Photo Prompt

Well, I’m disappointed to say that Paisley didn’t make it to round two in the Amazon contest. In moving forward, I’ve taken my pitch and turned it into a query, and I’ve just sent off my first query letter to an agent. For now, that’s an accomplishment in its self. Publishing can wait, but the writing must go on.

Here’s the first picture prompt. Image courtesy of 9comeback /


I’d love to here from you.

Xx Melissa


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10 Word Prompts

This week is going by fast. Anyone writing and needing some prompts?











I’m considering adding photo prompts. I’ll try it out this Friday and see how it goes. Do you have any word suggestions? Leave them in a comment. Did you use any of these words in your writing? Feel free to share.

Xx Melissa

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10 Writing Prompts Wednesday


It’s time for 10 writing prompts. I know I have a project I’ve been putting off for almost six months now! Hopefully some word prompts will help!

Thanks to Stella for suggesting three of today’s prompts! Be sure to check out her blog

If you have any prompts to suggest for next week, I’d love to include them. Please leave them in a comment. If you use any of the words, feel free to leave your sentence in the comments.











Xx Melissa

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Edit Edit Edit

With Paisley sitting with all of the other wonderful entrants of Amazon’s Break through Novel awards, it’s out of my hands for the time being. No matter how far Paisley gets in the contest, I’m not touching this novel again until April when Camp NaNo begins. There I will edit and outline book two. (In the unlikely event that I get past the first few rounds, I’ll have to reevaluate my April plans.)

Thinking of joining Camp NaNo this year? Let me know if you’d like share a cabin over there.

In this off month, I plan to gather resources to help me with editing, as well as write on other projects. Today I’m writing on some tools I use and linking some helpful resources from others that I hope to use next month.

Let yourself scribble. There’s beauty in disarray.

I tend to be vague, write too fast and skip the details. That’s what’s important, so I hear, get the words down and revise when you’re done. I try to do that the best I can. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. That works for a while, but when I know my writing isn’t strong, it’s hard to keep going. The only way I can combat this is to do exactly as I’m not supposed to; I go back and edit what I have so far. I look for missing details and try to come up with ways to set the scene.

Sometimes I surprise myself and actually really enjoy what I’ve written. The first half of my chapters have been revised at least ten times by the time the chapter is finished. I then go through the full chapter a few times. I’m left feeling like I have a strong start and lousy finish.

The funny thing about my process is that whenever I get feedback on my work, it’s always the beginning I get the most suggestions on. I really need to work on trusting my instincts and keep moving forward. What I’m writing may just be awful, but if it is, there is a good chance that it’s salvageable.

Throw out the clutter.

I’ve done some writing projects with strict word count limitations. The process of trimming down my words, strengthens my writing. After I flesh it out and add important details, trimming it down to the shortest way to say everything, leaves a polished piece of writing.

Adverb and passive voice are best used in moderation. I’ve always avoided adverbs, so that’s not much of a problem for me, but passive voice is an easy trap to fall into.

Ty Roper suggests a free website that identifies adverbs, passive voice, and determines reading level.

Read out loud.

Reading out loud isn’t just for high school speeches. If your writing doesn’t sound good out loud, it needs work. I’ll sometimes read my work out loud to someone else. When I start fumbling over words, I know I’ve reached an area that needs work. I don’t know if it’s just me, or if others do this as well, but when I read my own work out loud, I speak with different accents. I’m not sure why, and it can be silly sometimes, but it helps me recognize the flow.

Another great editing resource is Infinite Pathways which has many amazing editing tips such as words to avoid and dialogue tips.

Lastly, an invaluable resource I have utilized in the past is editing and writing classes though Education to go. My favorite part about the classes is that it really made me sit down and work on my novel as I was attending the classes.

If you have any editing advice or resources that you use, please leave them in the comments. I’ll be back tomorrow with ten new word prompts.

Xx Melissa

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10 Word Prompts Wednesday

Hi there,

I’m excited to say that Paisley: Lost in Color has officially been entered into Amazon’s Break Through Novel Awards. The contest is exactly what I needed to push me to finish writing. Everything came together, but a bit shorter than I expected. Editing is permitted until submissions close, so I will be spending the coming weeks editing and fleshing out my scenes. In the next week, I plan to look around for more advice on the editing process. I’ll post my findings.

This weeks word prompts:











If you use any of these words, feel free to share your sentences in the comments. I’ll share mine as well. And if you have any prompt suggestions for next week, leave those as well.

Xx Melissa



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10 Word Prompts Wednesday

In my opinion, one of the best things for writer’s block is a writing prompt. Often times I’m able to keep my story going by opening a book and zeroing in on a random word. Sometimes I search for word prompts online or flip through the dictionary. I make a handwritten list of words and cross them off as I use them. Word prompts also help when I’m editing. Finding a way to use them helps me set my scenes, creating both imagery and symbolism.

So starting today, I’m going to post 10 Word Prompts Wednesday.

This weeks words are:











If you use any of these words, feel free to share your sentence in a comment. If any has word suggestions for next week, leave those in a comment as well.

Xx Melissa

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Amazon Break Through Novel Award

Hi there,

I am officially writing the last chapter of my novel! It’s just in time to because I have decided to enter Amazon’s Break through Novel awards. Submissions being February 16, so I need to have this finished by then. I’m so excited, not only for the contest, but because I work so much better under pressure. Luckily, editing is allowed until submissions close. The first step was to create a 300 word pitch. This is where my thrown out prologue comes in. Usually summarizing my stories is a difficult task, but the prologue has such good material in it, and I’m so glad I was able to find a home for some of it.

I don’t want to share my full pitch as it would give away too much of the plot, but here’s a snippet:

Paisley Grace is no one now. She’s eighteen years old, stuck in a kaleidoscope where life is walking in straight lines and being precise.

Life wasn’t always this way. Teenage pregnancy, vandalism, and drugs in a small Oregon coastal town could have been dealt with as they had been for years, but when Paisley’s plans to runaway are found out, her father takes action. Abusing his power as mayor, he convinces the town that it’s time to take back their children.

For a contest I have little chance of winning, I’m pretty excited to enter and the push it’s given me to finish my novel.

Xx Melissa

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Prologue, why not?

I love prologues. I don’t think I ever feel freer as I a writer as I do when I’m writing a prologue. They put the story into perspective, and I’m able to write what I want however I want to. Prologues make me feel like an artist and isn’t that how every writer longs to feel?
As I’m finishing up my novel, I watch out for articles and discussions on writing and publishing. I’ve seen many mentions of prologues being lazy and that the backstory would be stronger if it were laced into the story.

So, though I have loved the prologues I have written in the past, I wondered if the one if I had written for my novel had a true purpose. After reading it with a critical eye, I realized it did have a purpose. It had a purpose if the purpose I was going for was summarizing the entire concept of the story. That’s definitely not something I was going for when I wrote it.
I find many lines of the prologue to be clever and some even beautiful. It’s some of my best writing in the whole book, but it’s not necessary and in the end, I knew what had to be done. The prologue had to go.

It was a hard decision to make, but in the end, my novel will be stronger for it. It gave me the opportunity to learn how my character viewed her story as a whole.
My prologue isn’t lost, though. It won’t live in a document for no one else to ever see. It’s found a new purpose, but I’ll get to that next time.

As a reader, how do you feel about prologues? As a writer, do you write them? And if you do, do you use them?

Goals: Paisley is outlined to 18 chapters, but in case something changes as it tends to do, it could be 19. It’s unlikely to be 17, but I’d never rule that out. I’m excited to say that I’m writing chapter 16 now.

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Paisley: Lost in Color


I’m Melissa Denicks. I’m in the process of writing my first novel, Paisley: Lost in Color. At this point, it’s about a third of the way written, and I hope to have it completed soon, so I can revise, revise, revise. The novel deals with unjust morals established by society, teenage rebellion and pregnancy, and what happens when society takes conformity too far. It’s a story of love and friendship and righting wrongs.

Stage one: Start a Blog and finish writing.

Stage two: Keep writing and update blog. 🙂

Eventually, I will make an author Facebook and begin networking.

Please follow if you’re interested in this journey. Feel free to give me any advice you’d like along the way.

Paisley: Lost in Color. My name is Paisley Grace, but I don’t know who that is…

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