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

Sci-fi Friday: My journey to Wizard-Con

As a lover of all things creative, I just can help but love ComiCon and It’s relative, Wizard-Con. People dressing up, comic books, and similar things are this ultimate nerd’s heaven. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to dress up for this year’s event, but I will ve taking lots of pictures and posting them here. What I’m really excited for is Hayley Atwell. For those of you that don’t  know, Hayley Atwell is the actress that plays Agent Peggy Carter in the Captain America movies. She also had her own brief spinoff (it needed to be longer, trust me). We’re  hitting the highway now so I’ll  be in touch soon to share some pictures! Later!