Welcome to Write…Edit…Publish (WEP), the home of the permanent bloghop. You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a designated word count– artwork and photographs welcome. Open to all genres! Fiction - Adult, YA, MG.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Introducing the man who needs no introduction:
the founder of the 
Insecure Writer's Support Group,
author of 4 Amazon Best Selling books in Science Fiction, 
and the judge for the WEP - December Sci-fi Challenge

Take it away, Alex!

Writing Science Fiction –

It’s Not Really That Alien!

I’ve been a science fiction fan for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I read superhero comic books, watched television shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, went to every science fiction film, and read science fiction books by authors such as Heinlein and Bradbury. That I would choose science fiction as my genre of choice when I began writing was no big surprise.

But what if that’s not your genre of comfort? What if you’re not familiar with science fiction outside of Star Wars? What if the concept really is alien to you?

If you don’t know the difference between a plasma drive and a warp drive, don’t worry. While the setting and technology may be a bit different, the basics of good storytelling still apply. Beyond that, here are some tips for writing science fiction:

Study the genre. Read the books and watch the shows. It will give you a grasp on the elements of science fiction.

World building is very important in any speculative fiction story. If your story is set in the future or in another galaxy, you need to consider how that world came about and what sustains it – history, currency, politics, technology, social structure, etc. Most of it won’t end up in the story itself, but it gives you the background and a template for maintaining consistency.

Often you’ll feature technology that doesn’t exist. Sometimes you can take something that is a possibility now and make it real in the future. Or create something completely new. If there aren’t a lot of facts and theories to back up what you’ve created though, just be sure everything is at least plausible.

It’s all right to take ideas you’ve seen elsewhere and use them. Just make them uniquely yours and don’t reuse too many items or concepts. Tossing Star Trek, Star Wars, Avengers, and The Terminator into a blender will probably not make for a great story.

The characters are still just as important! Put just as much effort into character development. They still drive the story. And after all, even a robot has personality.

Does the universe speak English? Doubtful, so find a way to make it possible for races to communicate. Maybe they have all learned to speak the same language or they use a device to translate. Don’t include a lot of alien speak though. It works in the movies, but not so well in books.

Speaking of alien, make sure your names are easily pronounced! And don’t overload your story with so many alien sounding names and items that the reader has a hard time following it.

Now, what are some good science fiction concepts?

  • Taking a possibility to the extreme.
  • Tackling one of life’s big mysteries.
  • A breakthrough or discovery gone horribly wrong.
  • Changing the laws of the universe.
  • Merging with another genre. (Think Firefly, which is a mashup of Western and science fiction.)
  • Time travel.
  • Taking something normal and twisting it.

Now, are you ready to write a science fiction story?


Join us for December's challenge and find out!

Questions? Just ask the Ninja Captain.

Meet the Ninja Captain

Alex J. Cavanaugh & his avatar.

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

You can find Alex J. Cavanaugh via these links

Help us Spread the Word!
We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

Alex J Cavanaugh is discussing science fiction  #WEPFF Write…Edit,,,Publish @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/11/wepff-writing-science-fiction-its-not.html

Next Tuesday, look for the InLinkz sign-up list for the
December Challenge

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Hello again,

In The Dark was J Lenni Dorner's winning entry for the WEP  - October Halloween Challenge. I hope you've all had a chance to read it, if not the link will take you there. 

Today, as our guest, he's writing on settings and how it affects your characters.

Take it away J Lenni Dorner!

When asked if I'd write a guest post I thought, "Sure! What will be my topic?" I devoted myself to settings that become characters, so that seemed like the best well from which to draw. I hope to inspire you on your writing journey!

The most important function of any setting, or any item in a setting, is how it affects a character. 

There's a sunrise. It's the most beautiful sunrise ever seen. Hues of orange and yellow drift into blue as night is vanquished from the sky. You know what? That's not the quality writing publishers (or most readers) are looking to buy. Give us a character who was blind and is experiencing a sunrise for the first time. Or a kingdom that was cursed to darkness for twenty generations and let that sunrise be the first sign of freedom. That's getting closer. Do more by having your point of view character feel something because of the sunrise. Don't just tell me Jane felt happy. Show me. Make the reader feel like they're sharing the experience.

 A popular example of a great setting is the arenas in The Hunger Games series. Those of you who read the books know that those arenas are monsters. Yes, President Snow is the main antagonist. But the arena tries to kill Katniss. There are passages that discuss players who have died because of an arena. It's a person-versus-nature element.

 Now imagine if The Hunger Games didn't have an arena. Katniss and Peeta are sent to modern day New York City and have to outlive their opponents. Would the books be as popular? There are plenty of books about a NYC character figuring out how to survive and thrive there. Taking away the arena changes the story. That is a great example of a setting that is a character. The reader is presented with a place they've never imagined before, and that place offers an emotional challenge to the point of view character.

 Your writing journey might be different. Perhaps your setting is a well-known location. I'll use New York City as an example again. Rockefeller Center presents a myriad of emotions for characters. Has that location made your character reminiscent of watching the tree lighting with their family, all of whom were killed this year? Is it the place where she fell on the ice and a McHottie picked her up, held her close, and whispered, "amateurs should stick to the outside lane" before skating away? Maybe there's a bench here where his great-grandfather ate lunch every day after coming to this country to escape the concentration camps. Or the character has to go this way to get to work at NBC, but is allergic to pine and thus looks like Rudolph all winter long.

Loui Jover; Pen and Ink, 2013, Drawing "the red umbrella":
Saatchi Art
 Each of these are examples of how a setting can affect a character. It isn't about Rockefeller Center - it's about what Rockefeller Center means to your character. So go ahead and let the rain fall on that dark and stormy night, but be sure to make the reader feel like it's something they're experiencing through your point of view character. Maybe a shivering puppy who hasn't eaten properly in days, is soaked to the bone, and has been ignored by the world huddles under a massive tree for shelter. A lonely young character lost her dog and has come to the Rockefeller Center's tree to wish that Sprinkles comes home. The rain turns to fluffy flakes of snow as the two are reunited.

 I have farmed potatoes. But I've never had to grow taters to survive on Mars. Yet, while reading Andy Weir's "The Martian," I felt like I had. That's another great story with a setting that can't be swapped. Mark Watney wouldn't be as compelling if the book were "The Idahoan." A story where the majority of the population is in favor of spending billions of dollars to help one farmer out doesn't seem plausible. But put him on Mars and it works.

So I encourage you to take some time with your settings. Find the sights, smells, textures, tastes, and sounds that make this place unique to your story. Use the setting as a tool to reveal traits of your character. Let it be a challenge or a comforting friend. Give the reader a reason to care about your setting (to the point that there would be a trending Twitter riot if Hollywood tried to put your characters elsewhere). It will pay off.

I'm J Lenni Dorner, winner of the 2015 Youthful Frights and Adult Fears WEP Halloween Challenge, and author of "Preparing to Write Settings that Feel Like Characters" (Amazon, Smashwords).

 Socialize online with 
J Lenni Dorner: 

Help us Spread the Word!
We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

J Lenni Dorner is guest posting - the subject is settings #WEPFF Write…Edit,,,Publish @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/11/wepff-winner-j-lenni-dorner-talks.html

J Lenni Dorner talks setting and characters at the #WEPFF Write…Edit…Publish. @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/11/wepff-winner-j-lenni-dorner-talks.html


A guest post by Alex J. Cavanaugh
'How to Write Science Fiction'
just in time for
December's Challenge - Sign up Dec 1st!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Hello everyone!

There were simply too many amazing stories to make the job of choosing a winner easy, so we gave up. Just kidding.

Annalisa took her time, reading and re-reading the 3 entries sent to her and this is the result:

Annalisa told us, "wow, that was so hard. I'm glad I only had to look at the final three - I'd never be able to make a decision otherwise." :-)


Annalisa said, "Because I was right there in that room, hiding under the covers and telling myself monsters aren't real!"

I think we all were! J. Lenni took us back to our childhood. A true Halloween treat!

Congratulations J. Lenni!

Please copy the badge onto your blog, brag about it, link it to your fabulous poem so your fame can spread far and wide.

An Amazon Gift Card to the value of $10 will be winging your way shortly!



Annalisa said, "I love the ingenuity of mixing music with the prose."
Samantha, your modern treatment for Hansel & Gretel was a feast for the eyes, ears, and imagination!

Congratulations Samantha!

 Please copy the badge onto your blog, brag about it, link it to your fabulous mix of music, prose and artwork. It's a criminal offense not to see this modern masterpiece!



Annalisa said, "A chilling, horrific story, vividly written. So many questions..."

So true, the altruistic gift of mothers' milk from such horrific actions, unbelievable and so perfect for Halloween.

Congratulations Nila!

Please copy the badge onto your blog, brag about it, link it to your fabulous chilling flash fiction! It's  hardly fair that we were chilled to the bone, yet some remain oblivious to this horrific story lurking on the web.


Denise and I sent Annalisa a list of 3 finalists, but before that, we went back and forth, and back and forth because the list was near impossible to cut down to 3. We love hosting the WEP and coming up with the challenges, but we HATE choosing the list of winners. It's just too damn hard!

The stories were so wonderful--how do you choose between Jeff's man-eating skunk monster, and Arpan's haunting stranger on the path home, or Bish's funny naked mermaid and Michelle's descent into madness? I tell you it's near impossible, so a huge thank you goes to Annalisa Crawford for making the process a little easier. Our previous post gives a sketch of each entry.

And our Random.org winner is:

Congratulations Jeff!  
A $5 Amazon Gift Card will arrive soon!

~~~ ~~~

Thanks everyone, for an exciting October!
As we said before we're going to be busy in November with
The NaNoWriMo challenge.
But we'll be back in December with a new challenge:

Just add a touch of sci-fi to your entry
Tell us about the holiday celebration
of your dreams or nightmares.
December is the month of celebrations
So pick your favorite.
Extend our knowledge.
Show us something new!
Take us on a journey like no other!

Just follow this link and discover the many

And for those of you in the northern hemisphere, remember in the southern hemisphere we are sweating it out during the holiday season. Do they have beaches on Mars? Hmm...

Please take a little time to comment and wish the winners well! Maybe next time it will be you! It's been a wonderful challenge, enjoyed by so many!

Don't forget to Spread the Word
We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

Monday, 26 October 2015


This was a truly awesome blog hop. A successful challenge with amazing examples of childhood scares, thoughtful conversations regarding fear and the true monsters that haunt us, with plenty of excellent horror stories perfect for Halloween. The visiting of other's blogs was much better this time, but in case you missed any, let's do a quick recap.

Starting with my partner, Denise Covey's thrilling Beauty and the Beast tale, to L. G. Keltner's scary stranger on the porch, tap, tap, tapping, or LauraClipson's ghost story that teaches us not to ever say aloud that we don't believe in ghosts, lest we become haunted!

Then there's Sally Stackhouse's heartfelt tale of Sean and his grandma discussing the possibility of ghosts, goblins, and witches and Michelle Wallace's drabble about the descent into madness, or Nilanjana Bose's unique take on the sale of mother's milk. What a scary proposition.

Remember the Druid Princess's revenge in Deborah Drucker's tale, or Robyn Campbell's poem inspired by her years of spending Halloween staring in a window, and D G Hudson's sleepwalking, cemetery-seeking child, a mother's worst nightmare.

Who could have guessed that a body shop could be so frightening? Madilyn Quinn did, and then Olga Odim brought us the humor of a naked mermaid costume, and J Lenni Dorner taught us the reason for counting to ten, a very scary reason.

Feather Stone gave us an excerpt with a woman willing to fight for her life, and Roland Yeoman's made us all shiver with the vengeful ghosts of Lakota lore, and then there's Arpan Ghosh's tale that warns not only the children, but adults too--do not talk to strangers!

C. Lee McKenzie reminded us how it feels when we forget to buy that bag of candy before the monsters arrive, and Kate McManus reminded us what a great storyteller Charles Dickens was, while Toi Thomas showed us a monster beyond evil.

In addition, the amazing Samantha Redstreake Geary gave us a feast for the ears, eyes, and heart with a new version of Hansel & Gretel, and Raelene Purtill reminded us how smothering it can feel to be in a crowd, while Bish Denham gave us a moving gravesite.

Jeff Whichello introduced us to the man-eating skunk monster alleged to exist today, and Patrick Coholan reminded us the terror a ticking clock can inspire, or that coveting the grocer could lead to a werewolf attack. Gah!

Hart Johnson created a discussion about fear, and Nancy Williams told us a true ghost story, and Donna Hole (dolorah) reminded us that the true monsters are real--very, very real, and could be our neighbor.

Ellis Moore (desk49) gave us a frightening tale of a murderous twin connection, and Queensheena introduced us to the Rotten Family's dysfunction. Each tale a delightful horror, at times funny reminder that nightmares do come true. From this amazing collection, maybe we can find a ghost story or two to be shared around that next campfire. Excellent work all!

And over to Denise...let's start and finish with your hosts!

Thanks Yolanda for the wrap up. Now how about Yolanda Renee's story, folks? Starts off with a delicious soak in lavender bubbles and ends with an ax(e) murderer coming at ya! Gah! What a chilling expose of the beast in the basement childhood fear. 

Thank you, all of you for your amazing posts.
This is one Halloween Challenge 
for the record books - such amazing stories! 
Are you getting ready for the month of NaNoWriMo?
We are and then we're back for the December Challenge 
Holiday Celebrations that are out of this world! 
But before that look for
the winners announcement.
 on Wednesday!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Sign up today! #WEPFF - HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE - Youthful Frights vs Adult Fears

Youthful Frights vs Adult Fears
It's Halloween, and time for scaring family and friends. 
Do you remember the monster under the bed? When I was a child, I knew it was a man-eating lion. He'd disappear when someone walked into the room, but stick an arm or leg over the edge and he'd snap them off.
What about the creepy house just down the street, the one you passed by every day on the way to school? Did you imagine someone watching you from the broken window?
Remember the cornfield that went on for miles and miles. Did you ever run through it and get lost among the dying stalks? Remember the panic that set in and the laughter of your cousin, when you finally emerged with the stain of tears on your face certain that something had been hunting you.
Or maybe it was more benign, a graveyard that looked serene during the day, but at night unexplained lights would move among the gravestones and give you the chills or worse.
Tell us about the horror that stalked you in the night. Write about it for this month's challenge and turn those childhood fears in a scare-fest like no other.

For this challenge, share a childhood fright that might or did turn into an adult fear, real or imagined.

To start the fun you can:
1.    share a favorite frightening tale, movie, novel, photograph or painting that will leave us quaking in our boots
2.    in a short paragraph describe how it scared you, and why it did and or still does today
3.    then you can:
a.    submit your own scary piece, 1000 words or less, in any format or
b.    share a photograph or painting that captures the horror you've felt.

Open to all genres - Fiction works can be - Adult, YA, MG. All entries maximum 1,000 words.

Don't forget to share the Challenge
We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

Share your childhood fright - now grown up @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey join our Flash Fiction Challenge http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/10/sign-up-today-wepff-halloween-challenge.html #WEPFF

What scared you as a child – does it still? Tell us about it @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/10/sign-up-today-wepff-halloween-challenge.html Halloween Flash  #WEPFF

Love a good Halloween FF Challenge? Fears & Frights Join @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey  October 21 http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/10/sign-up-today-wepff-halloween-challenge.html #WEPFF

If you'd like to post the list on your blog here's the code:

<!-- start InLinkz script -->

<script type="text/javascript" src="//www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=565315"></script>

<!-- end InLinkz script -->

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

"How to Write Scary" by Annalisa Crawford, guest judge for WEP's Halloween challenge!

 The subject today is "How to Write Scary." 
Author and the guest judge for this year's Halloween challenge, Annalisa Crawford is here to share some of her secrets just in time for the WEP Halloween challenge.
In just seven days the post for sign up will go live. 

Take it away Annalisa!

Many thanks to Yolanda and Denise for inviting me here today. Although, when I was asked to write a post on ‘how to write scary’, I wondered whether I could. I don’t think I know how to write scary. When I write, I never know exactly what genre is going to appear. Sometimes they just happen to be scary.

I realize pretty quickly if I’m writing something scary when I find myself holding my breath or making strange gestures. If I’m writing about a sudden noise, I imagine that noise then act out the response. I will be jumping in my seat, ducking, holding my hands up to protect myself, making horrified faces. I talk out loud, trying to find the right words. When I was writing my book Our Beautiful Child I developed a particularly whispery voice for the narrator, which confused my dog:

“We stay close by; we don’t want to leave her alone like this, so scared and insecure, our beautiful child. But she shudders again. She’s sensing us again. We draw back into the shadows; we hide in the past.”

I do most of my writing at home, in front of a very large window. Yes, sometimes people do pass by when I’m in the middle of one of these moments.

Yes, people do look in the window and give me some very strange looks. 

Although, to be fair, they shouldn’t be looking into my living room in the first place!

So, how do you write a scary story?
  1.  Don’t try to be scary! I once watched The Others. It’s rated 12 in the UK (not sure about rest of the world equivalent), so it’s not actually a scary film, but I was on edge watching it. It’s understated, muted and you can feel the tension in every scene – even in scenes that aren’t inherently scary.
  2. Avoid explaining everything. The scariest things in daily life are the things you don’t understand – even the simple inexplicable noise from the next room can alarm you, especially if you can’t find the cause.
  3. However, you as the writer need to be absolutely sure what’s happening. This isn’t a scary story example, however, I once wrote a short story where the main character split in two – but I didn’t explain whether this was a physical, spiritual or figurative split. I know, but I’m not telling!
  4.  Think about the actual words you are using. Read your story out loud to highlight where you might be going astray.
a.      Use a thesaurus. Some writing advice advocates using simple words that people understand so the story flows, but sometimes a slightly unfamiliar word can work to unsettle the reader. This is a scary story you’re writing, remember – you don’t want your reader to be comfortable.
b.      Use short sentences. I love to start a paragraph with a long, ambling sentence that flows and leads the reader into a lull from the action. And then a shorter one, to heighten the tension. Shorter, to incite anxiety.
c.      Use repetition. You have to use this technique sparingly, and know when it’s too much. Reading aloud will definitely help here. Repetition of a word within the same paragraph, or the same sentence from the beginning of the story repeated every so often throughout, can bring your reader back to the main issue. 

5.  Once you get to the end of your story, go back and add in foreshadowing. Again, this needs to be subtle, just a word or two that hints towards something later on.

What tips can you share? Do you use some of these techniques already?

Thank you Annalisa, for sharing your knowledge and for judging our efforts.


Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.
She writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories, with a hint of the paranormal. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of Cat & The Dreamer, That Sadie Thing and Our Beautiful Child.

                                                         Author links

“In my world, I am fifteen, the age I was when I met Rachel Carr, the age I was when Rachel Carr killed herself with a tonne of painkillers and two bottles of rum.”

Julia survived a teen suicide pact: her best friend Rachel did not. Years later, Julia is introvert and insular, spiralling into depression, shrouding herself in daydreams to protect herself from reality – a controlling mother and a huge burden of guilt.

When Adam walks into her office, Julia knows he won’t be interested in her; Cat, her flirty blonde colleague, has already chosen him as her next conquest. But his presence alone is enough to shake Julia up, and make her realise real life could be so much better.

Except Cat has other plans, lurking in Julia’s imagination, torturing her, telling her she should have died too. And she’s right, of course, because Cat is always right.

Original Blurb:
As a teenager, Julia survived a suicide pact, while her best friend Rachel died. Julia’s only escape from her guilt, and her mother’s over-protection, is her imagination. When Adam arrives in the office, Julia’s world takes a startling turn as she realises reality can be much more fun than fantasy. Finally she has someone who can help her make the most of her life. But can she allow herself to be truly happy?

That Sadie Thing and other stories 
  That Sadie Thing and other stories is an intense and emotional journey through the relationships that define our lives.

•A couple breaking up on a rainy night
•A woman finding comfort from eating lunch as her best friend lies in hospital
•A runaway longing to go home
•A teenager oppressed by her father, and many more...

All of the characters in this collection are struggling to find their place in the world, attempting to find connections that matter with the people around them, however fleeting.
This is a dark, unsettling yet memorable collection, bringing together prize-winning and published stories from the past twenty years: the ‘greatest hits’.

Our Beautiful Child and other stories
“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.

Three women. Three stories. One pub.

Share Annalisa's words of wisdom
We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

Are you as animated as Annalisa when you write? #WEPFF Getting ready for Halloween! @YolandaRenee & @DeniseCCovey http://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2015/09/how-to-write-scary-by-annalisa-crawford.html