New Writing Challenge @ Bookworm Hotspot!

Need some motivation to get writing?

Challenges provide an awesome way to write a story–they get your creativity flowing with prompts, you get to write with other people, and you’ve got the pressure of a deadline. Bookworm Hotspot is hosting a new writing challenge open to all Fandoms. You get to choose from a selection of prompts and write a short story to inspire others to check out your Fandom. Please see the specifics below. And have fun!

( Entries should be posted at Bookworm Hotspot.)

Click here to go to Bookworm Hotspot

Multi-Fandom Fan Fiction Challenge

We all love a certain movie, tv show, or book.

Your mission is to write a fan fiction story for your favorite tv show, movie, ship, or book and make a non-fan interested in watching/reading it.

Romance, Drama, Horror, Thriller, Smut, it doesn’t matter. Keep it short and sweet. One or two chapters only (complete) and use the following prompts in some way:

Rain
Case
Street
Light
Suit
Tattoo
Ring

(If you need help working with Prompts, go here.)

Post your entries on our site using the page provided and on your fan fiction account. Please (on our site only), describe your inspiration, ie: the book, fandom, tv show, or movie that inspired the story. Let us have some info to get us even more interested. Mention BookWormHotSpot.com in your story’s description and summary and if possible, share our link. Stories can be rated K-NC/17. Post ratings on our entries page when you post your story.

Deadline for the submissions is July 1st.

There will be a poll set up by July 4th for members to vote for which entry made them watch or read what the fiction was inspired by. Winner will have a link to their fan fiction posted on our homepage and our FaceBook page and have bragging rights for a while.

If you have any friends who are writers, invite them to join our site and write a story!

How to Write with Prompts

Prompts Make Your Writing FlyIf you’ve been writing Fan Fiction for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the concept of prompts. They are extremely popular across Fandoms–and for good reason;prompts are invaluable when it comes to generating story ideas as well a spicing up plot lines. Let’s go over what prompts are, where to get them, and what they can do for you.

Prompts can take many forms–single words, poems, songs, tables or even pictures. They are intended to provide the seed for your story. One of the best uses of prompts that I’ve found is the prompt table–which gives you a set of prompts and you write a story for each prompt. One of the most effective ways to use a prompt table is to write a drabble on each prompt, then take a look at your drabbles and see which you can develop into a full blown story. I wrote a drabble based on a prompt that turned into one of my favorite stories–one that I would never have written if it wasn’t for that prompt.

With a little looking, you can find writing communities that will issue a prompt challenge weekly.  Search LiveJournal for comms that you can join. There’s nothing better than a weekly writing habit and using a prompt will keep you writing regularly without having to worry about coming up with ideas. Prompts are excellent for stretching your creativity and taking your brain to places it might not go on its own.

But now that you have a prompt, what do you do with it?  The best way to develop a prompt is to use a mind map. (You can find a worksheet here.) Write your prompt (or paste your picture) in the middle of the page and start writing down whatever comes to mind. You may want to set a timer. I find that giving myself a set amount of time produces the highest quality brain storming. Once your timer goes off, get a new piece of paper and start sorting your ideas. I just start crossing off the ones that I don’t like, and rewrite the ones with potential into sentences. Invariably one jumps out. Then I do the Mind Map process all over again to figure out what is going to happen in my story.The next step is to develop a story plan, and then on to the best part–writing!

Prompts spark your creativity and bring fun to your writing. So if you’re stuck in your current story or just have no idea what to write next, try using a prompt and watch your writing take off.

 

Tips for Writing Fan Fiction: Improve Your Dialogue Right Now

Writing great dialogue is a surefire way to make your Fan Fiction story stand out from all the others posted along side it. The words your characters speak fulfill a multitude of roles in your story from revealing character to moving the plot forward. Great dialogue is the key to a compelling story, so here are 5 things you can do to improve it right now.

Know Your Characters

Authentic dialogue starts before you even write a single word. In Fan Fiction, it is critical that your characters sound like themselves. Your readers know them every bit as well as you do, maybe even better, so take the time to listen to your characters as they speak to each other-what they say and what they don’t say. Figure out what is important to your characters, what they value and what they are afraid of, and then utilize that when you write the words they speak.

Highlight Differences

Your characters must sound different when they talk to each other. You should be able to pinpoint who is saying what without  tags. (A tag is the he said or she said placed before or after your dialogue.) This is where knowing your characters comes into play-their background, their parents, the place they grew up are all going to influence how they sound when they speak.

Read Dialogue Out Loud

If you are only going to do one thing on this list, this is the one. When you read your dialogue out loud, note the words you stumble over and rewrite them. Make sure your characters’ conversation flows naturally between them, and any information they reveal sounds natural. You want to avoid having your characters ‘info dump’ at all costs. Info dumping is when you have a character announce things they already know to inform the reader.

Less is More

We don’t speak in complete sentences to each other. Dropping a word here or there goes a long way toward your characters sounding real. Long passages of dialogue will drag your Fanfic down, so cut your dialogue down to the bare minimum it takes to get the job done. Characters who repeat themselves quickly become boring! Dialogue is what you wish you’d said in the heat of the moment, not what you actually said. So take out everything that isn’t absolutely necessary.

Leave Something Unsaid

In Fandom, this is called subtext, and goes along with less is more. Oftentimes, what a character doesn’t say speaks louder than anything that could ever come out of his mouth. This is where knowing your character’s backstory (as defined by your Fandom’s canon) comes in handy as well. Perhaps there is a topic she always avoids, something that always causes her to leave the room. Using dialogue like this will also help you to slowly reveal your character’s inner conflict to your reader, enticing them to keep reading.

The good news is that the more dialogue you write, the better you will get at it. Keep your eyes open and notice how other writers write their dialogue. Note what works and what doesn’t. There is no better teacher than studying the work of other authors.

The eBook Revolution

After much consideration, I recently decided to self publish a book for the Kindle. I know, self publishing, right? That’s for goofs with big egos, or at least that is what I thought.

Not any more.

I purchased a Kindle about a year ago, not sure if I would use it or not. But to my absolute surprise, it became my right hand. I used it all the time! My 8 year old daughter even downloaded a few books to read and far prefers it to reading actual books.

I thought about it for a few months, read a couple of eBooks on my Kindle from authors who had published their own works, and decided to give it a go. Since I published a work of non-fiction, I think it was probably easier than those of you who decided to go for it with a work of fiction, but I have to say, it was really easy and people have been downloading the book on Amazon!

The whole thing has me really excited, especially for my fellow Fan Fiction writers. The jump to writing orginal fiction has just become a whole lot shorter–and with NaNo on the horizon, just think of the possibilities. Fan Fic writers are some of the most prolific around, we know how to tell a story, and I see great things in the future.

What do you think about the idea of self-publishing? Would you do it?