I have to admit, for the first time in a long while, I wasn't sure what to focus on for the prompt this week. My hubby had a great idea, though, and I'm really excited to read the responses!
Oh, first, updates. My brother got discharged from the hospital yesterday. He ended up being in the ICU for four nights instead of just one. They might be re-admitting him, however, due to extreme stomach pain. They think he may have started bleeding internally again. Overall, though, he's doing better and is able to walk again. I'm so grateful he's on the mend! To see the story of what happened, check out last week's prompt here.
Next update: pregnancy is going great! I'm completely over morning sickness. And at 32 weeks, it's about time, too! I'm still wearing pre-pregnancy jeans, which is wonderful since replacing a wardrobe with maternity stuff is really, really expensive. I'm loving this band thing that someone invented to hold up clothes. :-)
The baby kicks and moves all the time. I can't wait to see what her personality will be like! If I touch my stomach when she's moving, she stops. This could mean any number of things: She's shy (likely, considering my hubby's personality :-)). She feels comforted by my touch. She's a tease (likely, given my personality...). She's saying, "Leave me alone!" or "Uh-oh, Mom noticed me." :-) Or something else entirely. :-)
That's all for updates today!
Now on to the prompt!
I think everyone has had a Halloween-type moment in life that truly terrified them - whether it be hearing sounds in an empty house late at night, being lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood, or seeing something that scares you to death.
I want you to tell me about these experiences! Choose one story per prompt response (up to three responses max), and let us know the details behind it.
After you've written it, go through and remove weak verbs, replacing them with something stronger that better shows the feeling of the moment. For example:
Sarah paused when she heard something move across the floor behind her.
Sarah paused when something shuffled across the floor behind her.
First: removing the "she heard" allows the reader to hear/experience for themselves without unnecessary translation from the main character.
Rule: Do your very, very best to eliminate any case of "Sarah saw," "Sarah heard," and all other "Sarah experienced" type things. These are extra words that bog down your narrative and prose and aren't needed. In fact, using them weakens what could otherwise be a strong sentence.
Second: "moved" isn't descriptive. In fact, it's very lazy writing. What do I, as the author, mean by it? Can my readers tell what size the thing is? How quickly it went? What to picture?
I replaced "moved" with "shuffled," which, to me, could indicate the thing that moved across the floor behind Sarah partially drags, or has a very slow walk. Could be a zombie, a hurt animal, a psycho reaching for Sarah, or someone playing a practical joke.
Other verbs I could've changed "moved" to:
"Scuttled," or "scampered," etc. Scuttled reminds me of a cockroach, perhaps. And scampered is something a mouse or other small creature would do.
Order in which to respond to the prompt:
1. Write your spooky experience.
2. Go back and remove any "I heard," "I saw," etc.
3. Replace weak verbs with strong ones!
4. Read through for typos and errors!
Then follow the things in my usual "reminder" message below.
You have until Thursday, October 18, 2012 at midnight to write and post, and it can be in any format.
I will read, comment on, and feature your responses a week from today.
* Have your title say FWE or Friday Writing Essential, and have the initials "TLSS" (True-Life Scary Stories) in it.
* Make sure to post to the Writing Essential Group.
* Put FWE or Friday Writing Essentials and the initials "TLSS" in your tags. (I won't find your post without these tags.)
A few thing I've been announcing lately:
1. I'm featuring Halloween-type books on my blog nearly every day this month, including a few of my own new releases. Some of the featured stories are super scary, while others are mild and meant more for kids and readers who are young at heart. It's been a lot of fun so far! Check them out here.
2. I wrote an article titled "Is There a God?" that has been featured in a very large magazine for my religion. Thousands and thousands of people have read it! I'm so very, very excited - what a great opportunity! If you're interested, you can check out the original article here.
3. My newest release is a re-write of an HP Lovecraft horror story. So exciting! Next week, I'm publishing a re-write of an M.R. James ghost story. My versions are in much greater detail than the ones written by the original authors, but I'm still very partial to their stories. :-)
And that's all! Have a great week! :-)