Category Archives: Productivity

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writing productivity hack deadline

Using These Every Week Can Increase Your Writing Productivity

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Is your writing productivity the pits? Are you working on a writing project you feel is never going to get finished? If it’s possible to rule a situation like this, then call me Queenie. I have a fantasy novel that I’ve been working on for, let’s see. . . over twenty five years.

That’s not a typo. I’ve hauled this half-completed manuscript through four states, nine houses, and raised three kids to adulthood — all without finishing. It’s a feat not everyone can accomplish, yet sadly, many of us do.

While you may not have experienced quite the same amount of,er, lag time, with your writing productivity as I have with my novel, you probably have a story, novella, novel, article, or collection that’s been in production for more than it’s share of time.

Recently, I got some great advice from a book on time management called The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. In it, Mel takes notice of the interesting phenomenon I’ll call work inflation. That is, work expands (or contracts) to fit the amount of time you give it.

For example, if someone says, “Hey, can you write an article about industrial laser diodes for DiodeWorld magazine?” you may put it on your list and “get to it when you get to it.”  You might take two weeks to write it, or two months, depending upon how fired up you are about writing about industrial laser diodes. But if the editor says on Monday, “Hey, can you write an article about industrial laser diodes by Thursday?” Wham! You write your article in three days. Amazing.

I should have figured this out for myself. After all, when I pitch stories, most editors ask me when I can deliver the final product. I set a deadline and do the work with ease.

The Simple Truth About Writing Productivity

When you don’t have an editor, magazine, publisher, or agent to set your deadlines, you must set them yourself. Otherwise, as with me and my fantasy novel, you may spend years spinning your creative wheels.

Who needs spinning wheels? Not me. I dusted off the old manuscript (and it’s so old that I have a hard copy and a copy on a floppy drive that is unusable) to finish up this project once and for all. I’ve got about 80k words written, but this all needs to be retyped into my current software before I can revise and finish the second half. I’ve tried this before: I’ve started retyping it several times, only to get distracted or bored before making much headway.

This time determined to succeed, I followed Mel’s advice and gave myself a deadline. I decided that it should take me no longer than three weeks to finish the typing portion. I faithfully log the number of pages typed each day so I can have a visual reminder of where I am in the process.

This time, I’ve made honest-to-goodness progress; I’ve typed more than half of the manuscript with a week and a half left, so I’m ahead of schedule. Having this deadline has given me a clear goal and seen me get further in a week and a  half than I have in over twenty years — hooray!

If you’re a writer who works from home, setting deadlines is a great way to keep yourself on track for specific projects and increase your writing productivity overall. And let’s face it, the more you write, the more writing you have to sell. The more you sell, the more well-known you become and this can only do good things for your career.

As I’ve played with this technique, I realize setting shorter deadlines is the way to go. If I had it to do again, I’d break my manuscript into thirds, with each one being “due” within a week. That way, it seems more manageable, less stressful, and each completed goal will give me a burst of accomplishment that can speed me on the way to the next milepost.

However you decide to use them, deadlines are a must-have tool for the prolific writer’s arsenal. What’s your next project deadline?

See you on the next page!


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your writing career struggle

Nix This Word and Watch Your Writing Career Skyrocket!

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Did you know you can change the course of your writing career by removing one word from your vocabulary? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s pinch-me-and-I’ll-feel-it real. And I promise if you’re willing to pay attention and eradicate this pesky career-stopper, then you’ll undoubtedly see progress toward reaching your writing goals.

What’s the magic word? Struggle.

If you’re located on planet Earth, you’ve heard it plenty. A common theme running through current books, memes, and talk shows is, ‘The Struggle is Real.’ The term can refer to weight loss, mental illness, menopause, unemployment, job changes, parenting and more–just about any topic under the sun. And there’s plenty of this struggle business directed with laser focus at writers. It’s on Buzzfeed, in writing blogs (this one is particularly rife with struggle, having posted an article detailing 11 Struggles of Being a Writer just two months after posting 10 Struggles of Being a Writer). This online magazine has an article about struggles only unpublished fiction writers can understand, while information marketer Jeff Goins chimes in with the 3 Struggles of Creative People.

What’s with all the struggling in your writing career?

Is this the perception you want to give, that you’re a struggling writer? If not, stop calling yourself one. Stop talking about what a struggle it is to get an idea, submit a query, get noticed, or get paid for your work. Quit the existential whining, pull up your big girl (or big boy) panties, and get to work. That’s all there is to it. Importantly, stopping the talk about ‘the struggle’ will stop any struggling going on in your writing life. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but the longer you go without negative talk about your writing career, the more productive, profitable and gratifying it will be.

It’s magic, yes. But it’s also science, so it’ll work for you even if you don’t believe in rainbow unicorns.

Let me explain. Whatever you focus on becomes primary in your life. You attract the object of your focus and bring more of it into your sphere of consciousness. Think about what happens when you’re jonesing for a particular make of car, say, a BMW, and suddenly you see them all over town. Everyone seems to have one. Rest assured, the entire population hasn’t run out and purchased a Bimmer because they know you want one. What’s happening is that you’re paying attention. You’re now seeing all the BMWs that have always been tooling around your town, but you hadn’t noticed them because you didn’t care to.

Likewise, if you’re always noticing how much you struggle with writing, ipso facto, you’ll have more of it. You’ll start seeing difficulties everywhere, from dealing with writing software to finding time to fit writing into your day. Writing will become more and more of a struggle. Ugh.

This means in order to move your career along, you must stop struggling. Stop talking about struggling to others and to yourself. When someone asks you how the writing business is, tell them it’s fantastic. If they ask you about whether you’re published, tell them you’re in the process. It’s the truth, isn’t it? Even if you’ve received numerous rejections, you’re still moving forward. Hell, people are reading your manuscript or pitch and liking it enough to write back. That’s progress! Start noticing the things going right with your writing practice. Pay attention and before long there will be more and more of those right things populating your universe and your writing career will be on the move.

And here’s the science: this type of attention phenomenon is particularly useful when it’s directed at a specific task, goal, or thing (like that BMW). So, although being optimistic is great, directing your optimism at a very specific area of your life (like your writing practice) can work wonders. A study conducted over two years with input from more than 123 employers and published in the Journal of Positive Psychology underscores this paradox, showing that work-directed optimism impacted work engagement and career far more than simple positive thinking.

Remember, the struggle is real, but only if you make it so. And the choice is yours!

See you on the next page!

 

 


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trying to get published

How Trying to Get Published is Keeping You From Writing Success

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Besides being cute and cuddly in an uncoventional way, Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, has words of wisdom for everyone, even us writers. Famously, he told a struggling Luke Skywalker:

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Writers trying to get published should heed these words. Print them out, write them in your bullet journal, slap them on the edge of your computer screen on a sticky note. If you can see the wisdom behind the obvious in Yoda’s short admonition, you’ll be so much closer to writing success.

Why?

Because “trying” is a nebulous non-action that exists somewhere between doing and not doing, just like Yoda said. A post by Michael Hyatt referenced famous inspirational coach Tony Robbins asking a woman to “try and pick up a chair.” Every time she picked up the chair, he told her she was wrong; she was picking up the chair, not trying to pick up the chair. In a rebuttal to Hyatt, author Marcy Kennedy says that’s all wrong: sometimes all you can do is try. Her reasoning is that some things are beyond your capabilities. One of the examples she uses is this:

I’m 5-foot-2, and I’m strong for my size. But if you placed a 1,000-pound chair in front of me and told me to lift it, I couldn’t do it. I am physically incapable of lifting something that size alone.

This is true. I couldn’t lift a 1,000 pound chair, either. But knowing this, I wouldn’t bother trying. Yoda’s point is that you’re either all in or you’re wasting your time. He’s telling you to be bold, be clear, and be confident. Don’t hide behind the smarmy comforts of “try” because it will get you nowhere, just like Marcy if she tries to pick up the 1,000 pound chair.

Are you trying to get published or are you getting published? Trying to write or writing? It doesn’t matter if you haven’t reached your goal yet, you’re in the process of getting there. Every page of your manuscript takes you one step closer. Every submission to a publishing house, agent, or writing contest is taking you nearer to that goal. You’re not trying, you’re doing.

Why Trying to Get Published Doesn’t Work

Trying is a word that promotes weakness.

Anyone who’s ever made a request of a friend or coworker and gotten the answer, “I’ll try,” knows what I’m talking about. More often than not, those two words are a polite way of saying, “No.” Don’t say ‘no’ to your writing career! Say ‘yes’ with actions that take you closer to the prize. Don’t worry about magnitude: You’re getting there if you’re taking any steps in the right direction. Even rejections are moving you closer to your goal.

Remove the word ‘try’ from your vocabulary and see what happens. Chances are, you say it a lot more than you think you do. When you use it, that word is sending a message to your subconscious that you’re not succeeding. After all, you’re ‘trying.’  It’s like driving in down the middle line of a two-lane road. If you move to the right, you’re okay. Move to the left; still okay. Drive in the middle? The next vehicle will mow you down. And that ultimately means you’re going nowhere fast.

Every writer knows the power of language. Use the language that will move you, not keep you in limbo. Don’t derail your writing career before it’s begun. Write. Get published. Start now.

 


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bad review

What to Do With A Bad Review?

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Bad reviews — every author gets one eventually. I didn’t expect to get one so soon, and so, well…bad. I have just published my first fiction book, a supernatural suspense novella titled Salt in the Blood. It got glowing reviews from advanced copy readers and the hard launch went very well, with a pretty decent level of sales. Like any author excited to see people reading and enjoying their work, I checked Amazon daily to see if anyone had left me another review.

And there it was. My first bad review. I am instantly gutted. It wasn’t just a four- or three-star review either. It was a two. A TWO, people. That’s a D in the grade book. Could I really be a D-list writer? I needed to dissect that bad review to find the answer.

Here’s what the reviewer says:

bad review

Analyzing the Bad Review

Oh my. Well, I DO mention that the book is a fast-paced novella in the first sentence of Amazon’s description section. I’m thinking perhaps she skimmed over or didn’t read that part when she made her purchase. If she did, it might explain her dissatisfaction with the book’s length and perhaps it’s “rushed” feeling. Next, any romance in the book is incidental to the plot, not a feature of the story, so I’m going to chalk that up to “you can’t please everyone.” But she did say the characters were flat and she didn’t connect with them. While lack of connection may be specific to this reviewer, I need to look closely at my character development in case there’s a lesson to be learned. As a writer, you should pay close attention to any criticism and use it to improve your writing. While you’ll never please everyone, you may come closer by evaluating your writing through the eyes of others — something crap reviews help you do.

I’m grateful for the glowing analysis of my scene writing skills at the end of her review. It’s quite a nice compliment and doesn’t seem to fit with the 2 stars she gave the book, something others that read this review may notice and consider.

Next Steps

After analysis, action plan. First, I checked her other reviews. She’s mostly a harsh reviewer. In fact, she gave a bag of charcoal two stars. I’m not sure how a bag of charcoal gets two stars, other than to not be charcoal, but there it is. This helps me to understand her view on things in general. I’d feel a lot worse if she was generous with her reviews of other products.

Next, I made a mental note to pay specific attention to character development in future stories. Even if this is just her opinion, paying more attention to this critical skill can only help me.

Finally, I’ll relax and enjoy the compliment she gave me. Perhaps, I’ll reply to her when the next book, Blood in the Flame, is ready for advance readers and give her a copy in return for a critique. After all, we need criticism. It helps us grow. It helps us perfect our craft. And sometimes, it nails our feet firmly to the ground when we’re in need of perspective. However, don’t let a bad review break your stride or crush your enthusiasm for writing. Use it the way it’s meant to be used — as fuel for your creative fire.

See you on the next page!

P.S. Salt in the Blood is only 99 cents at Amazon. I’d love it if you’d read and review for me!

 

 


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first launch salt in the blood

My First Launch: By The Numbers

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In this post series, I’m giving you a brief look into my first launch as an indie writer. As you can imagine, it required more hands-on work than traditional publishing (although I hear traditional publishers require writers to do much of their own marketing — mine didn’t). I’m counting the launch successful, even though my numbers are small.

I want to share all the details with you. All of them. Even the ugly ones, so you won’t feel alone when your first launch happens. Many writers are hush-hush about numbers. Some of my closer friends will share their sales figures with me, but most will not. I’m not sure why. There’s plenty of readers out there for us all, and writing and publishing your own work is notoriously difficult. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, especially when you’re starting out.

Before we take a look at my results, you should know that I’m only moderately active on social media. I make an occasional Facebook post (I don’t really like FB, to be honest) and I tweet a few times per week. Of course, I also post here and publish some of the posts on Medium and LinkedIn. I get on Goodreads when I can, which is not often. So, I’m definitely minimally marketed.

First Launch Results

  1. Salt in the Blood was #2 in its category on the first day of hard launch. As of this writing, it’s at #408.
  2. A total of 1131 copies were downloaded during the two free days of promotion, which I think is a spectacular result.
  3. Another 28 copies were downloaded on the non-free days.
  4. I had to sign up for the 35% royalty plan in order to set my price between .99 and 2.99 (important, since this is a novella-length story).

Takeaways

While I’m not going to get rich with these numbers, I do have a plan in place. This book is the first of a trilogy and it will become permafree as a teaser for the other two books. Also, I will bundle the three and market them together at a future date.

In the meantime, I’m working on a selection of rather twisted short stories and will be releasing them in June. My hope is that the more work I have out there, the better my numbers will get. And I promise to keep everyone posted on the results. By sharing, we can all be successful!


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horror fiction book launch salt in the blood

Inside My Indie Book Launch: Part Two

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For those of you who haven’t experienced an indie book launch, yet, here’s a more in-depth peek into mine. When you’re ready to launch your book, take a page from my experience to keep your head above water better than I did!

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears saying again: I’m a pantser. I write stories with no earthly idea of how they’re going to end until I come barreling, full-stop, into that final paragraph. While “pantser” playfully describes a writer who writes the way I do, it has an expanded definition. I’m obviously a pantser when it comes to publishing, as well, and I’ll bet there are more of you out there!

Planning the Book Launch

Planning? If you call doing a few casual Google searches for “book launch” and seeing what surfaces, then I definitely did it. Afterward, I proceeded to ignore all the advice out there. My beta readers doubled as reviewers, too. I  distributed ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) too close to the launch date, about 3 weeks in advance, which meant some folks didn’t have time to read it and review for soft launch. I did pin a Tweet on my Twitter profile a few weeks out and changed it slightly as launch date neared, but other than that, I didn’t really “get out there”.

Crazy, right? In my “other life”, I once planned vast marketing campaigns in corporate America. Yet I take a minimalistic approach to my own marketing. What gives?

Fear of Launching

Your first book launch can be daunting. I mean truly scary. There’s so much information out there to sift through, and so many people trying to get you to buy something. This muddies the water considerably when you’re determining what items  to focus on for success. Everyone wants to sell your their promotion service. Twitter, Facebook, book promotion companies, makers of book trailers, book graphics, advertising companies and others clamor for your hard-earned dollars. Wait! You haven’t even earned your first book dollar yet. Companies want you to give up money that you don’t even have for a wish and a prayer. You have to hope you’ll recoup it once you release your book into the wild.

This pressure to spend is the real reason I conducted such a pared-down launch. It’s my first fiction book launch. I’ll have more. Being minimal as possible when spending money means when I add something to my next launch, I’ll have a good comparison. There was a lot of do-it-yourself magic in the way I approached this first try. I made my own graphic ads on Canva. I signed up for Freebooksy, a service that will shout your book out for free. At one a.m. on the day of my hard launch, I got up and sat, bleary-eyed, at the computer to announce my book on the Kindle Boards. Let’s not forget sending a mass email to anyone who ever ended up on my contacts list for any reason, whatsoever.

Just Do It.

I know that I delayed my launch for months out of sheer terror. What if something went wrong? What if I uploaded the wrong file (I thought I did at one point)? KDP said they were running my free book days on February 3rd and 4th, but what if they got the dates wrong? I must have checked those dates in my account a million times. What if a server went down? Nuclear holocaust? My mind came up with any and every disastrous scenario at there. In the end, everything was fine. Successful, even. So don’t let your own fear derail your success. Just press the button, set your prices, do what marketing you decide upon, and relax. Breathe. Nothing will be done that can’t be undone. Did you know you can re-launch your book? If the first launch has glitches, just do it again. Don’t let the enormity of what you’re doing — publishing your first book — keep you from actually doing it!

Next week, I’ll share my exact timeline and marketing tools and give you the actual numbers from my launch.  So stay tuned! And if you need something to read while you’re waiting, Salt in the Blood is only .99 right now. Get it here!

See  you on the next page!


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getting things done

Getting Things Done: For Writers

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Getting things done is a critical element to your success as a writer. The better you are at conation (a fancy word for the art of doing things), the more likely you are to achieve your writing goals. The first step in getting more done well is to understand your style of conation.

Human instinct researcher Kathy Kolbe developed conative theory in the 1990s. Through rigorous testing, she proved the efficacy of the theory in the fields of education, government, and business. Afterward, Kolbe’s book, Conative Connection, an acclaimed bestseller, helped laypeople increase productivity by uncovering their innate “doing” styles. There are four distinct styles; each of us has an instinctive preference for one of them. She offers a test on her website for $49.95, but you might find your style by reading through the following descriptions.

The Four Styles of Getting Things Done

The Quick Start:

If you’re a quick start writer, you’ll just jump into a new project with little or no research or guidance. You’ll create your story through trial and error, writing on-the-fly and by the seat of your pants. You love spontaneity, and you’re flexible and full of ideas.

The Fact Finder:

This type of writer will carefully research each element that goes into the creation of a story. First of all, you’ll know the ins-and-outs of grammar, diction, flow, plot line, storyline and more before ever putting pen to paper. You plan beyond your story’s completion by researching how to publish a novel. You’re precise, thorough, and love detail.

The Implementor: 

The world of concrete objects fascinates this type of writer. As an implementor, your interests include the equipment used to craft your story: books, pens, pencils, paper, computers or software. You might set up an author website in advance of writing your first book. You take a very hands-on approach to writing and you are serious about craftsmanship.

The Follow-Thru:

Follow-thru writers seek advice from published professionals and buy materials and programs that can help them reach their goal of publication. Ultimately, you’ll proceed in a very logical way, completing and mastering each step before moving on to the next. You are happiest when methodical, focused, and structured.

Getting Things Done the Write Way

No matter which of these categories describes you, all can lead to success as long as you choose wisely. Writers that ignore their innate style of getting things done often struggle to follow the programs or methods of others.

Embrace your style of “doingness”. If you must have a mentor, find one whose conative style matches yours. For example, I’m what is good-naturedly known as a “pantser” in the writing community, because I write by the seat of my pants. My style of conation most closely matches the “quick start” example–I often begin a story with no earthly idea of how it’s going to end. A person of my nature is doomed following a writing method that requires tedious outlines. I’d never get anything written and I’d end up frustrated and discouraged.

On the other hand, even seat-of-the-pants writers have method to their madness. If I choose a fellow quick-start writer as my guide, I’ll find it easier and more enjoyable to make progress.

Ultimately, you have the power to choose your own writing destiny. Don’t fight your natural style of working: work with it. Instead, learn its pros and cons. Then, focus on the benefits of your style — play them up! Finally, don’t let someone convince you their style of getting things done is the right way. Do it your way and you’ll be headed for success.

 


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what to write

What to Write in 2017

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New Year’s resolutions: Most are compounded in a surfeit of sparkly-eyed impulsiveness brought on by a combination of alcohol and hubris. What results from unattainable goal-setting is soul-sucking emptiness accompanied by a “why bother?” attitude. And, if you’re a writer, a few ill-chosen goals can completely derail you–heart, soul, and ambition. None of us wants to chase words around the page to end up with an unsellable article or unworkable storyline.

So forget resolutions for 2017. Instead, determine what to write. It’s not even a goal, really. It’s more of a quest–a bit of inner research to help organize the numinous threads of creative genius lurking beneath your surface.

Because it’s there, I promise. If you’ve got a passion for writing, that creative vortex is in there, churning with ideas for stories the rest of us can’t even begin to imagine. You only need to coax it out.

What to Write, Really

So let 2017 be the year you decide what to write. Do you have the makings of a non-fiction writer? Then choose your niche. Will you write about travel, finance, hearing loss, Komodo dragons, or how to get an automobile loan? What topics fire your passions? What subjects make you want to Google search until your fingertips bleed?

Feeling fictional? What’s your genre? Are you ready for romance or do you fancy a bit of post-apocalyptic drama? Some of you lean toward the cerebral buzz of a technological thriller while others feel more at home in worlds of swords and sorcery. Which are you?

Discovering what to write is as easy as getting a cup of coffee or tea (tot of whiskey optional) or other beverage of choice and spending a nice afternoon with your feet up thinking about it. Don’t stress. Don’t force it. Just daydream and write down the thoughts that float into the periphery of your mind.

You’re not searching for a specific idea, although one may come to you. Instead, you’re searching for the word to place on the blank line:              I write ________________.

Books for children under 8?

How-to articles on woodworking?

Historical romances?

The crucial part of the formula is to be true to yourself. Don’t force yourself to write a certain type of article or story because you think it makes money. Good writing can make money. Stilted writing, even in a “money-making” genre or topic, makes none. So, if erotica is not your thing, do us all a favor and stick to a subject that is, even if it happens to be “steampunk vampire medical romances.” You’ll find your tribe, your niche, your avid readers, no matter how broad or narrow your genre. Same thing goes for you non-fiction writers. If writing about industrial laser diodes makes you want to poke yourself in the eye with a fork, then leave off and find something that will stimulate you to excel at your craft.

So, what kind of writer will you be in 2017? I can’t wait to find out!

 


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what if

What If? A Writing Exercise to Generate New Ideas

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What if you had a foolproof way of finding new and exciting ideas for stories? If you’re like me, sometimes ideas flow like water over the falls, tumbles and tangles of the beginnings, middles, or ends of workable storylines. Other times, though, not so much. When that mighty river trickles to a stop and I despair of ever having the makings of a good story again, there’s one writing exercise I return to consistently: The What If.

This exercise isn’t magic, but it can seem like it, particularly when you’re stumped for ideas.   While you can look online for writing prompts, finding one you like in your genre can be difficult. Because this exercise lends itself to any genre or story length, it’s perfect for any writer.

The “What If” in a Nutshell

This is so simple it’s gonna make you mad you didn’t think of it earlier. Let me walk you through it:

  • First of all, you’re at a loss for a story idea.  Zero. Zip. Nada.
  • You have a favorite genre. This isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. For the purposes of this example, I’ll choose horror.
  • Finally, start with a simple, everyday scenario — like this:

A girl is walking down the street.

Now add your “what if” magic (insert magic wand sound effect here).

  • What if the street is in a bad neighborhood?
  • What if the street is the mirror image of a street in the underworld that runs just beneath it?
  • What if the girl is a shapeshifter?
  • What if she spontaneously shifts shape when a cloud passes over the sun?

You get the idea (pun intended). You can add any “what if” element to your scenario, and I encourage you to do so. Add things even if they seem ridiculous. Since you never know how something, or combination of things, is going to trigger a phenomenal idea for a kick ass story, make sure you write each one down.

Let’s try another one, just for fun. Here’s your scenario:

An old man is drinking coffee at the kitchen table. The sun is shining through the curtains.

  • What if the old man is an alien?
  • What if nanobots have infected his coffee?
  • What if the sun is artificial and the man doesn’t realize he’s living in a simulation?
  • What if the coffee was grown by an enslaved population on the planet Valdez where 12 million die every week to harvest it?
  • What if the coffee is addictive and it’s made from the stomach acid of the deadly Vorblesnox ?
  • Finally, what if there’s only one Vorblesnox left in the world and the old man has it chained in his basement.

Now You Try!

Make your own magic. Get scenarios from real life, grab them off a television show, or enlist a friend to shoot you a sentence or two. Then, unleash the brainstorm that’s brewing just beneath your surface. Just utter those two simple words and turn the most innocuous of scenarios into the sweetest story concept yet.

Go on, I dare you!

See you on the next page!


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name generator

The Name Game: Great Name Generators for Your Next Novel

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A good name generator, if you can find one, is a fiction writer’s dream. After writing tons of stories, sometimes you just get all “named out.” Problem is, it’s hard to find quality generators.

That’s why I’ve compiled the following list for you, with a bit of description so you know why they’re so dang awesome. Whether you need to title a disease, a character, an evil creature or the village square, you’ll find a great source, below.

My Favorite Name Generators

  1. Behind the Name. This one lets you choose male, female  or ambiguous epithets with as many as three middle names, a first name and a last name. The bonus: You can choose to generate your names from some of the sixty languages available, plus ancient languages, and some fictional ones, too. I chose Armenian – Berjouhi Hourik.  Brilliant!
  2. The Seventh Sanctum — Seventh Sanctum is a series of generators to name anything from cat beings to extreme fantasy characters to realms of wonder. You can find evil names, names for settings, names for technology and more. I used the magical phenomena generator and produced a fluctuating power disjunction. Awesome!
  3. Rum and Monkey — This just speaks to my ego. There are a series of generators (ex: viking, vampire, anime, wolf, dragon, superhero, mad scientist — you get the idea) and you decide whether you want a male or female name, then input your own name (or the name of your husband, dog, or best friend as suits your mood) and press click. My dragon name is Omnirok, Bringer of Fire.
  4. Mithril and Mages – Not only does this name generator give you fantasy, western, modern and more, but it can also design a city block, give you a dungeons and dragons scenario, determine your criminal history or come up with name of your next restaurant. I generated a natural terrain feature — Lower Letherby Falls.
  5. Name Generator – Yes, it’s generic, but very useful. This site gives you the usual name generation capabilities plus allows you to generate words as well! That’s where I learned about norrisology and the infamous slabdrill.
  6. Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator. Because — BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! I got Blasphemy Curdledmilk, followed by Broccoli Cockletit. You just gotta love it. Gotta.
  7. Oobleck — This site focuses on Victorian or steampunk names. You can choose male or female and from which walk of life you’d like: military, aristocrat, commoner, clergy, and more. I was Inspector Lilly F. Phipps.
  8. Squid — You can find a customized dragon here, or Tolkien-esque names, or book titles, like Inverfora Nocir’s Lexicon on Alchemy or The Tome of Varghani Architecture, by Damarroth of the Wood.
  9. Band Name Generator — You never know when you’ll need a musical group in your novel. Plus, you might even need one for your own present-day band. I don’t know about you, but I’d surely take time to hear a little Fleece Latitude or Condemned Elegance?
  10. Fantasy Name Generators – Not only will this generate thousands of character names, but also plant descriptions (The Coriandrum Comosum is an extremely common, tiny plant and can be found in most subarctic regions. It blooms in late summer. The wide, toothed leaves are usually bright green and it grows huge flowers, which can be purple, light silver and red. They can be used to help relief pain. But, as a defense mechanism, the Coriandrum Comosum taste extremely sour. They rely on animal pollination to reproduce and to promote pollination, they produce a delicious nectar.)                                                                                                                                                                                                              or potion descriptions                                                                                                                                                                                        (To brew a strength potion, gather the following ingredients and follow the recipe with exact precision or risk an uncertain outcome.
    – 1 teaspoon of Mercy Root
    – 3 heaps of Thorn Licorice
    – 1 heap of Tiger Cumin
    – 3 dashes of Viper Saffron
    – 5 tablespoons of Bruise Angelica
    Mash the Mercy Root with whatever does the job for you and put the result in a cup. Next, add some ice, let it melt to turn it into a lumpy cream, then add the Thorn Licorice all at once. Fill a pan with iced steam, add the mixture and slowly bring it to a simmer. Let it steam for a short while before adding the Tiger Cumin and Viper Saffron, all at once of one, then half at a time of the other. Now, bring everything back to a boil, turn of the heat, mix in the Bruise Angelica and let everything rest for an hour, you could do something else in the meantime, like make a potion. Whisk everything with a knife until you realize you look like a fool. Your potion is ready. Store leftovers in a dark, cold place. Like your heart. 

 

Hopefully, you’ll find what you need from the list above. Heck, you might even find inspiration for your next plot line, a new epic novel, or just a nickname for your dog. Post the most creative or fun name you generate in the comments section, you Bakery Crackerdong, you. (Can’t get enough of that B. Cumberbatch name generator!)

See you on the next page!


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