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A Prompt: Spring has Sprung

17 Sep

Hey all, in preparation for diving back into THE SHADOWS THAT FELL I’ll be doing a series of prompts. Today I’ll be using my MC Violet.

The prompt is:

Write about a special moment in your characters life, their fondest memory. What ever it is they turn to when they are in the worst of things.

Violet sat beneath the shade of the oak tree, flipping through an underwhelming version of “pre-world society and eloquence for the young lady”. Her mother laid humming beside her contentedly flipping pages on a net screen. Violet caught photos of eyelashes, models on the runway below the glare of the sun that filtered through the leaves. Makeup. Something she hated ever since her mother had begun painting her up like a china doll last year. Seven, she was seven, and suffocating under powder and lip shine.  And she hated it, maybe even more than “Soceity” and “Eloquence” smashed into a stuffy old paper brick.

“Mama, I don’t wanna read this…” she tossed the volume into the grass and glanced longingly in the direction of her brother. Wice was sparing in the grass with his swords-play teacher. They used sticks instead of the rubber swords today, and Violet could her the thwack thwack thwack of the collisions in between her brother’s dodges.

Want to, darling. We don’t say ‘wanna’. You’re a big girl now, aren’t you?” her mother skimmed through another makeup page not lifting her eyes.

Violet sighed, dramatically falling over onto her side in the grass. Her cheek pressed to the cool dew that hadn’t quite burned off in the shade. “I can’t… can not” she corrected herself, ” read another page! Can I please spare with Wice?”

Her mother sighed with a smile and set the net-screen down, “Darling, you’re a pretty little girl not a boy. I shan’t let you do this much longer…”

Violet glowered up at her mother from the ground thinking of smearing her painted face in the grass.

“But I suppose… just one more time won’t hurt…” she smiled. Violet shot up from the grass her hair tangled with grass blades.

“Yes!” She cried, she pushed up off the grass and ran out of the shade into the sunshine.

“Do not mention this to the ladies at circle though!” her mother calls after her, but she didn’t here a thing. She rushed out into the center of the yard,

“Wice, Wice! It’s my turn!”

Wice whipped around from a jab and rolled his eyes, “Violet this is ser-” Wice’s instructor whapped him upside the back, and sent him sprawling into the grass face first. Violet giggled, and yanked the stick from her brothers hand, “Mom said it’s my turn.”

Wice grimaced  and rubbed his back, “Finally, I’m starving!” Wice sprinted across the yard and back into the house in search of food.

“I see you’re back for more little flower?” Instructor Kunk said smiling. Violet had always loved the old man, who was quick as running water, and just as refreshing.

“Of course!” And with feeble strokes Violet struck and laughed in the afternoon sun, her mother smiling secretly behind her screen, and her brother sneeking brownies beside her. Of course, that was before things changed for good. For worse.


hope everyone participates in the prompt!


Winter FF Contest! Win ClockWork Prince by Cassandra Clare!

15 Dec

With cold days upon us, keeping us all indoors, what is there better to do than write the winter away?

Here, at Novel Ideas, we can’t think of anything better! And that is why, with the support of WovenMyst (an awesome book blog) and it’s administer Hiba, we’re doing a Flash Fiction contest this winter! The contest is called ‘On Thin Ice’ and it’s bound to be heaps of fun.

We’ll be asking our readers, and their friends, family, and even their grumpy neighbors to drop on by either of our sites, find our email, and submit their writing to win an e-reader copy of Cassandra Clare’s new novel “THE CLOCKWORK PRINCE” (Book two of the infernal devices series)!

So, what are the rules for this winter themed writing bananza?

1. You must start your piece with this line:
The ice crackled like fire under my feet…

2. You’re piece cannot be longer than 600 words and no shorter than 300 words.

3. You must submit your piece between the dates of December the 15th (today) and January the 15th 2012 midnight (EST).

4. You must submit your manuscript to the Novel Ideas site email (

I hope you all will participate and help spread the word about our contest! The more people who participate the more often we can have these contest, and prizes for you all! While you think up your genius flash fiction, stop on by WovenMyst to see what Hiba’s up to!

9/11 Prompt

11 Sep

Hey everyone, I realize I have missed three consecutive days of blogging…. ugh pathetic! And here I was thinking how well I was doing with the new blogging schedule. Oh well, at least I’m back on track today.

I realize I’ve been pretty useless advice wise lately, mostly I’ve just been complaining. Since today is 9/11 though, I’ve decided to postpone the story weaving on steroids post for this coming week, and today do something in honor of all those who lost their lives ten years ago.

For most of us, 9/11 involved a lot of loss. Even if someone we loved didn’t die in the terrible attack or  in its aftermath. We all lost something. Our feeling of safety, our understanding of how the whole world worked.

So today I present this challenge to you:

On your next blog post or in the comments write three things that will always make you think of 9/11 of where you were that day, and sign it with Always Remember 9/11.

I hope you all participate. Never forget those who lost their lives, and those who gave them.

Frantic voices

The same look on a million faces, when time seems to stop.

Plumes of smoke that rise as the strength of towers fall.

Always Remember 9/11

A Prompt: Nightmare Shards + A HINT

5 Jul

Hey I’m here again with another original prompt on Novel Ideas. Please don’t hesitate to join in the fun and participate. (Be sure to comment or ping-back your response!) And stay tuned for a Hint about BTE ( Draft 2)!

Today’s prompt:

Dreams can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our characters subconscious. What they’re most scared of, what they feel even when they won’t reveal it themselves. Write a reoccurring dream that your character has, it can be a good dream, or a nightmare, just make sure to reveal something about your characters inner most feelings/thoughts.

Today I’ll be using my character Violet (again name change soon to be en-acted ha-ha)

I am running. I am always running in this dream. My feet pound inside the metal grooves of the tunnel floor. My breath is heavy, burning in my lungs. I don’t know where they are. I can feel the panic in my stomach rising into my throat, hot and acidic.

I need to find them, I have to, or else… I don’t know what will happen. That makes me run even faster. I feel the echo of my foot steps buzz off the concrete walls. The sound is bouncing off in all directions. I am consumed by the darkness of the tunnel stretching forever into blackness.

Suddenly all I am is that blackness. I can no longer feel the metal below my feet. I can’t hear the smooth whoosh of air that moves past my ears as I run. There is nothing, and the panic rises, sending bile shooting up my wind pipe. Where are they? Where is my brother Marcus?

Then, in the distance, I see something. A white dot, like a ghost in the blackness.

Rania comes into focus. She is all white and colorless. Her pale skin neon against the dark velvet of the tunnels. Platinum wisps’ of hair  are floating around her, strange against her cloudy blue eyes.

“Where is my brother?” I yell, but my voice is empty and distorted, as if I’ve yelled it underwater.

Raina smiles her thin lips opening into a gaping maw. Sharp teeth jut out of her mouth, and suddenly she is not Raina, but a giant white cave fish, cloudy eyes fixed hungrily on me, “You will not find him…” she hisses, and then she chargers at me. Mouth open. I scream.

The dream shatters around me, like broken glass, the shards falling around me as I cry out into darkness, trying to ward the falling pieces away, but they cut into my flesh; horrid and fresh, like always. Each piece of the dream coming back to me, broken, but there. I see the images flash across my mind, and whimper, my stomach feeling hollow. Marcus is here, he’s safe, I tell myself. We are all safe…. I hope.

I hope you enjoyed today’s prompt. On another topic, I’ve decided to do “hints” for BTE (D2) by showing you all a picture that either (Literally or metaphorically has something to do with the book). Enjoy today’s pic! And I hope to see your prompt responses soon!

Hint #1:

Nice view huh? haha

Current Music: Rainy Girl by Pete RG

A Prompt: Better Without Love

1 Jul

Keeping with the past few days, I bring you all yet another prompt. My goal is to do one for every main and secondary character in BTE before I begin draft two. So here is toadys prompt directly from your’s truly.

We all learn lessons as children that stick with us through out our entire lives. What “lesson” or “moral” did your character learn as a child that was very impactful upon them, one that influenced them through out their life? Write a scene in which your character has been taught this lesson or one that demonstrates the lesson they live by.

I’ll be using my character Jedidiah for this one (most often referred to as Jett)

“Our land was, not so long ago, a glorious place. There was peace, and justice, and the order was strong and stood for all the people under the crown that it had sworn to protect.” Mason paced the floor in front of Jett making the floor boards of the dusty old school house creek and pop.

            “And then the peace was shattered. Do you children know what it was destroyed by?” Mason stops pacing, and looks directly at Jett. Jetts eyes flash, trying to remember… he didn’t know. Why was Mason looking at him like that? He wasn’t use to his adoptive father staring at him so.

            “The abandonment of the sword.” Said Evilli, Jett glanced over his should at her, her blonde curls frizzy and wild in the shifting light of the dingy school house. She spoke clearly never struggling for the right word. His best friend had always been like that though, she knew everything, and it never ceased to amaze him that she did.

            “Partially…” Mason hesitates his eyes drifting from Jett to Evilli, “Children I will read for you a piece of the code. The most important one to the Order. The most vital. This was the law that was broken.” Mason picks up a large volume from the wooden desk behind him, flipping through yellowed pages that look like the layers of a fresh pastry, flaky and thin.

            Mason clears his throat, “And it says…’He that has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and he that has greater affection for any other than for me is not worthy of me. He that finds his soul will lose it, and he that loses his soul for my sake will find it.’” He pauses seeming to feel the weight of words on his tongue, “Children… There is no greater love that you should have than that of your duty. Anyone who crossed this law was to be punished by death along with the person who had caused the great tragedy in the old order. The breaking of this law is what caused the ruin of our land. Today we can not afford to lose you children, but the breaking of this law will surely bring you to ruin should you choose to ignore it…”

Jett scrunched his hands into two small fists under the desk, this was the first time he’d been taught this lesson, at the age of eight, but it would not be the last. He would see it inscribed across archways, and the words would be repeated again and again, until he knew them by heart,  and he would not cross them. Somewhere between these repetitions he realized that it would be much easier to love nothing at all.

And so he gave all his heart to the Sword.

(c) Alexandra Sestito 2011-2012

Sorry for the length of this guys, but I couldn’t stop! Haha 😀 Please feel free to do the prompt yourself, and comment below!

A Prompt: Free and Trapped

30 Jun

Hi all, I am back with another character prompt today. This one courtesy of myself (please hold all applause till the end lol) Today’s prompt is another for character developement since that is what I am working on in editing. I hope you all participate, and again do not hesitate to reply via the comments below or on your own blog where I would be über grateful to receive a ping-back so I can see what you’ve come up with.

Here we go:

What is the most beautiful thing your character has ever seen? Use a flashback or have  them think about it, Why was it so beautiful to them? What made it stick with them?

 I’ll be using my MC Skye for this one.

Again for those of you feeling in the mood here is the theme music for this prompt:

Skyler turned the corner, the slick gray rain, drizzling now, turning every crumbling wall into a smooth blur. She’d been wondering for hours… still nothing. After being turned out of the Orph she’d looked for food, or a dry house, but all the buildings with intact roofing had been inhabited by grungy looking people who ran her of their steps spitting and cursing about the “little theiven’ orphie” that dared amble up their decrepit stairs.

Stumbling now, she came to a square in the city, long forgotten. The tiles jutting up at all corners, densely packed rubble piled up around most of the open area. Then she saw it, there, in the middle of the square was a green crumbling structure. She took a step forward approaching the mass cautiously.

As she came closer she realized what it was…. a statue. Her eyes widened at the delicate carving of a woman that sat upon a bronze base. It had turned green with age and weather, but it was beautiful.

The most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.

It wasn’t that the woman was beautiful, she wasn’t. Her face and hands were weathered down to smooth hills, her eyes were to small for her face, and she was too skinny to be healthy, but there was something about the expression on her face. The way she knelt down on the block hands thrown out wide, reaching for the clouds. Her upturned face smiled, as if shed been frozen in mid-laugh. Laughing at the sky, laughing at the world because she could…

Skye had never felt like that.  Never been free, like that. That’s why the woman was beautiful…

She was free.

A Prompt: Archer and the Pendant

28 Jun

I’ve started editing BTE and in a desperate (and pathetic) attempt to multi-task and accomplish blogging and “force” editing/writing. I’m going to blog a few writing exercises for BTE today. I hope you all will participate in the comments or on your own blog!

So courtesy of I give you today’s prompt:

Is there anything that makes your character feel safe? Something comforting? Describe what it is and why it makes them feel safe?

I’ll be using my Antagonist Archer (name soon to be changed… I know it’s bad ugh…) for this one. Also to get some brain juice flowing in the writing direction I’ll be doing it in fictional context. Enjoy!

(here is the music I used to write this, click play if you feel in the mood):

He pulled out the drawer, releasing the smell of moth balls, and old wood. He stared into the dark, hesitating. He hadn’t brought it out in so long, but seeing Skye made him think of her… he needed to see it, just to make sure that it was still there. That Skye wasn’t her, or she wasn’t Skye. Sometimes he couldn’t tell the difference. He reached in, deft hands brushing over warbling coins, and buttons, until he found it, his fingers brushing smooth metal. He pulled out the necklace watching the steel chain twist against the pendant. It was an old symbol, one that had lost any real meaning other than her name.

The pendant was a simple t shape with thin etchings of flowers curling up its front. Cold iron in his hands, not how he remembered it. Without the warmth of her seeping into the steel, it seemed only half there, as if he could pass his hand right through it if he tried. But it was all he had left of her. It was the only real thing left, the only thing that seemed certain and safe. The only thing that still held him together.

Gee… that doesn’t read much like a bad guy. I’m bad at making people “hate-able” :/

PLEASE post your responses here or link to your blog response! Thanks for reading 😀

© Alexandra Sestito