Tag Archives: wonderbook

Wednesday Writing Challenge (One Week Late)

Yes. I missed posting last week, as needed a week off from this challenge! Not because it’s boring, but because it’s truly challenging me to think in different ways (and I kinda hit a small slump >.<). But, cracking on with the challenge – this week was, again, from the Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide To Creating Imaginative Fiction. Page 25, this week, as chosen by Jennifer Don. This was a doozy of a challenge. A picture prompt, nothing to really learn – bar writing from a prompt, I guess! This was just entirely different for me…a fun, short, flash fiction more than anything else, however. So – without further ado – the challenge (and prompt)!

Jugend Magazine, (c 1900)


If suddenly confronted by an image like this from Jugend magazine (c 1900), could you create a story about it? Write one right now.

You can see it’s hard, right? Well this is what I came up with – and think….1600s/1700s for the time in this. Or….Victiorian Britain. That works rather well!

He reclined, shoulders back, against a wavering tower of books, already searched through for answers. Not the smallest of men, Sir Benjamin Cherry rested his fists on his ample hips. Scurvy, his cockatoo and Scrumpy, his parrot fluttered down, landing on his shoulder and arm respectively. He was frowning, the birds quivering with fear. The reason – this unknown taxidermy-preserved creature, currently menacing him from the corner. It was almost like some kind of wild hybrid, of unbelievable proportions. The body was that of a fish, absurdly spotted. Set in some heavy stone, the creature also bore wings, as spotted as the body – matching those of a bat. Absurdly swollen, it looked about to burst, and he was pretty sure that was what was happening. Perhaps the heat had caused something to ferment inside…

Two days later, he still stood in the same place, though now joined with another three towering piles of books. Nothing had compared to what he had read. No creature, real or imagined, matched the unrealistic proportions of the one he had in front of him. He wandered closer, picking up one of the quills he’d been using to make notes. ‘This’ll make a good tool to check on it…I’m pretty sure, anyway. It had better not be Sir Thomas and Sir Barry poking fun at me again!’ He would be sure to wager against them next time they were sure to use. Turning to make sure both birds still remained safely tucked away behind bars, he drew in a deep breath before tentatively poking the flesh of the creature. He recoiled back.

There was no boom. No bang. No pop, to make his birds keel over of terror. Instead, he observed, through weary eyes…the creature losing air. A squeak, long, loud and shrill rang out. He pulled back, believing it to be some sort of incendiary device, until it moved again. It sagged, an empty sack on the ground, leaving behind an awful smell of rotting fish. He snorted, using a handkerchief tucked in his pocket and scented, to protect his sense of smell. He saw, pinned to the back of one of those wings, now loose from the fish flesh.

Sir Benjamin,

I truly hope you enjoyed the look at the world’s fast spotted flying fish.

Remember, take care of it! No sharp objects.

This fish can truly fly, but they are particularly vulnerable to damage.

I return in a fortnight.

Sir Boris.

Of course…Sir Benjamin had no option except to curse, loudly and fluidly, in a manner that did not suit his station as a noble sir.



Of course – this is why I dislike this challenge. It was rather limiting, in my opinion – however – why not join in? Come and have a go, and join me here next week for another challenge!


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Wednesday Writing Challenge!

So, it’s Wednesday…and that means a challenge to be posted! This was through the Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction again, this time working around the idea of hooks! How do you hook a reader? Do you go before the ‘main event’, during it or afterwards? How do you create any tension? It was interesting to read the chapter, as hooks are important in books. I’m now not too sure on what I’ve come up with…but it’s 11pm and I’m getting tired! 😀 This was chapter THREE of the Wonderbook, which makes the journey through this book much skipped through!

Tentacle Latitudes by John Coulthart, 2012

Even if your scene starts with a scene as intense as a giant squid attacking a ship, you still have decisions to make about what to emphasize and not emphasize.

Using this image by John Coulthart, plan the opening of a novel entitled, ‘Krakens Attack at Dawn.’

You’ll need to know who your main characters are, and the context for the scene pictured – when and where does it occur, and why does the beast attack? Then list possible ways to begin the scene that change the emphasis. For example, do you begin with the beast being sighted, the attack underway, a few minutes before the attack, or…? What do we see first, second and third? Provide an explanation for why each opening might be effective. Then come back to your list after you’ve finished reading this chapter. Has your perspective about what might work changed? If so, how?


This was NOT an easy challenge. Not at all. I don’t even know if I did it right….but oh well! I’m doing my best, but some of these challenges are kinda tough! Get ready to be wowed by my extraordinary skills in creative writing…when I’m exhausted!


Krakens Attack at Dawn.

Three main characters. Kraken, John Smith and Boris Bobson

Kraken is attacking under the command of Boris Bobson. Boris wants the ships that John Smith owns. He sees nothing wrong with sacrificing the one ship that John Smith is on in order to get what he wants. John Smith has his own Kraken army, but he won’t bring them into play unless he knows there’s really a problem or chance of his death. As dawn approaches on the third morning since John left port, the seas boil around his ship and the first reaching tentacles reach towards the wooden planks…

Beginning with the attack will bring the reader straight into the tension, straight into the action and the hook of the story.

First thing to be seen with the attack would be the ship sailing on water what is beginning to stir. The second would be the first reaching tentacles. The third, a lone figure calling the alarm.

Beginning before the attack would give the reader a little bit of backstory before the attack begins, creating a mood of anticipation.

A single man, calling to the waters, calling forth a kraken marked with *one colour*. Second scene would be ships pointed out in the distance. Third would be the kraken and man making an agreement.

After the attack would create mystery and get the reader asking questions. Something which is needed sometimes.

A ship splintered into pieces. People clinging to the pieces. Tentacles disappearing into the water.

As usual, feel free to take part if you can – and even understand this. I don’t…so who knows if you do! Definitely not my favorite challenge. It was tough, and I don’t mind admitting that!



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World-building Challenge

Once again, I’ve gone on to another challenge, another sauntering look at what I can do to make myself a better writer.

Last week’s challenge was a little bit of let-down, to coin a phrase. I was hoping someone would comment on it, take part – anything. Instead…it went unnoticed. That was upsetting. I wanted people to be able to join in, to explore what can be done. To find new ways to teach themselves as writers. However, this journey isn’t just about others, it’s about me. That leads me on to the next part – this week’s challenge!

This week, the challenge is again from Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. Jennifer Don chose this week’s challenge, which was to do with Worldbuilding – something which every author should work on – especially if you write any type of fantasy or science fiction. This is something so close to my heart that I cannot help but to enjoy it. I enjoy looking at ways to craft my own worlds, to make them unique, compelling and able to be related to. Characters in this setting are often formed by their world, which made this challenge a little more exciting. Coming from page 222 of the book, this week’s challenge was definitely a fun one. It didn’t require too much preplanning, thankfully!


Aeron Alfrey’s flying city (2009)

Take a close look at Aeron Alfrey’s flying city (2009). Several questions might occur to you. Is the setting fantastical but realistic – or is it surreal? What kind of cause-and-effect might exist here? What are the creatures lying dead on the ground? Is the city fleeing? Is it in the midst of being destroyed? Construct a reasonable rationale for the setting of this image that might lead to a story, even if it uses the logic of dream.

This was what I came out with – I enjoyed this challenge, especially when looking at the shapes the flames made – monsters, seeking something? An idea that came from a character inside there…something different, for me!

The world burned beneath us. Creatures of flame licked at the bottom of our home, the earth clods supporting it dropping down into the fire-drakes. My father stood at the doorway, his arms lifted as he sought to keep us from landing, from the fire eating up our home, and then – ourselves. We were lucky to be in this world of magic. If we were like a normal family, we would be down there now. If things were different, our bones would have blackened in the touch of the lashing flames. Instead, I sat on the bay window of my room, and read. Dante’s hell had come on Earth. I just had to hope we were strong enough to keep ourselves above the ground long enough for it to die down. I jumped a little as one building tottered on the edge…and fell, to be devoured by the ferocious inferno.

Why not join in, see what you get from the same prompt! Let your imagination run wild. I know mine did! See you next week for my next challenge!


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