Oct 192016
 

While I try not to overuse many of these particular words while writing, I still find an overabundance of them during the editing process.

I think “like” is the word I overuse most often. Then again, I was a teen in the 80’s. I like get stuck in like valley girl like speak. Not really, but that’s my favorite excuse.

overused words

Sep 282016
 

Sometimes there’s a better word or a more precise word for looks like or seems like. I know there are times I forget the subtleties of certain words or the word itself is hidden under mental whiteout for some reason. That’s when these types of lists come in handy for me.

Also, in an effort to increase my vocabulary, even if I know that a word means looks like or seems like I look it up to remind myself of the exact meaning of the word. A word with a closer meaning might be better than the word I used.

For instance, if I said something mirrors another I would be implying that they accurately resemble each other. Whereas if I said something mimics another I would be implying that they closely resemble each other. If I meant to say that they were close but not necessarily exact, mimic would be the better word choice.

seems

linestorm writing

Jul 062016
 

On Writing by Stephen King is not just a book about writing, but also a memoir about the craft and the life of King. I agreed with him wholeheartedly at points, grudgingly at others, but King’s advice is still a source of inspiration for me. I’ve read it numerous times and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

If you don’t own the book, the article below has a few helpful bits of advice from the book. I’m still struggling with a few of the bits listed. #3 and #4 (Don’t waste time trying to please people and Write primarily for yourself) go together for me. It’s not that I have a hard time writing for myself, it’s the blasted editing that gets me. I’m hoping some day that others will read my work. I want them to be pleased, but the truth of the matter is, I write because I love it. I write what I want to write, not what I think others will want to read. It’s during the editing phase that I start worrying about pleasing people.

And remember, as King says “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” I’m still working on that one, too.

Check out the article, but if you get the chance, even if you’re not a writer, read the whole book. King has so much more to say about writing. And his memoir is an interesting and entertaining read.

Timeless advice from bestselling author Stephen King on how to be an excellent writer.

Source: Stephen King on how to write – Business Insider


Jun 292016
 

I’m terrible with names. I usually come up with main character names, but secondary characters are more difficult. I try to avoid using the names of people I know, but all other names just disappear from my brain.

Generators, especially those with name origins and meanings are one of the most valuable tools for me. I don’t usually care if my characters name means something specific, but searching for a specific character trait gives me a place to start.

So, if you have trouble coming up with character names, give these generators a try. Sometimes just looking at the names, especially the fantasy names, can even spark story ideas.

The Character Name Generator

Realistic character names. Writers: find an ethnically diverse character name and generate a character’s personality with the random character name generator.

Source: The Character Name Generator: Generate a Character Name and Personality

Seventh Sanctum

A site of generators to randomly produce concepts, characters, and descriptions for stories, role-playing games, and art, as well as have fun and alleviate creative blocks.

Source: Seventh Sanctum – Welcome To The Page Of Generators!

Behind the Name

The random name generator can suggest names for babies, characters, or anything else that needs naming.

Source: Behind the Name: Random Name Generator

Fantasy Name Generators

A fantasy name generator for every fantasy character. From Chinese to Viking and from dragon to werewolf, I have a fantasy name generator for all your needs.

Source: Fantasy name generators. Names for all your fantasy characters.

Is the name generator you use not on the list? Let me know!

Jun 152016
 

Sometimes you just need a little push to get started or continue a work in progress. Generators can come in handy to give you some needed inspiration or just to challenge yourself with something random.

I’m often at a loss for topics to post on my blog. I pour myself into writing fiction and there’s little left over for the blog, so I use generators to come up with ideas. Sometimes. Sometimes I forget to post at all. Generators inspire story and character ideas as well even if I don’t use the exact prompt.

Here are a few generators I frequent…

Daily Writing/Blogging and Photo Prompts from The Daily Posthttps://dailypost.wordpress.com/
Example – (Writing Prompt for May 28, 2016) Epitome – Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Writing Prompt Generator from Seventh Sanctumhttp://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=writeprompt
ExampleIf you don’t know about the starship, then it is too late.
This is a great prompt for a friend of mine. Considering sending it to him and seeing what he does with it.

Genre, Plot, Story, Character, Wardrobe, Name, Setting and more random generators from Springholehttp://www.springhole.net/writing_roleplaying_randomators/index.html
Example from the Creepypasta & Supernatural Horror Story Prompt Generator – At midnight, a lost woman and an insane witch want to transform an eldritch abomination into a disturbing television set.
Someone write this please. I really want to read it!

Daily Writing Prompt Generator from Always Writehttp://corbettharrison.com/writers_notebooks.html#topics
ExampleWas the dishonestly worth it? Write about faking an illness in order to get out of doing something.
Confession time. Almost everyone has done this, right?

Idea Generator from Story Starterhttp://www.thestorystarter.com/
ExampleThe soft-spoken waiter made a video in the barn four days ago to solve the mystery.

Daily Writing Prompt Generator from Language is a Virushttp://www.languageisavirus.com/writing_prompts.html
ExampleDescribe ways in which your character does or doesn’t show dependability.
I think I’m going to do this one. Could be helpful.

Writing/Blogging Prompts from Daydreaming on Paperhttp://www.daydreamingonpaper.com/random.html
ExampleWhat gives you the warm fuzzies? Could also be, “What gives your character the warm fuzzies?”
For me? Kittens. Definitely kittens.

Have a generator you use that isn’t on the list? Let me know!

Jun 082016
 

I found another graphic for lay vs. lie that is a little clearer. The last one I posted was blurry. I’m not sure where it came from, but I posted it in case someone finds it useful.

I still have to look at it myself to make sure that I’m using the correct form. Second guessing, but I’d rather be sure.

This one also includes present participle which was missing from the first one I posted.

laylie2

Apr 132016
 

Whatever you do, please don’t over-animate your characters. Some writers have a bad habit of making their characters move and use body language every time they speak or sometimes every time they are mentioned in a scene. If your character is distressed, they might do one or two of the movements listed below, but they don’t tend to go through the whole list in a few pages.

This sheet could be much longer. For instance, I’d add “looking down and to the left” under lying and “gripping something so hard knuckles turn white” to anger, but this list can help you think of another body language you’ve seen people display under certain situations. As always, this is only a tool to make you think, not a comprehensive list…

body language

Apr 062016
 

Award winning screenwriter (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) Michael Arndt talks about the 5 steps he learned at Pixar to write a good beginning and set your character off

Source: Michael Arndt About The 5 Steps He Learned at Pixar to Write a Good Beginning – mentorless

Like everything in writing, this isn’t the only way, but I think it’s worth a page in the mental Big Book of Writing Advice.

You can check out the article, but the video is full of examples from Pixar movies and well worth the watch. While I can’t say I adhere to a formula like this, I can see the benefit. It would be especially helpful when you have a character in mind, but not a clear cut story.

Feb 032016
 

This wheel of emotions comes in handy more often than I’d like to admit. This is one of the writing graphics I snagged off the net that sometimes inspires, sometimes leads my character in a new direction or does exactly what it was meant to do and helps me find a more specific word for an emotion.

When I’m stuck, this is one of the graphics I take a look at to see if it sparks something I hadn’t thought of for my character. For instance, I had a character that was frustrated and I was stuck on what she would do next. After looking at the wheel, I realized that she could easily become hostile, which made the scene much more exciting. Well, exciting to write at least.

emotions

Jan 132016
 

Since I decided to make such a vague resolution, I thought I’d share the resolutions of another writer. She posted a well thought out list of ten resolutions for the new year. I’m not as ambitious this year, but I plan on taking a few tips from her for next year.

So, take a look and maybe add a few more to your own list. Most of them are making it on my list for next year, but this year I’m going to stick with being all lazy and chill about it.

A new year, a fresh start. Get 2016 off on the right foot with this list of ten resolutions for the writing life.

Source: 10 Resolutions for the Writing Life

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