Tag Archives: Inspiration

Resource Saturdays: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month! I know when I first started getting back into writing, I didn’t know where to begin. I wanted writing prompts and advice, outlets and ideas and among my searches, I kept seeing people talk about ‘NaNoWriMo’ and I had no idea what it was! Through some additional research, I finally figured out what it was and how useful it can be in helping me complete a novel in just one month. Although today is day 2 of NaNoWriMo, I wanted to share it anyway in the hopes of helping someone get a burst of inspiration. You can join at any time, so don’t let anything stop you!NaNo Shield

What can NaNoWriMo do for me?

NaNoWriMo, or NaNo as most people refer to it, has many resources, boards, local groups and other resources to help you along your novel writing journey. Joining NaNo is free and allows you access to all of the NaNo tools and information.

During the month of November, there are daily posts with inspiration from other writers. Some of them are even famous writers. For example, the day 1 pep talk post was from James Patterson. Here’s a blurb to prove my point. This is not the whole Pep Talk post from Mr. Patterson, you’ll have to join NaNo to read the whole thing! 🙂

James Patterson Pep Talk

Your Author Dashboard allows you to track your novel, post information about your book and yourself, track your word count, earn badges and other things that keep you motivated and involved in writing your novel. You can create groups where you post your work, get feedback, and encourage one another to KEEP WRITING!

Here’s my Dashboard:

NaNo Author Dashboard

You may notice there are several tabs across the top of my dashboard, Author Info (showing), My Novels, Writing Buddies, Buddy Of, and Stats. Each of these tabs is available for free to all members. You can add writing buddies so you can send messages to each other, offer encouragement, or complain, whatever you need to say!

If you want to add me as your NaNo writing buddy, just search for ‘eileenmaki’ and you can add me!

Across the top of the screen in the above shot (brown menu bar) you can access the NaNo store where you can purchase goods or make a donation to NaNo. You can also find local NaNo events and join others in your area for a ‘Write In’ event or get together.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to NaNoWriMo.org and get started. Once you have an account, or if you already have one, add me as a Writing Buddy and let’s get those novels written!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: Poets and Writers Classifieds

Hey There!

Are you guys all ready for Halloween? It seems like it sneaks up on me every year! On to the Resource! 🙂

While looking for submission calls, I stumbled across an oldie but a goodie. The Classified ads on the Poets and Writers website. They have lots of open calls for various markets and listings for groups, etc. It’s a pretty good place to check out once in a while.

Poets and Writers Classifieds

The Classifies page has some different categories to choose from: Manuscript Calls, Conferences, Contests, Publication, Retreats, Residencies, Resources, Services, and Workshops.

PoetsAndWriters1

Once you make a selection, you can peruse the ads and choose options to pursue. The Contest section is my favorite. It’s got tons of resources to choose from. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The information is updated regularly, so I recommend you book mark it, or visit my Resources Page for the link at any time!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: Random Word Generators

Hi Everyone!

As you may know by know, I like to use random word generators as inspiration and a general kick-in-the-pants for writing things on the fly. I usually use OneWord, but the other day, OneWord was on the fritz, so I sought ought another random word generator. I’ve posted a few on here before, and you can find them on my Resources page, but these few I just found deserved to be shared as well.

Random Word Generators

Word and Name Generators

This is a really cool generator that will give you random words as well as random names. (By the way, clicking on the screen shots below will take you to that part of the site.)

When you visit the site, on the right side, there is a list of word generators to choose from. It looks like this:

WordGenerator1

The generators are really easy to use. My favorite word generator on this site is the Random Word Generator. It not only gives you a word, but also the definition.

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This site also has random name generators. Click on Name Generator at the top of the site and you’ll see a list of name generators on the right.

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As you can see, it’s not just a plain name generator. You can generate all kinds of names here. The part I like is that you can put in a part of the name and have the rest generated if you want. I have a terrible time making up last names for my characters, but I usually know what I want their first name to be.

For example, I’m starting a book where the main character’s name is Jenna. I can’t think of what Jenna’s last name should be. So, I can use the Last Name Generator, enter Jenna as the first name and click Generate.

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Super useful!

Creative Random Word Generator

This one is more straight forward, with just some random words being generated. However, you can generate multiple random words at once by clicking on the numbers. Sometimes I find it handy to generate 5 words and try to use them all in my story, chapter, poem, or whatever I’m working on. So I can click on the 5 tile and get 5 words.

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I might use each word at the start of a paragraph, chapter, scene, or other part of my story to give me a kick in the pants to get going!

I hope you like the resources this week, check back next week for more Resource Saturday goodies!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: How To Write A Book Now

Hi Everyone!

This week, I was looking for some ideas on how to organize my novels and how to better outline the plot and characters. I found a great website that I really think you’re going to like.

How to Write a Book Now

This website has so many great ideas, tips, and hints, that I just had to share it with you this week. From Plot Outlining to Character Development, this site has tons of ideas and advice.

For novel ideas, go to this page and scroll down to the Fun With Plot Summaries section. Some great ideas live here, the possibilities are endless!

Need tips on Character Development, take a peek at this page: How to Create Characters that are Believable and Memorable

Or check out my favorite part, How to Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps

Finish it all up with Writing an Outline of Your Novel

There are tons of great ideas and tips on this website, I recommend you book mark it, or visit my Resources Page

HowTo WriteABookNow for the link at any time!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: 20 Writing Tools

Hi Everyone!

I was perusing the ‘net for writing tools and found a really interesting piece by Alison Nastasi that lists ’20 Writing Tools of Famous Authors’.  You can find the full article on FlavorWire.com, but I’ve summarized it here for you!

 

20 Writing Tools of Famous Authors

 

Many of our favorite writers have a special tool or method they use when writing their incredible works. From typewriters and notebooks to fountain pens and regular pencils, they use them all. Several authors, including Stephen King, use fountain pens because it causes them to write slower and think more when writing out longhand. Another tip about fountain pens is that you are forced to edit more thoroughly when putting your writing into a computer or other word processor.

Mark Twain, one of my personal favorites, designed tabbed notebooks where he would wear off the tabs on pages he had completed so he would know where the next blank page was. I have done a similar technique in compositions books, where I move a slim paper post-it to the next available page so I can turn to it quickly before and idea escapes me! Later in his life, when writing longhand became painful, Mr. Twain dictated his stories.

Jane Austen is one of my all time favorite authors. She used a steno style book and a quill pen with ink that had to stand in the ‘chimney corner fourteen days and be shaken two or three times a day.’ I was delighted by the short article on Jane, you can read the article HERE.

Truman Capote reportedly wrote his first version always in longhand with a pencil. The second version was also in longhand. The third version was typed on special yellow paper. Even in bed, with the typewriter balanced on his knees, he could type 100 words per minute!

Charles Dickens used standard black ink until the 1840s when he switched to blue ink. He often also used blue paper!

J. K. Rowling used loose leaf paper and pen to draft her Harry Potter books. Arthur Conan Doyle used a pen to write his famous Sherlock stories while Agatha Christie used her trusty Remington Home Portable Number 2 typewriter. Young adult author Judy Blume used paper and pencil to write her famous stories. She does use a computer sometimes, but usually likes to print them out and edit with a pencil.

What types of writing tools do you use? I love the feel of writing with a smooth pen on paper. There is something so creative and inspiring about it.

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

WordPress Daily Prompt!

Hello fellow writers and readers!

Some of you may not be aware that WordPress actually posts a daily writing prompt. The prompt is usually about personal writing, as WordPress is first and foremost a personal blogging arena. However, the prompts could be used in many various ways. For example, the prompt from yesterday was:

070313 Prompt
So, while this prompt may be intended to inspire you into writing about your secret love of Glee! or your hidden passion for pineapple shaped plastic canvas tissue box covers, it can also be used as a fiction exercise as part of a story or for character development.

As an example, I have written two short pieces below.

Example # 1: Personal Writing

Some people don’t know that I have a love and fascination of the paranormal. This fascination goes so far as to compel me to want to speak with and interview those who have the ‘gift’ and find out how it works. What do they feel when they are being ‘psychic’? Are they psychic all the time? Can they turn it off? and many more questions. I have actually interviewed several psychics over the phone and plan to meet with them in person to interview them further on the topic, eventually crafting a book out of the interviews on psychic abilities.

Example # 2: Fiction Writing – Part of a Story

“Tell me something that even those closest to you don’t know about, Kyra.”

Kyra looked at her psychiatrist and didn’t say a word. Blinking slowly, she processed the question.

“Kyra?” The woman peered at her over her half-glasses, her milky gray eyes blinking. “Did you hear the question, Kyra?”

Making a decision quickly, Kyra grinned a lop-sided grin.

“Yes, Dr. Martinson, I heard the question.” Commiting to her decision, Kyra leaned back on the white leather sofa and crossed her legs. Joining her hands on her slim knees, she bounced her leg so her anklet jingled gently. “The real question, Doctor, is whether you want the answer or not.”

“Kyra.” Dr. Joy Martinson laid her pad and pen aside and looked her patient in the eyes. “We don’t play games here. You know that. Answer the question please.”

Kyra watched her doctor’s face and smiled, her red lips curving gracefully.

“Alright, Doctor.” Her grin widened and her index finger tapped slowly on her leg. Kyra brushed her straight dark hair from her shoulder. “When I was five, my cat went missing.”

“Yes, you told me. Fluffy, right?”

“Yes. Fluffy was the first.”

“First?”

“Yes, when the fifth cat disappeared, my parents finally suspected where they were really going.”

Silence stretched in the room. Without breaking eye contact, Dr. Martinson picked up her pad and pen from the table and adjusted her glasses.

“What happened to all the cats, Kyra?”

Without skipping a beat, Kyra leaned forward.

“I skinned them, Dr.”

The good doctor blinked. “You skinned them?”

“Yes.” Kyra said calmly. “I skinned them.”

Dr. Martinson had heard this from young people before. Kyra was trying to shock her. The doctor knew how to solve this one.

“Ok, Kyra. Tell me about skinning the cats. What did you use to skin them? Did you kill them first or skin them alive?”

The doctor, satisfied with herself, sat back in her chair and waited for Kyra to back down from her challenge.

Kyra’s smile didn’t even come close to reaching her emerald green eyes. Dr. Martinson felt a chill run down her spine and shivered despite the warmth of the room.

“The first cat was already dead and I filleted it with my Father’s fishing knife. The second cat I smashed over the head with a rock before I skinned it with the same fishing knife. For the third cat, I had purchased my own fillet knife off the internet. I skinned it halfway while it was still alive and then it died. I finished skinning it after it died. The fourth cat, I disemboweled  and gutted while it was still alive but I was disappointed that it died before I got to skin it. I skinned it anyway. By the time I got the fifth cat, I knew what I had to do. I sliced it open slowly, pushing my bare hands inside her belly. I loved the feeling of her warm insides all over my hand. I wiggled my fingers, finding her heart and massaged it to keep her alive. I skinned her slowly, keeping her open so I could massage her heart while I finished skinning her. When I was done, she was fully skinned and her guts were intact, but exposed to the air. It was a success.”

Kyra sat perfectly still, enjoying the terror that slowly filled her doctor’s eyes. She let a few seconds pass before she whispered, “Well, Dr? Am I making it up?”

The session timer chimed and without another word, Kyra took her purse and left the room.

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For your daily dose of inspiration, visit:

The Daily WordPress Prompt Posts

 

I hope you enjoyed my samples! Happy Writing!! 🙂

Writing Resource: Story Starters

Hey everyone!

I have another writing resource I’d like to share. 🙂 Years ago, I used to use a title, subject generator. It was great to get me started on something. I have one of those brains that just jumps to an idea given one word (hence OneWord), picture, etc.

Getting back into writing, I searched for that generator I ad used all those years ago without any luck. But, I did find another one that is helpful as well. Yay! It’s called Story Starters. You can find it HERE. Sometimes the starter is completely unusable, but most of the time the starter is at least thought provoking enough to get your creative juices flowing.

Here’s two examples of starters I generated:

1. The slow zoo keeper boiled a potato in the White House for the Russians.

2. The cool principal produced a movie in the playground to wake up the President.

So, as you can see, the usability of the starter as it is presented may not be the best, but with a generator, you take what you can get. 🙂 And at least it gets your thoughts moving in the right direction.

Thanks to Joel Heffner for getting the generator up and running for us and offering it for FREE! There is also a Story Starter for kids HERE.

Happy Writing! 🙂

 

Story Starter Site Clip

Write or Die

I was perusing the net this morning while eating my cold pizza and Mountain Dew. NOT the breakfast of champions, I know. But it’s what I had in my office. 🙂 I will have an apple and peanut butter later. But, I digress…

I came across an amazing writing tool that I just had to share. It’s called Write or Die. If you haven’t heard of this, you are missing out… Big Time!

Write or Die is a program that assists you with hitting a word count or just writing for a specific amount of time. The web app is free and the timer is set for 15 minutes. You can pause the time only once, so use it sparingly. You start typing, typing anything. If you stop typing, the background of the screen around the writing canvas will turn progressively darker shades of red until it is bright red. If you still are not typing by the time the background is bright red, a very annoying sound blares out at you and does not stop until you start typing again! I’m not going to spoil it by telling you what the sound is.  🙂  I’m evil like that.

Like I said, the web app is free. The desktop app is $10 and works for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The iPad app is also $10 and includes additional features that the desktop version does not have. There are no Android or Google Chrome versions available as of yet, but rest assured I have asked Dr. Wicked (Jeff) if he has those versions in the works yet. I will update you when I hear back.

So, check it out. The app was developed by a guy named Jeff Printy (ironic, I know). And Jeff has some other apps worth checking out as well. Click on the link below to visit the Write or Die Web App.

Write or Die

When I tried the Write or Die Web App this morning for the first time, this is what I wrote:

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Ok, So I’m using this Write or Die thingy for the first time. I wonder what happens if I stop writing. Let’s see . . . stopping now . . .

… OMFG. Ok, Ok. I get the point. LOL.

… So, the screen turns a darker shade of red until finally a loud *NOISE* sounds. The sound continues until you start writing again. Wow. That’s effective. Of course, you could just shut the window down. But then, you would be defeating the whole purpose of forcing yourself to write!

At some point, it comes down to how badly you want to write, what you want to write about, and whether you actually want to make yourself a better writer or you just want someone to do it for you. This app will not do the writing for you, that’s for sure. However, it will encourage you to continue writing.

Some of the best writing I’ve ever read was someone’s rough draft that they spewed onto the screen or page without pause to think about whether their word choice was correct or not. Stopping the creative flow while writing down the first ideas that come to your mind is sometimes worse than not editing your work at all. Over thinking and constantly doubting what you’ve written or what you’re thinking is worse than not writing the piece at all.

You have to trust your instincts. You’re a writer for a reason. Because you’re good at it or you have to do an assignment. Whatever the reason, you either want to do your best or get it over with. Write or Die will certainly assist you in that process! If you’re working on an assignment that you just want to finish and be done with, this will encourage you to keep writing until it’s over, until it’s done. If you want to do your best, this program will do that too. By helping you to get as much down on paper, or on the screen as the case may be, without pausing to second guess yourself.

Happy Writing!

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So, hop on over to WriteOrDie.com and have yourself a writing good time. Buy the app. It’s worth the $10. Awesome writing tool. Thanks Dr. Wicked!

oneword.com

oneword.com.

This website is pretty cool.  They give you one word per day and you have 60 seconds to write whatever comes to your mind using the word or inspired by the word or whatever you want.

I find it to be inspiring sometimes.  I write so much that is not fiction, not really very creative.  It’s non-fiction, essay type topics.  I love to write anything, but sometimes I just need a creative burst.  So, in those instances, I pop over to my OneWord account and satisfy my creative craving with a 60 second creative writing session.  🙂

You can view my postings here, I think:

http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/activity

You can sign up for a OneWord account here:

http://oneword.com/register

Happy Writing!  🙂