Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

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“Is that it? Is that all we fucking get?” Caine shouts into the air. Tears leave streaks through his muddy cheeks as he pummels the wall. “We have been trapped inside that maze for seventeen months, and that pathetic exit is all we get?”

“What were you expecting?” I ask. The sense of claustrophobia that I have lived with for nearly a year and a half melts away from me and I starfish in the grass.

“A fucking fan fair! I don’t know…I just thought it was all for something bigger, something greater. Freddie died in there, and for what? Nothing!”

He’s bloodying his knuckles up, much like he did when Freddie died. If he’s not careful he’ll get another infection. Throwing my arms around him, I drag him away from the wall. “Stop, Caine! We’re out. It’s okay, we’ve made it.” He sags against me and weeps.

“No, you haven’t,” says a voice behind us. Both of us spin around, drawing our knives. A tall, skinny man wearing only a loin cloth and holey running shoes approaches. He is  accompanied by at least ten others, all in a similar state of dress; dirty, bedraggled, and famished. I thought we were filthy, but these guys look positively feral. “That was just part one.” He hands me a pair of muddy binoculars. “Just look.”

Caine snatches them from my hands and scours the horizon. He staggers backward, grasping at me to ground him. “There are more walls. No! No! Seventeen months! We’ve been in there seventeen months!”

The man hangs the binoculars around his neck. “We’ve been here ten years. No one has made it through part two.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

 

 

 

Guest Post: Brianna West on Character Development

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Joining us today for a humour packed guest post on the importance of character develoment is the wonderfully talented author, Brianna West.


The Joys of Authorhood: Raising Fully Developed Characters

Hello all aspiring and current authors desperate to figure out how to fully raise your characters into complex, well-developed, functioning-in-plot characters! I’ve come here because I was once like you: scared, unsure, slightly crazier than normal people and talking to all the voices in my head. The characters whose names you need to figure out, whose personalities aren’t complex enough, aren’t realistic enough to be featured in your current or maybe not even your future work.

Don’t be discouraged! I’ve come to give you my experience with how to raise fully functioning, story-ready characters and how to develop them over the course of your work in progress.

First things first, whether you plot your story out, outlining every detail, or you just write where your characters lead you, guiding when need be, characters that aren’t fully developed can sometimes cause a story not to feel real or read as well as one that has characters fully realized.

  1. Aw, he’s got your morbid sense of humor—get to know what their personality is. This is something I tend to do when I’m “imagining” how I want interactions to go. Whether or not the two characters would fit together with certain aspects of their personality. It’s a good time to figure out what characteristics you might want from them. Are they quirky, broody, moody, playful, quiet, and so on so forth. It’s important to get to know them and figure out where their personality needs improvement or adjustment.
  2. Playdates are fun until someone’s kid gets killed—there’s been a time or two where I’ve been unable to fully grasp an interaction between two, mostly because I haven’t really written them before or it’s been a while. So, giving them a test run in a small written interaction might help tighten up some of the aspects you were hoping to achieve or where they could change when dealing with other characters.
  3. Scarred for life—backstory is something you can get away with not knowing much of to begin with, having it develop over the course of a story and getting to know their history as the story unfolds. But it’s a good idea to have some sort of idea where you want your character to have come from, even if just that their daddy was a drunk and their mommy a drug-dealer.
  4. Growing up sucks, but it’s great for plot—the most important is the growing and changing of a character over the course of a story or series. Seeing them change as it goes along, reacting and transforming due to encounters, other characters etc., it gives the reader a sense of knowing them and real-time movement that builds a relationship with the readers that all the above doesn’t build in such an intense way.

These are just a few things to think about when dealing with character development, but in the course of my authorhood, the most important. Hopefully these help you raise well-developed, happy characters and not angry, superficial serial killer characters that spend their life blaming their author (unless that’s what you were going for).

Happy Writing!

Brianna West.


71zctz9tEAL._UX250_.jpgBrianna West lives in beautiful Northern California with her wonderful husband and four adorable children. She writes funny, real stories that are accompanied by humor and supernatural elements. Recently published in October 2015, Brianna has gone on to add several books to her main series and spin-off series since then.

Week Four: Fictional Flashback February 2017

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For the past month, I have been taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens. 

#FictFBFeb17 has now come to an end. I would like to thank Faith for hosting such a brilliant exercise. This challenge allowed us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offer readers insight into their stories. Not only that, as a result of this challenge, I have new names to add to my ARC readers list, and have had readers message me to let me know that they downloaded my EVO Nation series thanks to my posts! What a brilliant result. Thank you to everyone who has shared and commented on my posts, and a big thank you to those who have asked for ARCs when Zombie Playlist is finished.

I chose to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day was a different theme, and here are my posts from the last week.

Day 22: Flop

Day 23: Flinch

Day 24: Frozen

Day 25: Fifty

 

Day 26: Fulfil

Day 27: Future

Day 28: Finish


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Week Three: Fictional Flashback February 2017

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This month, I am taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens.

This challenge allows us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offers readers insight into their stories. I have chosen to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day is a different theme, so for the next month, keep your eyes peeled for my contributions.

I shall do a weekly summary of my posts on my blog, so if you miss my Twitter/ Insta posts, you can always find them here.

Day 15: Familiar

Day 16: Forward

Day 17: Feel

Day 18: Fringe

Day 19: Fling

Day 20: Fever

Day 21: Follow


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Muse-ic

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What have I been listening to whilst researching and taking notes for EVO Ghost? Well, one song in particular is drawing my attention of late. This is not a new song to me or the EVO Nation series. I have listened to this song during the drafting of books one and two, and now, it is making an appearance again for EVO Ghost.

The lyrics for this could have been written for EVO Ghost. The theme of fighting for your life is important in both this song and my book.

Death surrounds
My heartbeat’s slowing down
I won’t take this world’s abuse
I won’t give up or refuse
This is how it feels when you’re bent and broken
This is how it feels when your dignity’s stolen
When everything you love is leaving
You hold on to what you believe in

What is on your writing playlist? Are there any go to songs that inspire you regardless of how many times you’ve heard them?

Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Update 19/2/17

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It has been nearly five weeks since my last update. Oopps! I have been working on both EVO Ghost and Zombie Playlist since the last update, so working out the word count is going to be interesting. I haven’t thought to do a word count in these last five weeks, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Word Count:

On the 13/1/17 my EVO Ghost word count was 27k. I am now at 38.5k. I didn’t check my word count for Zombie Playlist in January, but I am at 12.5k now, so I’d hazard a guess that I have written about 4k in five weeks. EVO Ghost steals more of my attention, so 4k isn’t too bad.

Researching and Note-Taking:

I may not have written more than about 15k in five weeks, but I have been researching various subjects for EVO Ghost and filling my notebook like you would not believe. As I have said before, I don’t write well if I plan too much, but recapping on the first two books, and mapping out chapters I have already written, has been useful.

I rarely make notes for Zombie Playlist. The notebook that I use is mini, and I only seem to use it when I’m on the go and can’t get to my laptop. I write long hand to type up at a later date. I’m sure more note taking will occur, but EVO Ghost takes priority. Sorry, Dagger, but you have to wait your turn!

Busy Bee:

This week has been a particularly bad writing week. I say week, more like ten days. I’ve had a lot on: school craft afternoons, half-term holiday, three parties, family visits, a wedding, a gardening day… It has been never ending. If I really wanted to, I could have written between six and seven in the mornings when my daughter eats breakfast and watches TV, or for a few hours in the evenings once she was in bed, but I simply didn’t want to. I’ve had a nice week reading and watching Netflix and Amazon. I’m catching up on Black Sails, and have now entered the last season of Breaking Bad. Yes, I’m late to hop on the band wagon, but I’m here now. Oh, and I also watched all of Santa Clarita Diet.. and season three of The 100. Not forgetting, I’m up to season two of Peaky Blinders and episode three of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice series. Okay, okay, I’ve watched a lot of TV.

March is the Month:

I have told myself to treat March as a deadline month. I don’t actually have a deadline, or set one for myself, but I would like to write at least 1k words a day, making the most of those early morning hours and evenings where possible. I’m not too fussed if I fall short on the 1k daily goal, as long as I’m actively writing every day. I shall let you know how I get on when I remember to post another update.

Excerpt:

My excerpts shall be short to avoid spoilers.

Zombie Playlist

“There’s a car. Does that mean someone lives here?” King whispers.

“How do I know? I can’t see through bloody walls.”

“Then, we knock.”

I look to him in disbelief. “Season yourself up first. It’s only right if you’re going to serve yourself up as a zombie snack.”

“So, we’re going to break into someone’s house?”

“What are they going to do? Call the police? If you want, you can stay here, and I’ll scout the place.”

He doesn’t take much convincing. His knuckles turn white from gripping the bat, and he sinks further into the grass. “Don’t kill anyone who is alive. Please, Dagger, I mean it.”

“As long as they’re not trying to kill me,” I say, climbing the fence and sprinting to the side of the building with my gun raised.

EVO Ghost

I can’t ask people to fight, Teddie, because I am a sheep in wolf’s clothing. All I can do is try to provide safety- that is my service.”

“Do what you’ve got to do. You’re the one who has to live with yourself and your choices, just don’t judge me on what I have to do, because I have to live with myself too.”

“Although I now see that my campaign was futile, I’m intrigued as to what has changed with you? You would not allow me use your name to further my cause.”

“I’ve found a leader to believe in.”

Grayson lowers his eyes. “Ah, yes, I believe you have. I had to look that man in the eyes today, after betraying him all those years ago. I saw no hate.”

“Rafe isn’t fuelled by hate, but by what’s right.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Week Two: Fictional Flashback February 2017

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This month, I am taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens.

This challenge allows us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offers readers insight into their stories. I have chosen to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day is a different theme, so for the next month, keep your eyes peeled for my contributions.

I shall do a weekly summary of my posts on my blog, so if you miss my Twitter/ Insta posts, you can always find them here.

Day 8: Freedom

Day 9: Fear

Day 10: Friendship

Day 11: Found

Day 12: Four

Day 13: Fragile

Day 14: Forever


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Week One: Fictional Flashback February 2017

fictfeb.png

This month, I am taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens.

This challenge allows us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offers readers insight into their stories. I have chosen to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day is a different theme, so for the next month, keep your eyes peeled for my contributions.

I shall do a weekly summary of my posts on my blog, so if you miss my Twitter/ Insta posts, you can always find them here.

Day #1: Introduce your characters

Day #2: First

Day #3: Fire

Day #4: Fix

Day #5: Fair

Day #6: Fade

Day #7: Finally


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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Update 13/1/17

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I haven’t posted an EVO Ghost update on my blog in what feels like ages. I have hinted at some struggles on Twitter and in my Muse-ic post, and now, I thought I’d let everyone know how I’m getting on.

Word Count:

After Christmas, I started on EVO Ghost with 24k words written. I hadn’t touched the manuscript for a while because I was focussing on Thrown to The Blue, but going back knowing that I already had 24k words was a motivator. That motivation didn’t last long. I couldn’t move passed a particular point in my story, and for days, I procrastinated. Eventually, I decided to cut 10k words, taking me back to where I knew I was last inspired. I took the narrative in a completely different direction and the words flowed much smoother. I’m now at 27k words and going strong, so that’s 13k written since Christmas. The bonus is that some of the cut stuff will make it into the narrative a bit further down the line.

‘Third Book in the Trilogy’ Syndrome:

Half of my word count issues stemmed from self-doubt. Rather than let my story flow and pay it little heed until the redraft, I stressed myself out with worry over loose ends, tying up character arcs, making the third book epic etc. I dubbed this self-doubt, ‘Third Book in the Trilogy Syndrome’. I know this book has to close the story, and I want to do right by my characters, but dwelling on it wasn’t helping. Getting back to my usual ‘seat of my pants’ drafting style has helped me progress the narrative.

Where I am at now:

I am neck deep in drafting, researching, and note taking. A brilliant idea popped into my head that wouldn’t leave me alone. When I finally wrote it into the narrative, the whole story shifted up a notch, and a huge plot hole filled itself. Phew. I also may have, kinda have, sorta have an ending idea. I say this very gingerly because my ending ideas usually change as the narrative moves along. Teddie will tell me how this ends, but I’m hoping this idea has been sparked by some hidden message in the narrative so far. That happens to me, you know. I only realise why I typed something when that something becomes important further down the story arc. Strange, but amazing, right?

Excerpt:

This excerpt is only small because it is very hard to find interesting paragraphs without spoilers, especially for those who may not have read books one and two.

I push at my temples, scrunching my nose against the tension forming in my head. “You were doing what you thought was best,” I say, more to myself than him. “Still, you should have told me from the first.”

His mouth opens and closes like a fish. “I thought you’d be—”

“A bitch about it. You saved my life. I won’t forget that easily, just don’t keep things from me. I have… trust issues.” I smile and tap at the stapled scar on my scalp.

“Sorry, I’m just used to my family being hard-headed and petulant.”

“Oh, I can be both of those. I just have perspective now.”

How do you overcome self-doubt? Have you written a trilogy, and how did you find the experience?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

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Two hundred and eight days of solitude. Two hundred and eight days of my own company; nothing but an internal monologue to get me through each day. I can’t be the only one left. Seven billion people on the planet have all just poofed into non-existence. I’ve decided that today shall be my last. As the cliffs loom in the distance, and it dawns on me that I have walked the length of the country, I prepare myself to take my final dive.

Removing my shoes, I take a last stroll along the waters edge. The sand is soft and warm under foot; a sharp contrast to the hard, cold reality I face. It takes all my strength to turn away from the rolling waves, but the time has come to put myself out of this misery. Making my way back to the coastal path, something catches my eye a little further down the beach. The closer I get, the more my heart races. A stone sculpture stands proudly from the sand. The sea-weathered stones are postioned with a beautiful artistry. Dropping to my knees, I wipe away the sand drift from the boulder at the base of the sculpture and press my forehead into the sand as tears shudder from my body. The rock is inscribed with a message- the best message I have ever read.

“I search for survivors every Thursday. Do not leave this point. Look out for my yacht. Hang in there, you lucky sons of bitches.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman