Writing Excuses Writing Prompt 4.6

Here’s something I’ve never done before, but because I like to write and I think the guys on Writing Excuses are so awesome, I’m going to try to occasionally do a writing prompt from their show. Go to the Writing Excuses website and see what I’m referring to. Here’s the writing prompt that I’m going to go off of today: Someone opens a door, and finds a wet, seeping cardboard box on the doorstep.

Ready. Go.

Opening the door put shivers down his spine. Expecting an enemy, he only saw a cardboard box on the doorstep, seeping an orange ooze that. Mentally debating whether or not he should pick it up, he took a step towards the package. What was it? Who would deliver such a thing? The knock at 1:30 in the morning had awoken him from a dreamless sleep and rattled his bones with fear. Now that he was standing on his porch, he hoped that whoever had delivered the box was long gone. After all, it had taken him a couple minutes to get to the door.

The box was barely shorter than him, the size of a small refrigerator. It was just as wide as one as well. The sides were marked ‘FRAGILE’ in large black permanent marker. The packaging tape was absorbing the orange good, loosening it. There was some writing on its top: THE NEARER YOU GET, THE STRONGER IT IS. He stepped back, fearing whatever the box held for him. The orange ooze confused and intrigued him though. It reeked like a bag of mothballs had been left in a locked cupboard for months and someone had decided to open it, releasing it’s awful scent.

Getting his nerve, he put his hand to the top of the box. The cardboard jerked to his touch. There was something alive in it. That made him not want to touch it again. Ignoring the fear that put knots in his stomach and the bile in his mouth, he pulled up the wet tape from the right side of the box. As if it were a bandage, he ripped it off quickly.

There was a scream from the creature inside the box as whatever it was forced the lid opened. He fell down the four porch steps watching arms fly out of the box. The liquid had weakened the cardboard, and thus made it pliable for the beast inside to force down and away.

He looked up to see it step out of the box and down two steps. He gasped as the being came into the light of a full moon. He wasn’t staring at some strange beast, but at himself.

It spoke, using the voice that mirrored his. “I am here to take your life. And then live it.”

There you have it. That’s my writing prompt. Let me know what you think. Also, there’s no useless trivia with this one since it’s not my post for the day 😉


Inconsistent and Inaccurate

First, Happy MmmTuesday!!!!

During LTUE, I learned something interesting. Don’t be inconsistent and don’t show you’re inaccurate information in your writing. What does that mean? Well, it means nothing for those who aren’t writing books. Actually, it kinda goes back to the old adage (or one I just made up, whatever) “don’t believe everything you read.”

Dan Wells, a presenter at LTUE, wrote a blog recently about some thoughts concerning a movie about Jack the Ripper and the errors he noticed in it. You can read about it here. It’s funny that people think they’re being “Well-informed” for people and yet they’re really not. They’re just following a rule that is on my list of rules to never follow: “If I don’t know the answer, I’m gonna make it up.” I hate those people.

This is especially true when Hollywood tries to interact with the Mormon faith. Yes, I’m LDS. Yes, I know what I believe (somehow people have told me that Mormons don’t know what they believe. Amazing, why would I go to church if I didn’t know anything?). Anyway, I’ve heard about a few inconsistencies and inaccuracies lately, and recollected one.

Note: this is not a preachy blog. This blog brings up the following point: If you were to have your life made into a movie, would you want to be portrayed as a whore when you were chaste? Would you want to portrayed as a biologist when you were a chemist? (That’s for you Apryl). Would you want to be portrayed as a S.F. Giants fan when you were definitely an L.A. Dodgers fan? (That’s for Apryl and Casey). Or would you rather have historical accuracies?

1) There was a book written by someone who I don’t know. All I know is that during LTUE it was brought up. This woman wrote about two Mormons who were married in the traditional LDS fashion (inside an LDS temple that is). When these characters had their first child, the husband immediately took the baby to the LDS temple in Cedar City to be sealed. What’s wrong with that? That’s not the way the LDS faith works. If a couple is married in the LDS temple, they’re children are deemed as ‘born in the covenant’, meaning that the child is already sealed to their parents at birth. Also, there’s no temple in Cedar City. (I don’t mind pretending that one is there in fiction. Like having a fake restaurant or president in a movie. But this author believed there was one.)

2) The play/movie Chicago is actually pretty good. Yes, the LDS leader at the time of its theatrical release called the movie evil. (I’m not perfect, you know that.) Anyway, with all that aside, there’s a part in the jailhouse dance number where a woman explains that her husband held his 6 wives secret from her. And that she fixed him some alcoholic drink to poison him. Hmm….anything wrong there? First, Chicago takes place in 1930s Chicago. Mormons had not been practicing polygamy for at least 40 years. Also, the word of wisdom, which states to abstain from alcohol, had been a common LDS rule for the last 100 years at that point. Oh, and by the way, if a Mormon had six wives, he didn’t keep them hidden from his 7th. Gees, get your facts straight. At least the Hungarian in the movie is in proper grammar from what I understand.

3) This one has nothing to do with Mormons, but something to do with two movies that I absolutely love: Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights. Anything wrong with them, not if you like Jackie Chan beatin’ people up. That’s always cool. But there are so many historical inaccuracies in there, that it’s awesome (as in I’m dumbfounded when I count them up.) Let’s see, there’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlie Chaplin, and the automobile to just name a few. But, I have to admit, I like the way that Chon Lin kills Jack the Ripper in the movie to explain his ‘suddenly ended’ streak of murders. Of course, the movie takes place in 1887. From what I understand, Jack the Ripper’s murders began in 1888.

Yeah, those are the three that I have. But there are plenty more. Even some good researching teachers have some inaccuracy in their teachings.

My 9th grade health teacher had us read an article and watch a movie about a teenager who got into a car accident on his way to pickup his girlfriend and died that night. His problem was speeding and being in a hurry. He got hit by a truck or something. His life was going good for him. But when it came time for me to do the short essay portion of the final in this class, I was appalled at the question. “What does this article teach us about drinking and driving?” Or something like that. I remembered when this accident took place. I had read the original article while I was in middle school in the newspaper. No where in that article, the one we read for class, or the movie did it actually state that the teen had been drinking. I stated this in my response. I also stated that this is a good lesson in patience, especially with driving. I explained that an impatient driver puts the driver’s life in danger along with all passengers and any other person on the road near him/her. I was very annoyed at this question. It wasn’t a drunk driving accident, it was a bad driver accident.

Anyway, enough soap boxing. Time for useless trivia. The answer to yesterday’s question is difficult. I would honestly, have to rank them, because I don’t think I’d say no to being the assistant to any one of those men, nor would I cry if they were next to me at a booksigning. The ranking would be Dashner, Wells, Sanderson, then Brown. (But note that if there was a score on this, Wells would be Sanderson by 1 point, maybe half a point.)

Today’s useless trivia question will be just as useless as the one before. Who was my favorite presenter at LTUE?
a) Larry Correia
b) Brandon Sanderson
c) Dan Wells
d) John Brown

Yes, I hero worship James Dashner. Some may say I have a mancrush on him. (I really don’t like that term. I don’t think it sounds homosexual, it just sounds odd.) He is my favorite author that I’ve met in person. However, he wasn’t my favorite presenter this time (to be fair, when I went to the writers conference in September, he wasn’t my favorite then; J. Scott Savage was.)

In book news: I’m winding down work on Eli and the Amethyst. I think I need to put it aside for a while. I have two plans for now: rewrite Malashi, which is the first book I tried 5 years ago and/or find someone to work on a webcomic with me on this idea I came up with on Saturday.

In agent news: 6 were sent out last week, 2 have already been rejected. Fingers crossed, prayers said for one of the other 4.

In other news: Happy MmmTuesday!!!!!!!!