Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Ways to Create a Plot Twist

Convert your story into a "must read" by introducing a plot twist that no one expected!  Here are ten of the most popular ways to do it.

"No, I AM your father!" ~ Darth Vader

10 Ways to Create a Plot Twist

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Top 10 Words Inspired by Filmmakers

Hitchockian - Conjures images of nail biting suspense, doesn't it?  Or in my case, The Birds (I think I am scarred for life!)

How about Chaplinesque?  Wellesian?  Perhaps in a flash of Spielbergian genius, you'll need one or more of these.

Top 10 Words Inspired by Filmmakers

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I'm a-thinkin' we should round ourselves up a few little dwarves, wrap them up in Duck tape, take them down to the crick and have us a fantasy party.  All ya'll wanna come?

Grammarist - which word is right?  I found this site because I wasn't sure if the phrase I wanted was "deep-seated" or "deep-seeded".  (It's the former.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names - The dot above an i or j?  It's a tittle.  The metal part on a pencil?  A ferrule.  Go, read, get your "learn something new every day" over with for the day. :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pet Peeves - Are You Making Agents, Editors, and Readers Crazy?

Author Don't Care, Agent/Editor/Reader Pet Peeves - An extensive list of literary peeves.  You may want to double check your WIP for these.

One of my favorites (and a huge oops!):
“Characters in YA novels who seem like the embodiment of one giant teen cliche, spewing every contemporary slang term the 40-year-old author could overhear at her daughter's cheerleading contest.”
As a bonus, the post includes an informational video about "bad ass" honey badgers.  Who knew? ;)  (Caution: Contains profanities)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Merriam Webster: Top 10 Favorite British Words

This Merriam-Webster lists ten popular British words, their definitions, usage, and origin.  Be sure to visit the original article, the usage alone is worth the time investment!

Dodgy - False or Dishonest
Shirty - Angry; irritated
Chuffed - Quite pleased; delighted
Peckish - Hungry (And to think, I thought it meant cranky - perhaps hungry and cranky are synonyms to me!)
Stroppy - Touchy; belligerent
Dogsbody - One who is obliged to do menial work; a drudge
Shambolic - Obviously disorganized or confused
Wonky - Awry; wrong
Bollocks - Nonsense (use caution with this one!)
Hard Cheese - Tough luck

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Duolit's Character Generators

The fine ladies at duolit have created two character generators - mystery/thriller and young adult (YA) that I can't seem to live without these days. You can select sex and age range, and then allow it to generate name and appearance, or you can allow it to generate all of the above, or just some of the above.  Flexible, yes?  They will also email you the results, and, if you use the results in a story, they'd like to hear about it!

Mystery/thriller character:

Basic Info
  • Name: Bryan
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 18-24
  • Job/Occupation: Government
  • Marital Status: Married/Committed
  • Children: 1
  • Financial Class: Lower Class


  • Basic Traits: Sensitive, Optimistic, Irresponsible
  • Unique Traits: Ran away
  • Role in Crime: Accomplice
  • Crime: Identity Theft


  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Gold
  • Body Type: Skinny

Young Adult character:

Basic Info
  • Name: Nathan
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 12-13 (8th Grade)


  • Role: Outsider
  • Basic Traits: Creative, Motivated, Paranoid
  • Unique Traits: Has a terminal disease


  • Hair Color: Red
  • Eye Color: Green
  • Body Type: Lanky

Friday, July 1, 2011

750 Words - Get Into the Habit of Writing

I played with this along with the mystery character generator today, and I was pretty happy with the results. encourages you to write at least 750 words every day, and gives you the space to do it in private, where you don't have to worry about anyone reading it.  It awards you points: 1 if you write; 2 if you write more than 750 words.  Once you're done, the real magic starts.  You can view your stats, which give you rather humdrum run-of-the-mill things

How's the weather, anyway?  And your writing? How hot is IT?  How are you feeling?  And what are you talking about?

This is one of the parts I found completely intriguing.  I'm looking forward to writing again tomorrow so that I can see how much change there is in these graphs.
And to wrap it all up, a word cloud.  Very cool!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

40 Questions for a Stronger Manuscript

40 Questions for a Stronger Manuscript - Adventures in Children's Publishing offers an extensive list of questions that should be asked before starting your next story (suitable for all genres).

Jane Friedman: 7 Writing Competitions

Jane Friedman: 7 Free-to-Enter National Writing Competitions That Impact Your Career

Details seven contests that are free to enter.  The comments after the post cover who may or may not be eligible, and one very lengthy, ill-advised, don't-ever-do-this post by someone who obviously can type, but not read. ;)

Joke: The Nature of Predators

A tiger was walking through the jungle one day and saw two men relaxing under a tree. One was reading a newspaper, and the other was working feverishly on a manual typewriter.

The tiger leapt on the man with the newspaper, and ate him up. The tiger did not bother the other man at all. That's because any predator knows that readers 'digest' but writers 'cramp'.

- Posted by Joni in the Facebook Group Writers Inspiration

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Inspiration for Writers -- 5th Grader Style

Perhaps all we needed to know didn't get taught to us in Kindergarten, and maybe, just maybe, we ARE smarter than a 5th grader.  However, there still may be a lesson or two we can learn. :)

Inspiration for Writers -- 5th Grader Style

Friday, June 24, 2011

Want a First Class Bad Guy? X-Men Can Help!

Janice Hardy: A First Class Bad Guy: How X-Men Can Help You Craft a Better Antagonist

What makes your bad guy tick?  How can you make him more human?  Will your reader relate to him?  Can you give him a good trait or two?

A Spreadsheet for the Self-Published

Spreadsheet for the Self-Published - by Jenny Blake

Her description:
Thousands of books are published every year, and yet many authors feel like they have to figure out the road to promotion alone. Authors (together with their publicists and agents) work tirelessly to reinvent the promotion wheel every single time. There is no one size fits all approach, but there can be a more streamlined way to get organized.
I knew I needed a way to track the hundreds of book promotion action items and ideas floating around in my head — everything from website development to book tour planning to advance copy recipient lists. I created this spreadsheet as a way of organizing the hundreds of things an author thinks about on the road to book launch, in hopes of making others’ lives easier in what can be an overwhelming and stressful process.

[Editor Top Choice] The Bookshelf Muse

The Bookshelf Muse

Growing thesaurus of settings, emotions, shapes and colors, weather, and symbolism. Quite possibly one of the top 10 writers resources on the 'net.  They also include examples, advice, and caveats.

19th Century Slang Dictionary

19th Century Slang Dictionary - meanings and usages of colloquialisms  and slang popular during the Civil War era.

Snarky Grammar Guide

Snarky Grammar Guide - They use a combination of examples, wit, and criticism in order to help people learn proper grammar.  Sporadic posts, but fun anyway.

An example picture shows Rachel Ray with the caption:

Rachel Ray finds inspiration
in cooking
her family
and her dog

Duotrope's Digest

Duotrope's Digest

From their site:
... an award-winning, free writers' resource listing over 3425 current Fiction and Poetry publications.
They update the site multiple times a day - an excellent resource for any writer looking to be published.  Listings are organized by genre and sub-genre.  Also includes a free online submissions tracker - very useful!

Note: Special thanks to Mary M. for pointing this one out. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I am creating this blog as a resource for writers.  It will most likely be light on textual posts.  Its sole reason for being is to serve as a collection of links to posts and articles of interest to writers.  Or, at least, of interest to me!