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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 June's Writing Prompt

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PostSubject: June's Writing Prompt   June 16th 2011, 12:08 am

The day was hot, and since the sun has fallen you feel the need to relax. You bring the glass of wine to your lips then all of a sudden it shatters in your face and you hear a high pitched scream. Tell us a story of what happens next.

Easy reading is damn hard writing! I love you

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PostSubject: Re: June's Writing Prompt   June 16th 2011, 12:09 am

Love Me to Death (Rough Draft) -- I'm working on grammar with my story writing these days, please bare with me.

The day was hot, and since the sun has fallen and I feel the need to relax. I was outside on the covered patio relaxing with a glass of wine. I bring the glass of wine to my lips then all of a sudden it shatters in my face and I hear a high pitched scream. It takes me a few seconds to realize that the screaming is me. There was red wine, shards of glass and what looked like blood dripping down the front of the little sun dress I put on after work. The bushes at the back of the yard began rustling, drawing my attention towards them. A shadowy figure rose from a crouching position and began to retreat and in my haste I began chasing him.

My face was burning against the wind my chase created but I couldn't let this man or woman – I really didn't know which – get away. It can be a woman or a really small framed man I thought, wearing a black jumpsuit with a yellow pinstripe down the side of both the jacket and pants, and hood pulled up. He is Caucasian, I can tell by the hands and a slight profile peek I get when he looks back. He's almost a block ahead of me, I can only yell stop so many times before losing my breath again. My face, my side and the bottom of my feet are burning or hurting or bleeding, or some sort of combination of them all and I know I should stop but my legs won't let me. I try to pick up speed because I know I'm not going to last much longer then as I turn the corner I step on a big piece of glass causing me to curse out loud. Horrible pain surges through my foot and up my leg. I almost trip but recover quickly and continue my pursuit.

Up ahead I see the hooded figure turn down a alley, I follow. It's a dead end, search the alley but can't find the culprit. Then the crackling of something, a dry leaf, an old fast food container, something that fell out of the dumpster. I walk slowly towards it, my feet swollen, leaving bloody footprints everywhere. As I got closer the lid of the dumpster flew open and another surge of pain whips across my head knocking me to the ground.

I am knocked unconscious, but I only know this because I wake up as the while hooded male is dragging me through a door down the alley. My head is swirling, my feet and face burning, my heart racing and my vision blurry but I talk myself into fighting for my life. I have never harmed another person in my life, why would someone choose me out of all the other people in the world that deserve the worse. I am a good soul.

The man kneels down beside me with rope pulling at my arms. My vision clears and I turn around and punch him square in the jaw. He groans. I'm thankful for the communication. I begin yelling obscenities as I get to my feet. Then he pulls a gun. My heart stops and so does the obscenities. The only movement in the room are my tears.

“My name is Harrington Peters. You don't know me but I know you.” His voice was deep and manly, surprisingly manly for his frame. Don't speak, I don't want to hear your voice. I've heard your voice almost every night for the past 14 years and I've had about all I can take. My mind is going around his every word. How has he heard my voice, Peters... Peters … where have I heard this name and how has he heard me and then it clicks. Maris Peters has been my administrative assistant for these past 15 years, I call her every night, was this her husband? I am afraid to ask, so I don't. The gun is still pointed towards me and I'm still crying, more now from the pain radiating throughout my body. I would welcome a bullet to the head, but first I need to know why this man is doing what he is doing. I listen. “Your AA, Maris is my wife, the love of my life. When she got home, about a hour before you she took her life. Shot herself in the head with this gun.” He gestures with the firearm towards me. “She left a note on the bed... “ there is blood spilling from my face and I'm certain I've been shot. With all that has happen in the past 5 minutes I'm certain it is just a graze. I don't know what is going on with my feet but both are now in excruciating pain. “Do you want to know what it says?” He asks and I am unsure whether or not I can speak so I just nod.

'My Dearest Harrington,

I hope that you will forgive what I am about to say and what I am about to do. I want you to know from the start that I have always loved you, that has never changed. My life was completed the day I met you and when you asked me to marry you I thought I'd never be able to stop smiling. When we had DJ I was in awe of love, of marriage and of the beautiful little Destiny Jane that we brought into this world. Life couldn't get any better. Then I went to work and the object of another affection I held became evident. I love her, I love her with so much enthusiasm that I masturbate when I hear her voice. Why? I don't know, I've never felt this way about anyone but you and her, and I have never cheated but I just can't bare to spend any time away from her. Her voice is a constant melody, her hair a ladder I want to climb and if I ever had the chance to do anything with her I would have. I would have disgraced my love for you, but only because my love for her is just a little stronger. I'm sorry that you have to hear this. I'm sorry that I will never see our beautiful little girl grow up and most of all I'm sorry that I couldn't contain my love for her in order to save us. I hope that in the future you will think of me and not be disgusted at the thought. I love you Harrington.

“How do you know it's me?” I screamed a little too loud, getting dizzy.

“Oh I know, she's whispered your name one too many times.”

“But this isn't my fault Harrington. Please.”

“Please, please, tell please to my little angel. What the hell am I going to do, that woman was my world, now I have to raise this baby on my own.”

“I'm so sorry, but it's still not my fault. I love Maris, she has been my best friend and I didn't even know she thought about me this way. Please Harrington, what can I do to make this right?”

“Nothing you can do nothing.” The man fell to his knees, the gun still pointed towards me, my heart is racing, this is it. I wanted to get married, I wanted to have a child, I wanted to live a good life in a small home with a backyard where my husband and I would entertain. I wanted to retire in the next few years and relax the rest of my life away. I'm only 34 years old and these are the last moments of my life. I notice the tears in the mans eyes. I slowly wobble over to him, if he is going to shoot me I don't want him to miss this time. My stomach is up against the barrel of the gun, I want counting 1... 2... 3... there is nothing but low moaning. For a small man Harrington was beautiful. Hazel eyes, dark hair, strong small muscular face features. Tears fall down both of our faces and I stand there for 5 minutes my legs weak and burning. This has to end one way or another so I slowly lift my arm and push the gun off to the side. I kneel down in front of Harrington and hug him slowly. He collapses in my arms and the gun falls to the floor. I think I should scoop it up but don't want to let the man go.

“I'm so sorry Harrington, I didn't know Maris was in such disarray, please forgive me.”

“It's not your fault.” He whispers. Then I kiss him, not for me, not even for him but for her.

“Thank you for Maris,” I said. I don't know why but I got up. “You can call me if you need anything, that is if you aren't too tired of my voice. He smiles a gentle calm washing over him and I hobble out the door and all the way back home.

Easy reading is damn hard writing! I love you

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PostSubject: Encouragement   June 16th 2011, 9:45 am

Truthfully, it is a good piece. You are right, however, it does have grammar problems. I would however challenge you to clean it up, as I feel the little story could be worth something to a publisher.

Some notes that I made while reading --

Kellycakes, Kellycakes, Kellycakes - past tense, past tense, past tense.
"I bring the glass of wine to my lips" BROUGHT
"all of a sudden it shatters in my face" SHATTERED
Not only is it supposed to be past tense, but you switch from past, to present, then back. That is really bad. Watch your tenses.

A lot of complicated sentences do not actually say what you intended. Read over the text. If you become momentarily confused by a line, you have to consider that your readers would be greatly bothered -- so rewrite it.

"Then the crackling of something, a dry leaf, an old fast food container, something that fell out of the dumpster."
After 'something' you begin a list, so there should be a colon. It still is an improper sentence, but I felt it necessary to point out a proper use of a seldom used punctuation device.

"The only movement in the room are my tears."
IS You need to have your verb and subject in agreement, and movement is your subject, not tears. You have to watch things like this, as I know what you wrote sounds proper, although it is not.

That hopefully will be enough to get you started editing the piece. I definitely do not want you to believe that it is bad. I actually liked it, so I want to encourage you to work on it.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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