By Jeff Salter
I’m delighted to welcome, as today’s Guest Fox, author Lindsay Downs.
I no longer recall precisely when or how I met Lindsay, other than we ended up in the FB group for Astraea Press Authors. There we’ve exchanged comments. I’ve read, enjoyed, and reviewed one of her books.
Just as Lindsay reveals here, I’m fascinated by words. Heck, even syllables. And it stuns me to see the many wonderful poems, stories, or novels we can craft from them. Hard to grasp that a 100,000 word novel can be created from a mere 26 letters of our alphabet [and a few punctuation marks]. So words are important.
Our topic this week is “writing prompts”. Read on to see what Lindsay says about word prompts.
Writing To A Word Prompt
By Lindsay Downs
As authors we get to write what and how we choose. We get to choose the words, the scenes, everything about the story. Even when the story takes place as in the case of my contemporary series, Emily Dahill, CID or my regency series The House of Somerset starting with A Christmas Surprise.
Now imagine your publisher asking you to write a scene in one of your books but the word “bridge” has to be included. That’s where the fun begins. You sit in front of your computer, typewriter or stare at a blank sheet of paper wonder how to work that word into the story.
Or, as in some cases you start a whole new book because of it, this I’ve done twice first with Ice Queen and now with Red Queen. In each case the word prompt was “ice” and “red” which triggered the new book.
Back To “Bridge”
But, let’s go back to “bridge”. An interesting word that has several possibilities but you have to look beyond the ordinary. For most of us this word conjures up images of a structure spanning a river, a gorge or a body of water. But what about the “bridge of the nose”? Or “bridge the gap” but not referring to any of the aforementioned.
I belong to a group of authors called Tuesday Tales. Here, each week those who choose write to the prompt for that week. In many cases we have started a book through this group, as I have with Ice Queen and Red Queen.
What I love about writing to a prompt word is it helps to guide me when I’m writing the story. Several times, to maintain consistency in the story I’ve had to write an entire chapter before getting to the prompt.
In the case of the word prompt “bridge” to preserve the integrity of the story I had to write 1,000 words before I could use the prompt.
Here is the shortened version of the scene I wrote around “bridge”, oh and cleaned up because I know Jeff blushes easily.
“Yeah, barely. He’s just sitting there watching us come close to xxxxxxxxxx here in public. Which would be fun if it wasn’t illegal. Only distinguishing thing about him is an old scar across the bridge of his nose. Other than that he looks like your average man on the street hanging with a killer,” she whispered. Then added, “any sign of Toby and Martina.”
If you are interested in reading the weekly post go to the link I have above. We usually post the links Monday night after 9pm EST.
I should warn you that you might find everything from sweet romance to erotica to Sci-Fi to M/M but each link has the genre and opening sentences, so you can choose which ones you want to read. Hopefully all because they, and I’m being modest, all are superb.
And in many cases the scenes are part of a WIP so there might be mistakes etc.
A Collie Rescue
Former Army Sergeant Sandi Charleston, diagnosed with PTSD and homeless barely survives day to day. By a miracle of fate she meets Taz, a uniquely special collie, who helps turn her life around.
Only through him does she find the courage to go head to head with her worst enemy-terrorist bent on mass destruction.
Bound by a special love to help and protect each other, side by side these two unlikely partners willingly march forward into battle. A fight to the death neither is sure can be won but fighting as one they will try to.
Kidnapped and forced to reveal what she knows Sandi realizes there is only one individual who can save her from certain death. It’s not the government but her new best buddy.
Together they defeat the enemy proving once again that battle buddies come in all shapes and breeds.
Rescued, Sandi finally realizes that there is a new and better life for her as long as Taz is part of it.
It was from my parents that I developed a love for books. My father, a medieval scholar, collected the works of Sir Walter Scott with The Lady of the Lake, then and now my favorite. My mother collect Thomas Hardy. No comment on him.
When I was in high school I use to infuriate my English teachers by wanting to write my way, not the way they taught the class. Needless to say, I didn’t quietly rebel and usually won my argument.
Later when I started writing, with a focus toward being published, I remembered what I’d learned in school. All, that is, except for commas which I still can’t figure out.
After much trial and a lot of errors I developed my own, I sincerely hope, unique style or voice. Of course, my style now includes writing parts of my books in a POV which threw my editor for a loop until she realized that a collie was the hero of the stories.
Where you can find me:
Murders and Mysteries
What kind of notion do YOU have from the prompt word: bridge?