alone to fend for myself. Staring into the faces of these strangers had clarified my situation. Bishop had betrayed me. He wasn’t going to get away with this, I’d make sure of  it.

One of the guards rushed me and his groin got a personal hello from my knee. Another guard advanced on me and I swept his feet from under him and smashed his head into the floor. Another grabbed me by my hair, but I dropped to my knees and pulled him pulled him over my shoulder. As I got up to move away, an electric shock charged through my shoulder. My body convulsed and crumpled to the floor. My body continued to convulse as black shoes came into view. They were the last thing I saw before everything went black. 

Alright so that’s it! I’m sorry it’s a bit rough. I had to force my way through the opening. Tweet me or something and let me know your character’s worse day.

Creating Character Profiles

I realized that on the 9th the challenge would be to create a character profile for your character and some of you may not know how to do a character profile. Before I started writing, I didn’t even know what a character profile was. After doing a few myself, I think I’ve gotten the hang of it.

Characters tend to be my favorite part of writing. I like being able to create different personalities and people. One thing that helps me create those things are character profiles. Keep in mind that your creative process is your own so this may not work for you. I’m really into the fantasy genre so my physical traits tend to vary. Silver eyes, blue hair you name it. These characteristics are ones that need to be worked out in this phase of writing. None of what you write in your profile is definite. So here’s an outline you can use when creating you character profiles.

Role in Story: This one isn’t really necessary, I just use this for secondary characters so I remember where they’re supposed too go in a story. 

Name: You know this one

Age: You also know this one. 

Physical Appearance: This includes hair color, eye color, height, etc. What would people see when they look at you character.

Quirks in thought or behavior: Here, you can put their habits. Do they always have something smart to say? Do they bite their lip? Do they roll their eyes?

Personality: What’s their personality like? Are they adventurous? Diligent? 

Likes: What does your character like? it can be people or things just make sure that it will assist in getting to know your character better. 

Dislikes: What do they dislike? What makes them tick?

Internal Conflicts: Here you can list their insecurities if it causes an internal conflict. 

External Conflicts: This is where you can list what they’re actual problem is. What or who are they fighting?

Secrets: Do they have any secrets? How do those secrets affect the story? 

Alright! So now that I’ve laid it out for you feel free to do your own character profile. Have fun with it and see what you come up with. Here are some links to lists of both negative and positive personality traits.

Keep on writing guys!

World Building at its Finest!

Hi guys! Sorry I missed the past couple of days of posting, I had a project for class that needed my full attention. So, I’m just going to start today’s challenge and figure out what to do with the other three (I missed the 1st one as well) later.

So, it turns out that a lot goes into world building. World building is mainly used for fantasy or science fiction stories, but they can be used in “realistic” fiction.  In my opinion, you don’t need to have every little detail down, just the ones that matter to your story. Here’s some questions to ask yourself while your designing your world.

Does my world involve magic?

What type of society does your world have?

How is each gender or species treated?

What type of government (if any) does my world have?

Does this world have a different language?

What type of customs do they have?

What  are the negative aspects of this world? For this question, unless it’s going to be a perfect world then you should have a couple of negative aspects. 

What type of rituals are present in this culture?

What are the geographical aspects of this world? Do I want this world to look similar to Earth or different? 

This list isn’t the end all be all of world building so feel free to come up with your own questions to help you mold your ideas into something great. Take the time to think about what approach you want to take to creating your world. There are two approaches you can take; worldview and storyview.

Here are the definitions of each term according to Jeff Vandermeer, author of Wonderbook.

Storyview- What the character knows and believes about their world.

Worldview- What you, the writer, know about the story world. It provides a wider context to the world and may have more stories than just the one you’re focusing on.These two viewpoints can have an enormous effect on your story. I know because I’m currently trying to fight my way out of a world with contradicting details and such. 

I know I’m supposed to create a world for my character to live in, but I won’t be able to create one for Remi just yet. I think I’ll use the world I semi-created for another character called Ri. Ri and Remi were originally the same person, but my ideas for them sort of made a fork in the road. I won’t be able to tell you in story form because that would take A LOT of space so I’ll just try to describe it to you.

So in Ri’s world, she is a graduating student from an academy. In this world they use magic so a lot of Ri’s training has to do with refining her abilities. You can be whatever you want to be regardless of gender or race and I ended up giving everyone really cool eye colors in this world because I wanted a chance to practice describing colors. So, Ri ends up wanting to be, and becoming, what is called a guardian. She she travels the world (which is only 3 nations) and is able to see how people live. I wasn’t sure if I wanted something modern or something rustic so I made a bit of a compromise. I made it to where she was from was a bustling town, but where she ended up going was what I like to call “old school”

That about all I have so far. I recently used Ri’s world for my Camp NaNoWriMo project and I still really like the idea. I hope you guys have come up with a really cool project that you love and want to pursue. I promise I’ll post again tomorrow, but until then, write on.

Choosing and Writing a Setting: Day 3 Writing Challenge

So it’s been a long day. Lack of sleep, but double the homework. I got a bit of time today to write for the 3rd day of my writing challenge. I’ve always wanted to travel, but I couldn’t pick which place I wanted to travel to. So, I chose a place that I’ve always wanted to go to and may have an opportunity to go to this summer. I chose New York City! Yes I know it’s cliche, but I’ve wanted to visit for a while now (my next stop would be London). I don’t really have a title for this so here it is. Disclaimer: This is an extremely rough first draft. I came up with most of this on the fly so sorry if it’s a bit off

I’m almost home! The train would be pulling into Penn Station any moment. It’s been so long since I’ve been to New York. After the uprising, I had to leave Mama and Papa and go to California with all of the other kids. I was too young to understand what the adults were fighting over so I just did as I was told.  It took five years for me to get used to the sunny atmosphere when I had finally received a letter from Mama telling me that we could come home. The closer we got to the station, the more apprehensive I became. They finally told us that it was safe to come back, but nothing was the same. The beautiful, bustling streets were now desolate and unkempt. The city’s skyline was beginning to crumble and the river’s murky brown shade had grown an unsettling black color. I got of the train with my friend Margo. The train station was devoid of any human being. We walked through the train station until we saw a lone figure; Mama. I ran to her and began to hug her, but she pushed me away.

“Foolish child, we need to get out of here.” She whispered. 

Puzzled, we followed her out of the train station and two blocks to the house where I grew up. The house was in dire need of some paint, but when I looked closer it looked like the paint had been scratched off. Not by hail or by rocks, but by someone’s hand. She ushered us into the house and bolted seven locks before she released a breath I hadn’t even known she’d been holding. She finally turned to me with sadness in her eyes. She opened her arms to me and I rushed into them. I felt her body begin to tremble. Sobs awakened the dead silence, racking themselves into my mind’s memory banks. After a few moments, she began to speak. 

“I was selfish to bring you here Anna. I’m sorry.”

“Mama, what’s going on? Where’s Papa?” 

Her replied was cut short by the blaring of a siren. It’s high pitch shrill drained the color from her face and sent her into a frenzy. 

“Downstairs, now!” She yelled. 

My feet followed her instructions even though my mind could not. Margo and I barreled down the stairs and waited for Mama at the bottom. 3 loud gunshots ricocheted off of my eardrums and caused them to ring. Seconds later Mama came down the stairs. She ushered us into a small room and told us to be quiet. The sound was low at first, but it got louder until it was all I could hear. Moans filled the thick air only to fall silent to a scratching noise. The noise became louder and louder until I drowned them out with my own thoughts. It was then that everything clicked. The scratch marks; something was clawing at the house. The siren was a warning, but for what? What had happened here?  I turned to my mom who’s empty gaze watched me. 

“What is going on?”

So, yeah! Thanks for reading and I hoped you liked it! Keep on writing guys!

May Writing Challenge: Dear Remi

It’s the second day of May! It’s also Saturday so BONUS! I’m currently in the middle of completing 3 different projects, but I’m still going to try and keep up with the challenge. Below is my letter to Remi, my main character of a work in progress called Earth as We Know It. She’s fierce and funny and a fighter. So I hope you like it.

Dear Remi,

I’m sorry I haven’t given you the attention you need. School has been hectic and I had to create some other people for my creative writing class. I haven’t forgotten about you, I promise. I am actually making your story my next project. I know I left you in the face of danger, but don’t worry. I gave you the skills and knowledge to help you and your…acquaintances survive. There are still some things that I don’t know about you and I’m sorry for that too. I can make decisions on everything, but you. You’re in a peculiar situation so your background needs to help you. I’m thinking of making you the daughter of an assassin, but I don’t think that’s the way to go. After I do some more research, you’re life will be complete. I’m sorry I stuck you with Kieran, but I put you with April and Levi to even it out. Even though he’s probably the rudest person on the planet, you’re going to have to trust him. I know that last part fell on deaf ears so to speak, but I have faith that you can take anything and roll with it. So you go out there and fight and I’ll try to write the best adventure possible. It will be scary at some points, it will be frustrating and depressing, but I promise you’ll come out on top. 


It’s the First Day of May! Creative Life May Writing Challenge

Happy May 1st! For me, May means that school is finally coming to a close. For others, it may mean graduation, getting a new job, or family vacation. I figure since we’re entering a new month, I should do something, well…new! So I am proud to introduce the Creative Life May Writing Challenge! As always, you can participate and keep everything to yourself. Now on to the list!

Creative Life May Writing Challenge

  1. Pick a song, listen to it, and write whatever comes to mind.
  2. Write a letter to your character.
  3. Find a picture of a place you’d like to visit and write a story in that setting.
  4. May the 4th be with you- Write a story that involves the force. It doesn’t have to be Star Wars related.
  5. Write a story from a villain’s point of view.
  6. Create a world for your characters to live in.
  7. Write a story on the worst day ever for your character.
  8. Write a story where neither the antagonist nor protagonist wins.
  9. Write out a character profile on your main character or just make up a character and write a profile on them.
  10. It’s Mother’s Day! Establish your character’s mother in a story.
  11. Write an alternate ending to your favorite books.
  12. Create a myth that explains anything you want.
  13. Create a list of things you’d need to go on a crazy adventure and explain what they’d be used for.
  14. Write a story that involves lemonade.
  15. Insert yourself into your favorite TV show/movie.
  16. If you were a Pokemon trainer, what six Pokemon would you have?
  17. Create a new superhero.
  18. Describe your perfect meal.
  19. Write about you will think the world will end.
  20. Write about the worst assassin ever.
  21. Write about what the world would be like if you ruled.
  22. Create an alternate ending to your favorite movie.
  23. Write about your perfect house.
  24. Write anything you want, but include the word “blubber”
  25. Your character has been kidnapped. How do they escape?
  26. Put a twist on a fairy tale.
  27. Write a story with the first three words being “You killed him”
  28. Write a story from the opposite gender’s point of view
  29. Describe your favorite color like it’s the ugliest thing in the world
  30. Make a list of names that you’d use for characters.
  31. Write about how your character spends their time.

Since the first day of May is basically over you don’t have to do that one. Or you can do it along with tomorrow’s challenge. I’ll post both of mine tomorrow when I have time. Remember, it can be as short or as long as you want it to be. So have fun and get creative.

Project Series

So, I have this really bad habit of talking to myself when I’m trying to figure things out, but I swear I’m not crazy. When I’m working on what I like to call projects, I tend to talk to myself a lot. I’d like to think that it’s part of the writing process, but if it’s not then don’t tell me. So instead of talking to myself I’ve decided that I’m going to share my thoughts here with you. I’m not  going to share the entire story, but I’m going to share excerpts and decisions I’ve made or want to make when it comes to my project. I’ll also be posting a lot about my writing process as well.  Since, I won’t be posting a lot of excerpts of the story, I’ll try to post short stories starting next Friday.

So currently, I’m thinking about this project series talk about a story I wrote for my creative writing class. It’s a Sci-Fi  story that I’ll admit needs some work. I’ll try to post some project series stuff next week so please bear with me guys (It’s almost finals week).

Definitely try your own project series. You don’t have to publish it or anything like that. It can be something that you do for yourself. Try it and see if you like it.

Camp NaNoWriMo and Beyond

Summer is around the corner! In a couple of weeks the classroom will be a distant memory…until August, but that’s not important at the moment. I’m excited for internships, contests, and camp. No, I don’t mean real camp, I mean Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and will participate again in July. Since today is the last day of the April camp I wanted to go through my 30 day journey.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month is actually in November, but the organization decided to host camp in April and July. It’s an online camp that writers from all over the world can participate in. During camp, I was put into a virtual cabin with people who wrote in the same genre as me so it gave me a chance to interact with other writers. With school entering the home stretch, it was difficult, but I ended up reaching my word count goal of 15,000 words.You can set your own word goal and you have the entire month of April (or July) to meet it. Most writers use it as practice for the actual NaNoWriMo event in November. The writing spree in November is the main event where you have one month to write 50,000 words. This past April has been filled with frustration and homework out the wazoo. I chose my busiest month to write 15,000 words, but I learned a lot by continuously writing.  I learned that your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

I spent the first few days trying to choose the right words, but after doing some thinking (and researching), I realized that I didn’t need my first draft to be perfect. So after that I just wrote. If I had an idea, I went along with it and just wrote what came to mind. My writing sessions flourished from around 500 words to 1800 words.

It took a lot of perseverance to keep going. I think every writer goes through that stage where they don’t like their story anymore; it happens to me a lot. This experience taught me to push through that feeling and keep going. I thought my idea was stupid, but after a few conversations with my support group (you’ll need one of those too) I was rarin’ to go. If you don’t have a support group, I’ll happily give you encouragement.

So if you do participate in camp, remember these three things:

1. Just write. You’re first draft doesn’t need to be perfect.

2. Keep at it. Unless you think that your story is a super bad idea, then keep writing it.

3. Love what you do. Camp is a bit difficult, but if you like what you’re doing, then it will become easier for you. 

So if you want to participate in Camp NaNo in July go to  and if you want to participate in the NaNoWriMo event in November then go to

Keep on writing!

Writing Wednesday: 100 Word Story

3 words. 100. Word . Story.

Well I guess it would be 4 words if you spelled out 100, I was just trying to be dramatic.

Anyway, I’ve been struggling with what to write about today which led me to this topic. I’ve always had this problem with finding the right words (like today) and I was never really sure what to do about it. So my creative writing teacher gave us an exercise to do called the 100 word story. We were challenged to write a story of 100 words or less. It doesn’t have to be a complete story and it doesn’t have to be overly descriptive. I try to make it a scene, but that’s just my own personal preference.

Writing my 100 words allowed me to question my word choice on a smaller scale which allowed me to find the right words. So make a one hundred word story and see how you do. Don’t worry I’ll post my 100 word story here too. No one has to see your story but you. If you do want to share, feel free to email me or submit it to

Here’s my 100 word story, Hit Man for Hire.

I remember the first and last funeral I’d ever gone to. I strolled through the cemetery until I was staring into the casket of Ben Grier. He wasn’t that great; we talked before I killed him. Tear stained faces prayed to the sky above asking “why?” They all remembered him as Ben the saint; not Ben the monster. Apathy was etched into his wife’s features, but no one seemed to notice. She knew what he’d become, that’s why she hired me. I turned away from the casket, briefly making eye contact with the wife. It was time for me to go.


Randy Ribay

I spoke to a writers’ group the other day, and the most interesting question I received was about how my style/approach to writing has changed since going through the publication process with my first novel. Without hesitation, I answered that it was coming to understand that most of writing is revising. I told them that if I quantified all the hours I spent working on that book, less than a tenth would come from writing the first draft.

I used to equate “writing” with “composing a first draft.” Revising and editing were necessary evils that would be tacked onto the end of that process. But, to me, the meat of the process was just getting that story down. If I could put down a good enough story, then I could be a “writer.”

However, I now understand that that’s just the beginning. The meat of the process is revision. And…

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