Tag Archives: writing fiction

Poetry line generator

Poets Online: Line Generator Tools

If you’re a poet, or even if you’re not, the Muse can elude even the best of us at times. If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know I’m fond of all kinds of generators for inspiration. Although most of my current writing is fiction, my first love was Poetry and I still write poetry from time to time. Today, I felt like putting my poet’s hat on, the one with the jaunty feather, and sharing a cool line generator I found.

Clicking this link, Poets Online, will take you to the Poets Online website and specifically to the First Line Generator. There is a version two of the generator as well, if you’re interested in that. However, clicking the button that says ‘Click here to generate a line’  will result in a line of text being displayed in the box. The line of text is intended to be used as the first line of your poem or as inspiration for your poem.

Here’s the line I got the first time I clicked the button:

Poets Online 1

 

 

For some reason, I imagined astronauts in the 1960s going on their mission to the moon. I”m not sure where that came from, but here’s what I wrote:

 

Beyond

Before the moment of our imagination

the men journey,

Their feet echoing hollowly

and leaving no mark on

sterile floors

The journey, the mission

one to share and not own

Amid inky night and

burning flames

One step for man

watched by all

dreamed by all.

Returning, a fallen angel

a return to grace

Under a cloudless sky

 

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Using Cards to Outline Your Story

Story Cards

YouTube Video

When I am writing something, whether it is a novel, a series of novels, or a short story, I like to outline things first. Outlining is a way to organize your thoughts and theories and keep yourself motivated throughout the story. Outlining also helps you keep on topic and not go off on a tangent that does not contribute to the story as a whole. Sub-plots are ok, but can be cumbersome if they get away from you.

There are many ways to outline your story. Some people prefer the traditional method of roman numerals and indented numbers on a piece of paper. That works and is totally fine. I don’t use that method, myself, because if I want to move something around in my outline, it is difficult to do so with an outline written on paper. Another way to do your outlining is with cards. These can be index cards, cardstock you cut into pieces, or any other method you like. The idea is to write one idea on the card, just like you would for one line item in a paper outline. Once you have some ideas written down, put the cards in the order they would appear in the story.

For example, a very simple story outline in the traditional method might look like this:

TOMMY GOES TO THE STORE

I. Tommy decides to go to the store
A. Tommy gets his shoes on
1. Tommy can’t find his wallet
B. Tommy searches house for wallet
2. He finds a gun under his brother’s bed

And the outline could go on and on. But for demonstration purposes, I’ll stop there. As you can see, one major story idea is on each line. Now, with story cards, each of the lines above (except for the title, really) would go on its own card. Then I would arrange them in the order I want them to appear in the story, just like the order shown above with the traditional method.

Now let’s say as I work with the story, I decide that Tommy needs a reason to go to the store, so I want to add something to the top of my outline. If I have this all written down on a piece of paper in the traditional method, I now have to rewrite the outline, write my new idea below with arrows pointing to the top of the outline, or do some other awkward things on paper to indicate where I want the new idea to fit into the outline. Using story cards, I can just write the new idea on a card and insert it in the front of the cards where I want the new idea to appear in the story.

There are many outlining tools, books on outlining stories, and other resources available in the world. In fact, if you Google ‘story outlining tools’, you’re likely to find a big list of free resources, articles, and recommendations on the web. There are tons of technology applications created for writers that allow you to use a virtual method for outlining and story carding.

I use two tools that I absolutely love. Now, I’m a geek, so I prefer technological tools. (I do use pen and paper when I’m not around a computer.) I use the writing software Scrivener for most of my writing. Scrivener has a card tool that I love to use when outlining my stories. You can put ideas on cards, view the cork board and drag them around to rearrange things, add or delete information from the cards if you like, color code the cards, and other functions. Here’s what the Scrivener story board might look like if I used it for the example above.

Scrivener Story Cards Demonstration

Scrivener is available for both Windows and Mac users. You can get more information about Scrivener on their website, here: Scrivener Website

The other tool I like to use is on my iPad. While Scrivener is a full-service tool that allows you to outline, write, export, print and organize your writing pieces, this tool is just for story carding or outlining. It’s called simply, Index Card and is available through iTunes. At the time I’m writing this article, the application is $4.99 USD. You can read about the features and purchase the app here: Index Card App

It’s excellent for outlining on the go. If you have Scrivener for the Mac, you can sync your Index Card work with your Scrivener app. You can print an outline from the Index Cards app, create a color coded visual outline document, and other cool features.  Here’s what a sample screen in the Index Card App looks like:

Index Card Sample

 

No matter which method or tool you use, outlining is an excellent way to keep you organized and motivated in your story.

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

I Write Like. . .

I Write Like . . .

Writing is fun. If you don’t think writing is fun, you shouldn’t be doing it. 🙂 This week’s resource is just a fun resource. You can visit the website for I Write Like and paste some text from one of your writing pieces into the box. Then click on Analyze and the tool will analyze your writing and tell you who you write like. I was surprised at the response for me (pictured below)! Here’s the link: I Write Like

I Write Like

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Don Jon Generators

Writing Tool

I’ve been writing some fantasy geared pieces lately and I was at a name block that I could not get over. So, I went to Google, of course and found several tools I found useful. One super cool tool website I found is called Don Jon

While some of the generators and tools here are specifically geared towards science fiction and fantasy, others could be used for regular fiction purposes or general writing prompts.

I always have a hard time thinking up names for characters that are not boring but also not off-the-wall weird and unpronounceable. These name generators give lots of options to choose from and I can find several useful and pleasing names within seconds.

Pop on over by clicking the Don Jon link above or the screenshot below!

donjonwebsite

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

How to Use Story Dice as Writing Prompts

I love finding new writing tools. I found an app on for my iPhone that is story dice. You’ve probably heard of Story Dice. They have pictures on them and you roll the dice and try to use the pictures in your story or other writing piece.  The app I have been using is from Thinkamingo and it cost me $1.99 from the App Store. I like it because I can set the app to roll up to 10 dice if I want to.

Story DiceI love the idea of story dice. You can use one picture in each paragraph, use it to think up a title, characteristics, almost anything. They are very versatile. So this week I rolled 3 dice and got a Tree, a Couple, and an Umbrella.

So here’s what I wrote:

We were married beneath the reaching branches of a majestic oak tree but when you were buried I stood alone beneath an umbrella. I’m ashamed to admit that part of me was glad you were gone. Now I had no one to hold me back from my mission, no one to keep safe and no one to care if I was not.

I had loved in your life like I had loved no other and now in death your memory made me soft and so I cast it aside and said goodbye. I didn’t need you where I was going and I certainly didn’t want you there. I closed my umbrella and left it with you.

Walking to the waiting car the rain poured all around me, dropping to the already wet ground. My feet sloshed through the soggy grass, mud coming up and over the side of my loafers. Instead of overflowing, I took it in.

The car door opened as I approached and I bent to get in. In the dry interior I felt like a fish out of water. A handkerchief was handed to me and I took it in silence. I held it feeling the smooth material between my fingers.

 

Happy Reading!

~ Eileen 🙂