The Most Important Writing Rule

There are so many writing rules out there and plenty of disagreement about which ones are worth adhering to and which ones should just be ignored. Some of the most famous ones are the ‘write every day’ rule and the ‘write what you know’ rule – both of which are widely misinterpreted! But there are plenty of others too and new ones pop up all the time. But I think the most important one has been forgotten somewhere along the way.

Writing is hard. It should be hard because anything worth doing, anything with the potential to change the world, shouldn’t come too easily. Writing is something you work at. Natural talent helps a lot but all writers improve the more they write, and all writers should be keen to improve their craft as they go along, acknowledging their weak areas, feedback from readers and professionals and so on.

What I’ve noticed lately though is that ‘writing is hard’ seems to dominate the writing community more and more. I see a lot of negative memes and posts about writing and it worries me. Writing is hard, don’t get me wrong. From that clumsy first draft where you are crawling through the dark trying to find the plot, to those final, tedious proofreads and edits where you think you will go crazy if you ever have to read through this thing again. Writing is hard because the right words don’t always come easily and writing is hard because sometimes characters take a while to become fully realised and alive. Writing is hard because marketing and advertising are expensive and not within everyone’s reach. Writing is hard because all too often your nearest and dearest don’t support your book babies. We get it. Writing is and should be hard.

But we are forgetting the most important thing, the thing that makes writing less hard and less all of the things mentioned above! Writing should be fun! Writing should be enjoyable. Writing should make you feel better about being human and living in this world. If it’s not fun, not enjoyable, why the hell are you doing it?

I have to admit, I just don’t understand it when I see so many writers moaning about how hard it is to write and how they procrastinate for hours or days at a time, how they have to be dragged kicking and screaming into their writing chair. There are so many memes out there that seem to suggest writing a book is nothing short of torture…

I just don’t get it…

If it feels that bad, if you hate it that much… why are you doing it?

When did the joy of writing and creating worlds get eroded? It’s tough out there, believe me, I know. Low sales and reviews can be soul destroying and jealousy and imposter syndrome creep in when you see other writers doing better than you. No doubt there is a tough side to this. I often say I could happily give up on the publishing and selling side of books, because that is the toughest bit, but the writing bit? Hell no! Not ever… You would have to drag me kicking and screaming from my writing desk and you still wouldn’t win.

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

Writing should be joyous, freeing and life affirming. I couldn’t do it if it made me feel worse. Real life is there for that! Writing is the escape… The chance to disappear and build your own universe, create heroes and villains, twisty plots to make your readers gasp and endings that are just too perfect. It’s not easy, but it should be fun. It should be more than fun. It should be utterly glorious. It should be something that excites you, something that makes you long for the moment you sit down and write…

In all the disappointment, self-doubt, endless edits and fruitless marketing, let’s not forget why we started this. Let’s not forget why we write. The most important writing rule in my opinion is it ought to be fun.

July Writing Challenge: The Longest Day

At the end of June I posted on my Facebook author page asking for writing prompt suggestions. I received a lovely amount and the one I chose to respond to was, ‘write about an ordinary day that lasts forever.’ I had a few stabs at this but this was the final result. I hope you enjoy it. This is the second draft and I will probably play around with it a bit more before it gets added to my next collection. I’ll be asking for a new challenge for August!

Time didn’t work the same way in Grandma’s garden.

Time had its own rules there.

Time is not the same for children as it is for adults either. And if you combine children with a dark and secret place they have been forbidden to enter, you find that time plays tricks on you. That an ordinary day can become an extraordinary one. That an ordinary day can even last forever.

Would you like that? To live forever?

I thought I did, when I was a child. I first realised death would get me when our dog Ralph got smashed to bits by a speeding car. He wasn’t supposed to be out on the road. That was my fault. I left the gate open and he followed me out to the ice cream van, wagging his fat tail hopefully. His hope ended when the speeding car swung around the corner and took him out. I still remember counting the bits of him that were spread across the road. My mother later said I was in shock, when I kept repeating the number. Twenty-two. It was twenty-two. And I knew then that death was coming for everyone, even me, which didn’t seem remotely fair because I was obviously special, and ought to be allowed to live forever. Children are self-centred like that. Think the world revolves around them.

Until they go to visit their grandparents and the house is full of noise and gossip and there are aunts and uncles everywhere you turn. No child can tolerate that much head rubbing and lip smacking for long, so we wriggled free, me and my cousins, and we went out to the garden.

We followed the wide stone steps from the front door, down to the first layer of the garden. This was Grandad’s domain, with his runner bean plants, giant marrows, trimmed conifer hedges and the door to his cellar. There was a little low brick wall we taught ourselves to balance on, arms flung out to either side. If you toppled one side, you’d land on his runner beans and someone would tap on the glass from the window above to scold you.

We skipped down a worn grass path away from the tapping on the windows and the prying adult eyes until we came to the next layer. A flat spread of grass surrounded by bright flowerbeds. Grandma’s domain. A rotary clothesline swung in circles in the breeze. Her bird table and bird bath were always full to attract the birds she watched from the window.

There was another wall here – you could jump down and land in the final area. The lower garden, where the grass was longer and greener. Grandad’s compost heat warmed the air and flies buzzed manically around it. Here the fences seemed higher, the trees thicker, the canopy above sheltering us from the windows of the house.

Here, we traded secrets. Robert was a snitch and a tell-tale. Martin wet the bed last time he slept over at Grandma’s. Lucy’s dog got splattered on the road and the blood sprayed all the children in the face. It was a zombie dog who kept walking even after his head had rolled away. Maria’s mum had an affair and now she is getting a new daddy. Here, we traded dares. Throw one of Grandad’s tools over the fence. Poke a stick into the steaming compost to see if it is really full of snakes. Steal some knickers from the line and hang them in a tree. Pick the plums from the neighbour’s tree. Throw plums at the houses and then duck.

It was dark and green and safe but in the fence was a small iron gate that led down to the very lowest, furthest part of the garden. Grandma and Grandad did not venture down to the lowest point for several reasons. There were too many trees, Grandad said, so he couldn’t grow anything down there and also, the hose wouldn’t reach. It was too difficult for them now to climb all the way back up, Grandma said, with their old bones and bad backs. It was too wild down there, they said. Best to leave it alone.

We were forbidden. They couldn’t see us from the window, couldn’t see what we were up to and we were always up to something. It was too overgrown down there, too tangled and there could be rubbish, even glass amongst the undergrowth. Over several summers, our curiosity grew into something that felt alive. Something yearning and aching and building up inside of us until that particular summer, the summer I was twelve, we could bear it no more. We hatched a plan and prepared for battle. It was me and my two younger brothers, Patrick, eleven- and nine-year-old Harry. It was my cousins Robert and Martin who were ten-year-old twins at the time, and cousin Maria who was eight.

We set up a picnic in the lower garden, not too close to the fly infested compost pile. We asked to borrow a huge umbrella for shade and behind that, we dutifully spread out a soft blanket and organised the food and drink they’d let us take. We knew from the windows they would just about be able to see the umbrella and would hopefully assume we were still playing behind it.

‘They’ll be too busy watching the match,’ I added when Patrick gave me an anxious look. ‘Besides, we won’t be very long.’

We stood at the gate and took a deep breath. Beyond the gate, darkness beckoned and Maria slid her sweaty hand into mine. I checked my watch – it was ten am. Behind us the sun was a red gold ball of fire torching the garden, but beyond the iron gate, we could feel soft cool air calling to us. It smelled different too. It smelled alive.

What struck me first, before we went through the gate, was how green it all was. How you couldn’t really tell where one tree or shrub ended and another began. It was a mass of tangled green in varying shades and it felt hungry. It wanted us to come in.

So we did. What we found first was a set of small stone steps. This delighted Maria who happily hopped from one to the other, declaring they were small enough for fairies. The boys charged ahead, waving sticks at imaginary danger. I lagged behind, mainly because I wanted to take it all in, this forbidden, secret land, and because Maria was still tightly clutching my hand.

There was little light. Only tiny fragments made it through the thick canopy of trees and vines above our heads. I identified fir trees mostly, but there were hawthorn, ash and elm as well, all pushing and vying for space. The bushes were mostly rhododendron. Grandad always said that plant was an invasive pest, but its flowers were in full bloom, exciting Maria further as she danced ahead to pluck the bright purple petals.

It was silent. I saw the odd bird flit from tree to tree but I didn’t hear any song. The path seemed to go on forever and I was in awe, confused. I had no idea my grandparents garden was this big, this long. It kept going down, which didn’t seem to make sense because I knew that behind their house was another road full of houses just like theirs. I felt like we should have reached a boundary fence by now, someone else’s land. But it just kept going, and the steps got narrower and steeper and when I called ahead, the boys did not answer.

‘They’ve gone,’ Maria stated plainly and my heart beat faster.

‘Hiding,’ I told her. ‘Watch out. They’ll jump out on us soon.’

Suddenly, she froze and screamed. It was a horrible sound, one that I was sure the adults would hear from the house. Thanks to her, our adventure would be over before it had even begun. I shook her arm to get her to stop but she just pointed to something sat on the next step. Something we had almost stepped on.

It was the largest slug I had ever seen. It was almost as big as my foot. I backed up, blinking in panic, because although I liked to think of myself as a tough customer, I was repulsed by those things. It was just sat there, glistening and pulsing. Its gleaming skin was the colour of the steps, mottled green and grey. I looked over my shoulder and felt sick when I saw more slugs posted on the steps we had already descended. How we didn’t slip on them and fall to our deaths, I will never know.

She hadn’t got far but that was enough for Maria. She pulled free of my hand and charged back up the steps, screaming for her mother. Great, I thought, watching her go. Any second now they’ll be bellowing at us to come out and asking us what the hell we thought we were up to.

‘You can stop hiding now,’ I called out to the boys. ‘Maria went back screaming over a slug! The game’s over!’

There was no reply, just a heavy waiting silence. I stepped over the slug and kept going, mainly because I knew I had to retrieve my brothers and cousins before the adults really got angry with us. There were no more steps after a while, but I couldn’t believe how far we had gone. Where was the fence? Where were the other gardens?

Peering ahead, I could see a dusty brown path weaving around tall firs and pines, seemingly stretching on forever. The branches of the trees were so low and heavy they brushed the ground, creating dark pockets of thick shadows between their trunks. I stared at every one, daring the boys to leap out and scare me and every time, it felt like something was watching me in return. I shivered and walked on.

Now the steps had ended, there was nothing man-made down here at all. No signs of human life. No rubbish, no old plant pots or garden tools, no bird feeders, nothing. I looked up and saw a tiny fragment of sunlight winking at me through the tops of the trees. Around me, the darkness seemed to creep closer.

‘Boys?’ I called out again, nervous now. This was no fun without them. The plan wasn’t to come down here on my own and get shouted at on my own afterwards. The plan was to have an adventure, to explore and discover. I didn’t feel like doing that now. I turned in a circle and caught a glimpse of something shimmering to the left. I wove my way through the trees – some spindly white boned birches this time – which were growing in a haphazard fashion around a large pond. ‘Boys?’ I asked again, but I didn’t like the sound of my voice down here. It sounded too loud, too abrasive and I was sure I could hear the bristle and rustle of undergrowth that didn’t like it either.

I stepped closer to the pond and felt cold water seep into my trainers. Yuk! I grimaced and plodded forward a few more steps, cold brown muck squelching between my toes. The surface water of the pond was rippling, suggesting life beneath and I watched for a while, as a trio of ginormous dragonflies descended like mini bug-eyed helicopters. There were flies too. Lots of them. A gentle thrum of crickets and grasshoppers could be heard beneath the buzzing of the flies and as I skirted around the pond and kept going, the sound grew louder.

I searched around the pond, keeping it in my sights, on a mission now to find those little turds and make them pay for ruining our plans. Maria, I could forgive, but the boys were taking this too far now. This was supposed to be a group adventure. Having said that, the silence and solitude were becoming rather nice. I smiled a little bit, thinking how lucky we were to have found such a secretive place. I also felt an unexpected twinge of anger at the adults for keeping this from us for so long.

I searched for footprints in the mud and dust and found none. I searched for broken twigs and sticks, a trail of anything that would lead me to their hiding place and found nothing. I got bored after a while and as there had been no angry bellows from the adults, I started to make a den a safe distance away from the pond. I got lost in my work for a while; dragging suitably long branches and sticks over to a sturdy pine and arranging them around it in a wigwam formation. I covered it with ferns and left a doorway to entice my cousins in. I sat in it for a while, feeling hot and sticky and thirsty, and thinking longingly of our food and drink back on the picnic blanket.

‘Okay,’ I announced after an hour had passed. ‘I’m going back now. I’m hungry. You better come out and follow me back up or we’ll all be in trouble.’

There was no answer. I was proud of the little den though and smiled at it over my shoulder as I walked back past the pond and headed back towards the steps. Only they weren’t there. I stopped and looked around. The pond was on my right, as it had been on my left on the way down. So the steps ought to be directly ahead. But they weren’t. Instead, all I could see were trees and rhododendron bushes. There was no path at all. No steps, nothing. It was like a dusty, dry jungle of silence and waiting.

‘What?’ I asked myself, turning in a circle, but I had no answer. I had no clue. I had no choice but to keep walking. I checked my watch and saw to my horror that it was past lunch time. How could that have happened? I hadn’t taken that long over the den, had I? I must have. I shook my head and kept walking, trying to head back towards the hill of steps that had led me here.

But there was no hill, no rising incline of land, so surely this was the wrong way? If I wasn’t climbing upwards, I was going the wrong way. I turned around, slightly panicked now and laughing at myself nervously and tried the opposite direction. That didn’t make sense because the pond was no longer on my left, but what could I do? Maybe there were two ponds?

‘You guys!’ I yelled out in frustration. ‘You’ve ruined this whole game and I hate you! Come out right now!’

Of course, no one did. The boys were long gone. Perhaps a monstrous slug had scared them too and they’d run back to the gate another way. I had no option but to stomp around in anger and frustration, but I only seemed to get myself more lost. Some time later, gleaming with sticky sweat, I sat on a grassy hill under a ginormous oak tree and checked my watch. I was shocked to discover another two hours had passed me by. This wasn’t right. I was so confused, all I could do was sit there for another hour, just gazing at the ground in front of me, just trying to figure out what the hell had happened here.

Eventually, the panic subsided and a kind of weary, grudging acceptance kicked in. Maybe I live here now, I thought, maybe this is my place and I can never leave. With that notion kicking around in my head, I started to perk up a bit. I stopped freaking out and started exploring instead. I found all kinds of interesting and unbelievable things that day on my own at the bottom of the garden. You would not believe any of them if I told you. And I knew that if I ever spoke a word of this to anyone in my life, I would be branded either a liar or a lunatic.

I knew I would keep it to myself and once I’d made that decision, things got easier again. I began to enjoy myself, climbing trees that seemed to provide the perfect branch at the perfect time. I found long, twisted vines of elder and ivy and swung from them, each one holding my weight easily. I found a little stone bridge that swerved over a thin, shining point, where I stood and watched rainbow-coloured frogs diving and swimming.

I heard the voices in the undergrowth, the whispers in the trees, the soft playful laughter behind the leaves and I laughed back. I was home.

And not long after that, with my watch telling me it was now four in the afternoon, I suddenly came across the stone steps again. The slugs had gone. Bright light sparkled from the garden at the top and I could even hear my cousins laughter.

I emerged blinking and squinting into the hot sun that parched the end of my grandparents garden, fully expecting the adults to come racing down towards me, stressed and panicked and furious. But they didn’t. My cousins and siblings looked up at me from where they were sprawled out lazily under the umbrella we had set up, but none of them seemed to react with any urgency. I’d been gone all day; what the hell was wrong with them?

‘Can we eat this now you’re back?’ asked Maria holding up a slice of apple cake in her grubby hand.

I stumbled towards them, nodding, my head fuzzy with fatigue and confusion. None of them reacted as I plonked myself on the blanket and plucked several leaves from my sweaty hair.

‘How long was I gone?’ I asked them after a while. I was staring at my watch, trying and failing to understand this.

Martin shrugged, his mouth full of crisps. ‘Dunno.’

‘Ten minutes?’ Patrick suggested.

I tapped my watch. ‘That’s impossible.’ I opened my mouth to start to tell them, to explain that my watch said I’d been in there all day, that I knew I had because of how long and far I had walked and climbed and played, because every inch of me, every bone ached and throbbed with exhaustion. But then my mouth snapped shut and I said nothing.

Minutes passed and still I said nothing. I was starting to think keeping it to myself might be the best option. I didn’t want anyone to laugh at me or call me a liar and besides that, I’d found something special, hadn’t I? Something dark and inviting, something secretive, something alive.

Something that was mine.

Creating A Universe

Writing is fun, challenging, therapeutic, cathartic and exciting for many reasons, and I have posted before about why I love writing so much. But I was thinking the other day about something that has begun to happen by accident with me and my writing. And that is creating a universe.

Now, if you are writing a fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian or even a horror story, then you’ll be well aware of the need to create a universe. What do we mean by universe? By ‘universe’ we mean a fictional world made up of locations, events and characters that differ from this world.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

As you can see, this makes perfect sense when writing in certain genres. You need to create a specific world because your story is not set in this one. However, creating a universe within writing can also mean something else. For example, stories set in the same town or place, whether real or imagined, or stories using the same characters but in separate stories, or characters that cross over from one story to another. Think of spin-offs, for example!

This is something that has happened quite by accident to me. Most of my books now exist in the same universe to some extent. And the universe keeps growing.

Out of the fifteen books I have published, eleven of them are set in the same ‘universe’ and are in some ways connected to each other. These books are The Boy With The Thorn In His Side 5-part series, The Mess Of Me, Elliot Pie’s Guide to Human Nature, the Holds End trilogy: A Song For Bill Robinson, Emily’s Baby and The Search for Summer, and This Is Nowhere.

This Is Nowhere is slightly different because it is the only book I’ve written where I’ve kept the locations real. It is set where I currently live and I have used the same houses, streets and other locations and kept everything as it actually is in real life. However, it does connect to the other ten books mentioned because the location is used for part of the story in Elliot Pie’s Guide to Human Nature, and one of the characters lives next door to characters from This Is Nowhere.

So, how do the other ten books exist in their own universe? The main way is through location. In all those books I have mostly used places and locations that actually exist and I have changed the names, or fictionalised them. For example, I used to live on a council estate called Townsend. In A Song For Bill Robinson and the rest of the trilogy, I’ve changed the name to Holds End but kept most of it the same. In The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series and the Holds End trilogy, I use a location called Belfield Park. This is loosely based on an area nearby known as Boscombe. In The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series and in The Mess Of Me I created a seaside town called Redchurch, which is pretty much a fictionalised version of my area, Christchurch.

I didn’t create this universe intentionally, but linking up my books in different ways has always been really enjoyable, and those links just keep getting stronger. For example, when writing The Mess Of Me, I thought it would be interesting to have the main characters mention and discuss the violent incident that happened between Danny and his stepfather, Howard, in The Boy With The Thorn In His Side books. The Mess Of Me is set after this series, but the incident happened locally to them and Danny is somewhat of a legend or hero in their area. He even went to the same school as them and scratched his name into a park bench they know of.

Elliot Pie lives on the Holds End estate, and is actually a neighbour of Bill Robinson and his family. Elliot’s mother pops up briefly in Emily’s Baby, and Bill is seen by Elliot striding away from their street with his guitar on his back. Elliot also travels to Redchurch and Belfield Park in his story, as well as Hurn, which is a real place (my village) and is the main location for This Is Nowhere. In my upcoming four book series The Day The Earth Turned, I have used Hurn and Christchurch as my main locations, and have changed Hurn to Heron and Christchurch is again, Redchurch.

I find it makes it easier for me to fictionalise locations I already know. It’s easier to describe them and get across the tone of them if they are places I am familiar with, but fictionalising them makes it even more fun. I can add things that are not there, for example, things that I need in my story, and I can play around with them and bend them to my advantage. I usually change the names, though sometimes keep them the same. For example, Barrack road in Redchurch is mentioned in a few of my books, and this is a real road.

The universe also contains infamous places such as Chaos, the nightclub Danny discovers in Belfield Park when he is a teenager. It plays a large role in the series, and eventually, as an adult, Danny becomes the DJ and owner of the club. In the Holds End trilogy, Chaos is mentioned as the club to play in if you are a new band and want to try and get signed. Bill Robinson’s band eventually get an audition, followed by several gigs at the club, which plays live music on certain nights. They even meet an older version of Danny, who appears briefly in a few scenes.

As you can imagine this is tremendous fun. I love all my characters; they are in fact my best friends. To play with them and move them around this fictional universe I have accidentally created, is the best thing ever. It is starting to feel like a real place, a separate place I can go to when this world creates stress or anxiety. At the moment I am working on the spin-off book to The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series, so I am in my element and quite addicted to it.

I’m back in the same universe, with some of the same characters and events, and of course, places like Redchurch, Belfield Park and Chaos are all popping up here and there. It’s like having a secret place that is all mine, that I created and am in complete control of. There is something really quite special and exciting about that.

This universe doesn’t have a name. I guess it is just Chantelle’s world, where most of my characters live. There is another universe on the horizon though. I created a town called Black Hare Valley when I recently penned the first draft of a YA supernatural story. It’s having a rest at the moment, but I am very keen and excited to get back to it when the time is right. It really is very separate and different to my other universe and I can’t see any way these characters could link up or cross over with my others, but I do feel like the Black Hare universe could continue to grow. With this one, it would be through time. I have vague plans, depending on how things go, of course, to eventually extend this story with prequels and sequels, set in the same town, the same universe, but at different points in time.

I’m still learning a lot about creating a universe in writing, because I only recently realised that’s what I have done. My top tips so far would be these:

  • be consistent. When writing a new story set in the same universe, you are going to need to go back to the old ones and check you are keeping location, road names etc the same
  • keep an eye on the timeline. For the same reason you need to keep track of place names, you need to make sure events happen at the right time, if you have already mentioned them in other stories.
  • read through previous stories to remind yourself of the characters and to get a feel for them again if they are going to show up somewhere else
  • don’t link up stories or characters for the sake of it. There has to be a point to it, for example, it made sense for Danny to appear in Holds End because Bill is a singer and Danny’s club hires live bands
  • make sure each story works just as well on its own. It is great fun creating a universe where the same characters can link up or appear in each other’s lives at different times, but each story has to stand on its own two feet as well… I’m very conscious of this at the moment with my spin off book. These characters showed up half way through book five and we only had a glimpse of their personalities and back stories. In this book we are seeing how they ended up at that point and got mixed up in Danny’s criminal activities, so there is a lot more back story and character development. And although there are scenes that cross over, I am writing them purely from these characters points of view, as this is their story, not Danny’s.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the universe I didn’t realise I was creating! Has this ever happened to you? If you write, do you enjoy linking your stories up in some way? If you’re a reader, do you like it when you find books that are connected to each other by location or character? Feel free to leave a comment!

One More Writing Project Won’t Hurt…

If you follow this blog you probably already know how many writing projects I tend to work on at the same time. I used to think working on more than one book at a time was a bad thing, but eventually I came to accept that it’s just always going to be this way. Writing truly has me hooked and I just can’t stick to one thing until its done. I like to have a few things juggling around me!

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Currently, those things are: The Day The Earth Turned series, which is in the process of edits and proofreads and I hope to release book one in May 2023. The Fortune’s Well trilogy I co-wrote with Sim Sansford – we hope to release book two next month. The spin-off from The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series – about half way through first draft. And Black Hare Valley – finished in rough first draft!

As if this wasn’t enough for me, lately I’ve been getting all sorts of small ideas for small pieces, either poetry, flash fiction or short stories. I would be an idiot to ignore these things when they come to me, so of course I have been writing them down, and would you know it, a new story/poetry collection is already emerging. In the spirit of adding to this collection I recently asked my Facebook page followers to suggest writing prompts to me. I have a pinned post and people have made some amazing and enticing suggestions.

I went with one about an ordinary day becoming an endless day and I had so many different ideas for how to do this, that I have the start of a few different stories I may pursue later. One started off as a post-apocalyptic thing but started going off on a tangent that didn’t fit with the endless day theme. The one I went with actually started life last week as a short story about an adult’s memories of the monsters that lurked at the end of her grandmother’s garden. I will finish that one, but parts of that then grew into a different story about an endless day. I am nearly at the end of it and I will publish it here and on my blog at the end of this month before asking for more ideas from people.

It might sound utterly mad to be adding to my writing workload, but I love playing around with different writing formats, genres and ideas, so it’s impossible to say no. I also think that asking my small but lovely group of followers to make suggestions is a great way to connect with them and involve them in the process. It’s basically asking for writing prompts and choosing the best one each month to respond to!

I should have the finished story for you next week, but in the mean time maybe you would like to make some suggestions for my August challenge? Any ideas welcome! Just leave them in the comments. Maybe a story title, a phrase or sentence or piece of dialogue, images, a certain character or even lyrics from a song.

Thank you for reading, see you next week!