first draft

First Draft: Forming the Idea

So, you have an idea that you think you can turn into a full story? Firstly, congratulations. Secondly, I hope you’re ready for hardwork.

Writing a book isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be if you strive for perfection. However, having an idea that you feel you can see through to completion is the first step.

I’m a pantser, and that means I do not have a detailed plot before I sit down to write. I write by the seat of my pants. I let my ideas come organically as the words flow and I get to know my characters. However, when I first get an idea, I do let it roll around in my head for a good few months, gathering more possible narrative ideas, character voices etc. I think of it as a snowball getting bigger and bigger as it rolls around and more snow sticks to it.

Whether you are a pantser or a plotter, I highly recommend you do this with your idea – before anything gets to paper, before you start to outline, or crack on with your first page – be well acquainted.

Once I’m at this point, I crack out a notebook and write down everything and anything. My brainstorm over the last couple of months gets emptied onto paper. Every last bit, whether it is makes sense or not. If I like it, if I think it might work, I’ll write it down. It all gets dumped in my notebook for later use.

Once again, I feel this is good practise for plotters and pantsers. Your notes don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to use 99% of them, but it is worth having them written down physically in the long run.

I feel this is the initial process of forming the idea. The idea is a spark that needs to be fanned to turn into a flame. At this stage, you can plot and outline further, or like me, sit down and start typing, but as long as you have fanned that spark a little, your flame will keep burning.


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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #9

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

What would you do if the news reporter on your television started talking directly to you?

My Interpretation:

I don’t like this reporter much. She always fumbles her lines, and reporters read off an autocue for Christ’s sake. Today, she fiddles with her prop papers like she’s either scared for her life or totally tripping out on drugs.

That’s odd, she keeps looking to someone or something behind the camera. Her eyes keep flicking just to the left. There! She did it again. How unprofessional.

I head to the kitchen to get a bowl of cereal. I can’t listen to her waffle on. Just having it as ambient noise winds me up.

“Okay, you want me to read this? Yes, I will. Please, don’t hurt us.”

What the hell? I race back into the lounge, hurdling the coffee table in the process. It’s all kicking off down at W.R.S News. I knew something was more off than usual.

The reporter’s hands shake uncontrollably as she reads the first line from a sheet of lined paper.

“Sandy Mellor of 143 Abbott Drive, you have 14 minutes to get to the W.R.S News studio or everyone here will die.”

I stumble back onto the couch. How is this possible?

“Thirty lives are in your hands.”

The woman starts sobbing and pushes the paper away in disgust. Then, she looks at me, really looks at me. It’s as if her eyes bore into my soul through the screen. “Please, Sandy, whoever you are… help us.”


Next week is the last episode in the Prompt Me series. Make sure you pop in to see the finale.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Find me on:

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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #8

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

“Please, tell me you did not just polish the silver with my grandfather’s ashes?”

Interpretation:

“I’ve apologised, what more do you want?”

“My grandfather’s ashes! I can’t believe you polished the silver with my grandfather’s ashes. What are you, some Victorian house-maid?” She shakes her head and growls in her throat. “You’re a total idiot!”

“Hey, now there is no need for that. I said I am sorry, but maybe next time, don’t keep your grandfather in a coffee tin on the hearth.” She looks about to explode. I hold my hands up and make my way to the door. “Just saying.”


Remember, if you are joining in with this series, let me know in the comments and tag me in your posts. Whether they be blog or social media, let me have a read of your interpretation. It can be anything from just a paragraph to a short story.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads

Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #7

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

811ouh8hx3l404216528858885678.jpg

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

“Why are you hiding behind my curtains?”

“Because under the bed is taken?”

“Excuse me? How many of you are there?”

My Interpretation:

The girl of about eight steps out from behind the curtains, and two boys of similar age slide out from under my bed.

“We heard that you could help us… that you have helped others,” she mumbles.

Their rags barely pass as clothes, and each is clearly branded on the back of the neck. These may be the sorriest bunch yet.

The girl mothers the two boys, wrapping her thin arms around the both of them. They makes noises of appreciation. There’s a strong possibility they are mute. If they were born in the System, no one would have bothered teaching them to speak.

“Who sent you here?”

“Miss Krista,” the girl replies. “She said you help get System kids on pods to the ‘good place’.

Damn you, Krista. That woman is going to be the death of both of us.

The girl removes an old device called a cell phone from her raggy skirt and hands it to me. There is only one number stored. I ring it without hesitation.

“One last time, I promise,” Krista says before I can speak. “Don’t bother umming and ahhing, we both know you’re doing this. You’re a good man, Tyler.”

I chuckle down the handset. Damn, it’s good to hear her voice. “Not good enough to marry, though.”

“Maybe one day when all these kids are free.”

What she is asking me to do is not a patch on the bravery Krista shows day in and day out helping the System kids. If she is caught, she will be executed without trial.

“You get them to me, and I’ll get them to the ‘good place’.”


Remember, if you are joining in with this series, let me know in the comments and tag me in your posts. Whether they be blog or social media, let me have a read of your interpretation. It can be anything from just a paragraph to a short story.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Find me on:

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Twitter

Amazon

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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #6

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

811ouh8hx3l404216528858885678.jpg

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

What would you do if your twin asked you to pretend to be them, so they could avoid a prison sentence?

My Interpretation:

“Please, you have to do this. I’d do it for you.”

I feel awful having to ask such a thing, but if the tables were turned, I would do anything for my brother. They only saw my face on the cctv, so technically, it could have been Stefan. However, it won’t be long before we both receive a visit.

Stefan sighs in exasperation. “Yes, but the thing is, you’d never need to. I don’t pull this kind of shit! I’ve worked hard to get to where I am. Besides, you haven’t shown your face around here in two years, and now, you ask this of me. Why would you think that I would take the fall for you? And why would I need to? Jail time is old hat for you. What’s thirteen months more?”

He’s right, he owes me nothing. In my defense, I only stay away to keep trouble from his door. Once he was elected, I knew that he’d want me out of the picture. Only now, the trouble is a little more serious.

“You know I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t desperate. It’s kind of a life or death situation.”

He laughs now. “Typical Xander, dramatic as always. Like I said, it’s just thirteen months. I know the sentence for your crime, I did my research.”

“Thirteen months for someone without prior. Death for someone with five sentences already under their belt.

Stefan’s face pales. “You’re at five? How the fu–?” He sits heavily into the armchair. “You promised Dad after the third that you’d steer clear of your old ways. How could you be so bloody stupid? Five is the limit, you know this.”

I do know this. I’ve known it since the law was changed in 2076 to sentence anyone with more than five convictions to death. I also knew it when I was stealing drugs from the pharmacy for Fiona’s sick baby. I’d do it again to know that little girl had a fair chance of survival, just like all those rich bastards, just like my brother’s, ‘mister politician’s’, kids.

“I’m not going to make excuses because I know you won’t believe me. Will you help me? Will you save my life?”

Stefan stands, straightens his jacket that screams I’m rich and you’re not, and opens the door. “I’m in a position of power now, Xander. I have no need to steal, and no one would believe it of me. So, no, I won’t.”

I physically recoil. Who is this person I thought I could trust. “You’d let me die?”

“If it means protecting my family and what I have worked hard for.”

I push my fist against my mouth to stop the vomit that rises in my throat. “I am your family.”

“And rest assured I will write as such on your head stone.”


Remember, if you are joining in with this series, let me know in the comments and tag me in your posts. Whether they be blog or social media, let me have a read of your interpretation. It can be anything from just a paragraph to a short story.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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updates

January Update

How are we already a month into 2019? I hope you have had a productive month and are on target with resolutions if you made them. I am pleased with my achievements this month. This is a round up post for January, and a way for me to see exactly what I have accomplished.

Reading

As I have more writing plans this year, I have set a Goodreads reading challenge of just 25 books. I have read two books in January. (Links to full reviews).

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

Demon’s Bloodlust by Brianna West

Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly

Blog

Writerly Bookish Stuff has had a revamp. Teaser Tuesday, Sharing Sundays, and my new Prompt Me series have started this month, and I’m thrilled to welcome new followers.

Writing

I promised myself that I’d write everyday of January. I stuck to my promise and have had a productive month progressing my WIP. Granted, some days I only wrote 200 words, but I’m proud of myself for finding time, even 15 minutes, to get something on the page.

I’m currently prepping for a title, cover, and blurb reveal of my WIP in the nearish future. If nothing else, it’s great motivation to get this first draft finished.


Has your January been productive? Do you have any big plans for the coming months?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Find me on:

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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #5

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

I’ve been called a villain and that’s fine. I find villains make the most interesting characters.

My Interpretation:

It takes more than an amiable personality to lead. In fact, it can require quite the opposite. I didn’t land this role by being everyone’s friend, I got it because I get shit done and can shoulder the responsibility of the big decisions.

My people know they’re safe in my care. Outsiders, not so much. Like I said, I’m not everyone’s friend, and I will protect my little corner of the world by any means possible.

I’ve been called a villain and that’s fine. I find villains make the most interesting characters. If someone writes a book about my life it will be a damn good read.


Remember, if you are joining in with this series, let me know in the comments, and tag me in your posts (whether they be blog or social media) to let me have a read of your interpretation. It can be anything from just a paragraph to a short story.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Find me on:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Goodreads