Tag Archives: Writing Resources

Guided Writing Prompt Exercise: Random Word Generator

For this exercise, you’re going to need something to write on, something to write with, and a timer. If you have a random word generator you’d like to use that’s fine. Otherwise, you can use my random word for your exercise. I’ll discuss the tools you need in detail below.

Random Word Generators

When I am doing a Random word exercise, I usually use just one word. I have several different random word generators I use depending on what I want to do. There is also a list of resources that include some random word generators on the Resources page of ReadingAndWritingTips.com. Also, I will list six random words below. If you have a six sided die, you can roll it to get a random word to use from this list:

1. Helmet
2. Tumor
3. Cone
4. Position
5. Jockey
6. Compromise

Writing Materials

Sometimes I use my iPad to write with, sometimes I use my laptop, and other times I use paper and pen. It just depends what kind of mood I’m in and what I have available when the muse strikes me. Just use whatever is best for you.

Timer

You will need a timer to use for the writing exercise. I use a timer on my phone, but you can use a kitchen timer or any other timer you have. If you don’t have anything to use as a timer, you can do the Guided Writing Prompt Exercise along with me in the YouTube video and I’ll time 2 minutes of writing for you.

Instructions

So, what we’re going to do is select a random word using the list above and a die, a random word generator tool, or you can use the word I am going to use which I will give to you in a moment. You can do the exercise almost any way. What I do, is I try to picture something in relation to the word to begin the story or piece I’m writing. For example, if the word is basket, I could think about someone carrying a basket somewhere, someone making a basket, someone buying a basket, a basket factory, or anything else that the word makes me think of. The word should give you an idea, paint a scene, or maybe introduce a character to you that you can use in your piece.

So, for our exercise, I used a random word generator and got this word:

Clothespin

You can use the same word I’m using, or you can use your own generator to get a word of your own if you like. Now that you have a prompt, set your timer for a period of time you want to write for. I usually do writing exercises for 15 minutes at a time. If you do the Guided Writing Prompt YouTube video, you’ll write for 2 minutes. You can also pause the video and write for as long as you want and then skip to the end of the video. Whatever your choice, set your timer and get ready to write.

(If you have a writing program like Write or Die, you can use the software to write in as well as time yourself.)

I wrote for two minutes filming the accompanying YouTube video and I’ll post my results at the bottom of this post. When your timer goes off, come back here and post your work! If you don’t want the general public to read your piece, email it to me. I’d love to read it! Ready? Go!

Happy Writing!

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Here’s what I wrote from this prompt in 2 minutes:

Molly picked up the last baby shirt and attached it to the line with a wooden clothespin. The sun was at her back and it felt good on her bare shoulders. It had been such a long and cold winter and she was happy to see the sun again. She knew Marvin would not like seeing her in her tank top outside where the neighbors could see her bruises, but he wasn’t there to scold her. She smiled at her guilty secret and sighed as a cool breeze kissed her shoulders. Hearing the loud exhaust of a truck pulling into the driveway, Molly grabbed her laundry basket and ran for the back door. She rushed to grab her sweater [time ended!].

Links:
Random Word Generator
An easy random word generator you can use for free online.

Regular White Dice
Just what the title says. 🙂 For use with the random word lists I will post here when I do random word exercises.

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.

Capture3

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 🙂

OneWord: Timid

Timid
With hope
Stretching forward
Tentatively
Feeling
Reaching
Afraid
Yet daring
To try

 

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To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com

My OneWord profile: http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/

OneWord: Complexity

The complexity of the situation finally struck home. I looked first at Mark and then to Zan. Both pistols were aimed at my chest. I could feel a bead of sweat trickle down my forehead. Frozen where I stood, I started to laugh.

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To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com

My OneWord profile: http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/

OneWord: Footage

I sat in silence as the footage played in front of me. It flickered and danced, as it the film could not believe what it was showing, as I could not believe what I was seeing. Silently, tears streaked my face, trembling as they reached my jaw and then dropping to my shirt unheeded.

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To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com

My OneWord profile: http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/

Resource Saturdays: Haunted Waters Press

 Fiction and Poetry Submission Resource

While perusing the ‘net, I found this awesome Fiction and Poetry Submission Resource.

(I’ve also added a link for this Resource on my Resources page.)

Haunted Waters Press

Haunted Waters Press Submission Resource

 

Haunted Waters Press (HWP) recommends reading one of their issues before submitting your work to see if your piece is a good fit for their publication. If you go HERE, you can Preview the Summer 2013 issue or purchase it in digital or print formats. If you’re going to preview the issue, make sure you click on the Preview link underneath the image of the cover. I clicked on the Sample link and my browser (Chrome) didn’t like it. But the Preview option worked perfectly. 🙂

 

From the HWP website:

We seek previously unpublished works unless otherwise stated in the call for submissions. We welcome both the profound and the quirky. We are open to most styles and genres of fiction including speculative, dark, experimental, and literary. We love flash fiction of any word count as long as it tells a complete story. We enjoy all forms of poetry including experimental, rhyming, free verse, and invented form. While we welcome deep, meaningful poetry, we also enjoy works that are witty, peculiar, or offbeat. Works of creative nonfiction should be real stories about real people, events, and ideas and should be eloquently written, thoughtful and compelling. As a general rule, we do not accept erotica. Profanity and violence, if used, must be integral to the story. We do not accept simultaneous submissions.

 

As noted above, HWP accepts Fiction and Poetry. Make sure you read the Submission Guidelines before submitting anything so you can be sure to follow their requirements.

 

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂