Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thoughts on Writing

I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Ultimate Source of Writing Prompts - Reddit

I discovered this week a writing prompts treasure. Reddit has a dedicated section to writing prompts called Reddit Writing Prompts. This section is constantly being updated and enriched with comments. Definitely worth coming back!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thoughts After NaNoWriMo

Credit: Melissa McPhail
This graphic just about sums up the kinds of feelings I have after having jumped into November's National Novel Writing Month. I didn't make the 50,000 word goal, so I didn't finish this marathon, but I did learn about writing and storytelling.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hardwired for story: Sarah-Jane “SJ” Murray

At TEDxSanAntonio, Emmy-nominated screenwriter Sarah-Jane explained how to think about why insanely great storytelling matters and why it’s the key to our future.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Neil Gaiman's Story Ideas from Twitter

I was listening to Selected Shorts this week and it was hosted by Neil Gaiman. He read two of his own stories, finishing with “July Tale,” in which a lovesick husband builds an igloo out of books. What was interesting was that Gaiman explained that the inspiration for July Tale came from a recent Twitter campaign where readers could share ideas for stories that he would write. The stories can be downloaded in PDF format at Blackberry.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 Cool Online Novel Writing Tools in Time for NaNo

Novel Writing Month is just around the corner and I've been checking out some software and sites to help keep this year's efforts on track. Here are three online novel writing sites that you can use to keep writing anywhere.

They  call it an online fiction organizer, which is really a web-based story organizer that is easy to use. It provides quick and easy outlining of scenes, characters, settings and plotlines, and generates terrific compilation lists of the same. In addition, Hiveword stores your work online for you in a private account.

In the creator of Hiveword own words, he says "Hiveword tracks scenes, characters, settings, plot lines, POV, etc., in a simple-to-use interface. Hiveword is purposefully built just for novel organization so it already speaks your language and is optimized for the task. Unlike a spreadsheet, for example, it makes sorting and filtering scenes super easy."

LitLift is free. It was created with NaNo in mind. It is a place to keep track of everything about your novel, from character descriptions to settings, to chapters and scenes in the sequence they ought to happen.

The creators describe LitLift as a way "to help the world expand free thought, and in particular, share those thoughts, stories, writings, musings, etc. in a simply, easy-to-use, FREE application to 1) help develop and organize your writings, 2) collaborate and enhance your writing skills and 3) share your writing with others. Please note our application is most thoroughly tested using Chrome and IE, so for now we generally recommend using one of those browsers."

Now Novel provides a process that gives you a blueprint for writing your novel. It's can help get you  to be a novelist. Its personable, hands-on and step-by-step approach as well as its integrated social structure serve to separate it from the crowd, but not necessarily a better option.

Now Novel explains how it works: "The first three sections of Now Novel are entirely free: you can create your mood, find your central idea and test that it is definitely the right one. Once you pay a monthly subscription fee, you get access to the entire process, which includes finding your story type, plot, setting and character details (all very in-depth) as well as a guided process (called the Skeleton) for actually writing your novel once you have all the ingredients."

Monday, July 21, 2014

150 Story Ideas

The Blacklist has a great new page compiling all the story ideas they have been sharing.

It is a 150 story ideas.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plot the Story in One Shot

This is a nice visual aid that encapsulates the beats of story, showing the arc of the plot. This can help keep you on course.

(Found on the blog Write Learn Create Connect )

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Boiling Story Down to the Bare Bones

I saw this breakdown recently in giving guidance for how to put a logline together. Then as I looked at this, it really made me feel like this is a good guide for help to pull a story together and ask the right questions up front. It isn't too big of a checklist. It is compact to the point and gets you thinking in the right direction.

Who is it about?
(two or three words that describe main character in a way that is relevant to this story.)
Something descriptive of who main character is, in the context of this story. For example: "Young Woman" is far too generic.

What is the goal?
(something SPECIFIC that we can identify and understand)
For example: Something more specific, then just "seeking a better life". Nearly everyone seeks (or at least wants) a better life.
What does the main character spend the majority of the movie doing?

What stands in his way?
(something SPECIFIC that we can identify and understand)
What actively prevents the main character from attaining the goal?

What happens if he fails?
(something SPECIFIC that we can identify and understand)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

8 Insights taken from Michael Arndt for Setting a Story into Motion

I saw the post on John August's site, Michael Arndt on setting a story in motion, and was inspired by the short video that John shared where Toy Story 3's screenwriter Michael Arndt explores how to get a story started.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tools for Outlining Your Stories

Here are some cool tools to use for getting started in outlining your stories
  1. Creative Writing Now - Outline for Novel
  2. Workflowy
  3. Scrivner

Here is a great article for leveraging some other known tools for the outline process: Tools to Outline Your Novel: NaNoWriMo Tip #9

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Short Film: Writer's Block

Tom Gran and Martin Woolley wrote and directed Writer's Block, a funny piece of metafiction.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

8 Writing Groups on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the best social media networks for connecting with like-minded peers. Below are some of the top groups I have identified for writers.