The Cannibal Monster

This is one of the last two areas of the world we are traveling too. So, let’s venture into the deep woods of the Americas to start the beginning of the final countdown!


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WendigoAlgonquian Tribes

Cannibalistic beastly humanoid, possibly once human.

  • This creature is aligned with murder, insatiable, and cultural taboos against “normal” behavior. They’re also associated with the winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
  • The Wendigo is bigger than a human, and whenever it feeds on human flesh, it grows! It never gains weight and will always appear thin. They’re always hungry so watch out!!
  • There’s also an explanation as to why they may have been human once before turning into the Wendigo. When they were human, they may have been incredibly greedy. Or if the human was in contact with Wendigos for too long, they would become one.
  • Powers include: mimicking human voices, possession, controlling weather, manipulation of darkness (sunset), control of forest creatures, healing, and incredible strength and speed.
  • Believe it or not, there is a psychological disorder called the Wendigo Psychosis. People diagnosed crave human flesh even though they have access to normal food sources.

Jumping Through Time

A story can include one of two things: flashbacks or skipping to the future. We don’t think recommending the two is a great idea but if executed cohesively…sure! Why not! Let’s discuss.

Sometimes, writing flashbacks can help a story flesh itself out. Readers understand the plot better, the character better, ANYTHING! But what happens when a flashback becomes more than a flash back? Meaning, what happens when a brief moment takes up a whole chapter? Is that acceptable? There isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t be acceptable – other than not being written properly. Make sure flashbacks are quick and easy. They’re meant to be memories triggered by people or items or occurrences surrounding the character or plot. Here’s an idea: it doesn’t necessarily have to be written in the perspective where the character is brought back to a moment in time…but rather, induces a feeling, an image flashed in the character’s thoughts. Something like that.

Skipping ahead in time is also a way to get the story moving along. Readers don’t need all filler details and a story doesn’t deserve that either! A few months can pass in the story in a matter of words, as long as the reader is caught up with the characters and ongoings in their world, what else is needed? Questions should never be left unanswered, too. If they are, there better be good reason for it. Did something happen prior to the time hop that wasn’t resolved during the time not mentioned? Well, it better come full circle because then the reader will not be happy (they’ll scream, “PLOT HOLE, PLOT HOLE!” and write a whole review about how the plot hole ruined the story for them.)

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So, now that we’ve lectured about time and the relationship it has with your story – let’s build a time machine and have some fun!

Mood Rings

We’re not going to talk your ear off about how mood rings are real and they need to be taken more seriously…no, instead, we’re going to talk your ear off about colors and symbolism in your writing.

Using colors to accentuate the mood you’re trying to convey in your scenes may help your form of story-telling improve. It could be your main character can now see surrounding characters’ auras and the auras tell your character how a particular person is feeling. Or quite possibly there are colors within a room to set a mood in which your character is about to enter.

Use this color bar image we found on the great, big internet to give you a start on what sort of colors to use in your writing!

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An Eternal Flame

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Phoenix | Greece

“Fire bird that eternally regenerates from its own ashes.”

Basic Facts:

  • There are many different tales which reveal the life expectancy of the phoenix before it is reborn…one being a span of 500 years.
  • The phoenix was considered a royal bird because it had been associated with a place called Phoenicia. Phoenicia was known for producing a rich purple dye which was deemed expensive and used exclusively for the upper class.
  • When we think of the phoenix, we think vibrant colors associate with the sun. In truth, the phoenix has never been described in great detail in original folklore.
  • Phoenix is Greek for ‘crimson’ or ‘purple.’
  • The modern adaptation of the phoenix make claims that the tears of the bird can heal and if they’re nearby, lying doesn’t occur.

Fighting Game For Writers!

We are big advocates for demolishing writer’s block. We’ve talked about a variety of methods, websites, and apps to use against a writer’s worst nightmare. Here is a new one for you: Fighter’s Block.

So, after playing around with the online app for a few levels, I can officially declare this as a fun way to defeat writer’s block. There’s only a select amount of characters you can choose from and there’s only one enemy unlocked but there are little details in the structure and immersion of the game which makes it worthwhile.

Let’s break it down!

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Cute pixel sprites go up against each other in a game that challenges you to write, write, write before your character’s health reaches zero. You start off by choosing your hero (you can choose between Red or Karen, Quin is locked until you reach level 11) and your word goal for that particular level. Once you click fight, the battle has begun.

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You’ll notice the health bar of your character slowly (or quickly) diminishing if you’re not typing. As you write, the character’s health is regenerated and the enemy’s lowers.

To add more flair to your experience, you can customize your fighting background and writing difficulty to challenge yourself. The theme can be changed to different color schemes that can better your playing/writing experience. With the opponent you can easily change its speed and attack which works against you as you’re writing.

Your writing space can also be customized. From font to the display of your text box, this game is perfect for any writer looking for new ways to get back into the swing of things.

Why Three Is NOT A Crowd!

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It’s common in the writing community to have more than one pair of eyes editing your work. Some editors catch certain details, whether it’s proofing, copy editing, structural editing, or developmental edits. But what if you haven’t gotten too far into your writing career and you don’t have a team behind you quite yet? We have another option and idea for you: A WRITING GROUP.

Sounds very old school, maybe something you thought only existed on TV or in slice-of-life movies, but they’re very real and sometimes very necessary in a writer’s career. You’ll get the similar appeal from an editing team towards your writing, but a tad bit nicer and less cut-dry. A group will provide the outside perspective you need to help tie up the loose ends you may have missed. If your group (or partner) chooses meet-up times, it’ll boost your accountability with your writing and improve your relationship with your ability to write. Last but not least, you’ll get unconditional support from your peers, which you might need on those days you aren’t feeling confident.

A step beyond that: you’ll find friends. Friends who will love and support you (and your writing career but let’s get back to the sentiments), to push you in the right direction.

A Different Hunt

Instead of being a creature of malice, this week we are diving into a human-turned-keeper. Keep reading to find out some interesting facts!


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Herne the HunterEngland

“The antlered spirit of a hanged man that guards Windsor Forest.”

Basic Facts:

  • Truth be told…Herne was probably based off of a real keeper of the forest.
  • Story goes: the hunter made a pact with the Devil, forcing him to be doomed to hunt forever.
  • He rides at night, mostly but is found during storms.
  • Herne is said to wear horns, rattle chains, blast trees and cattle BUT…is not commonly seen by mortals.
  • Our beloved hunter had an oak tree, which is rumored to be where he haunted most of the time, was torn down…but Queen Victoria came to the rescue and replaced it with another oak.

The Three-Headed Hound

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CerberusGreece

“Multi-headed hellhound that guards the entrance to the underworld.”

Basic Facts:

  • Prevents the dead from leaving the Underworld.
  • We know the Cerberus as a three-headed dog, but most early depictions show the Cerberus as a regular-sized dog with one to two heads.
  • Described to have a serpent for a tail, snakes protruding from parts of its body, and mostly a hound.
  • Cerberus was rumored to have surfaced on Earth but returned by its own will to the Underworld to serve Hades.
  • Cerberus’ name derived from the Greek word “creoboros,” which translates to “flesh-devouring.

From Us To You

We have been talking about a lot of world-building lately. We see it as a very vital part of writing, especially when it comes to creating your own world. The detail behind your creation should resonate with your reader, and describe a place they will be sucked into. Some of our authors at HRM gave us a look into their ways of building and we thought it would be nice to share with a writer who hasn’t quite gotten the grasp of piecing together their fictional world.


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Krista Walsh:

I have my system (basically pages and pages of journal entries attempting to consider every element of the society as it goes across books), but a streamlined version would probably be a bit more coherent. 😉

Pippa Dacosta:

I have a notebook for each novel/series and write all of my little world intricacies down. Most of the world-building I layer in after the first draft. Touch, sights, social differences, currency, sayings, speech patterns, etc. I try and make the world-building almost unnoticeable.

JR Rasmussen:

I use a single Scrivener project for a whole series, so all my notes are in there. Before I start writing, I gather up enough to make me feel like I know the place well enough to live in it for a few books, and then add/revise as I go along. Everything from the magic system to what they eat. Also maps. So many maps.