Browsing Tag

writing tools

Okay, I lied! One quick post…

Writing

I know I said I wasn’t going to post til next week, but I just wanted to take a second to mention NaNoWriMo prep! If you’re going to be participating in National Novel Writing Month this year, come join us at The Writing Tribe for NaNo prep!

We just got started today. We’re talking about figuring out what we’re going to be writing and there will be a bunch of prep exercises in the coming weeks to get us poised to win NaNo in November.

So come join your tribe! 🙂

Tool Time Tuesday: Merriam Webster

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: Merriam Webster

Platform: browser, Android, iOS

Cost: FREE

What it does:

You likely know Merriam Webster as a dictionary. As a writer, you should know Merriam Webster as a dictionary!

Words have meanings and MW can give you those meanings. It’s important for writers of all kinds to have a good working vocabulary and an extended writing vocabulary. Now, this doesn’t mean you should use a $50 word every time you could use a ten cent word. But we, as writers, should use the most correct word that will be understood in order to convey the idea we want the reader to have.

So having access to a dictionary is a no-brainer. And Merriam Webster is one of the longest-lived dictionaries in the US, having been around for almost 200 years.

Now, if you haven’t been to Merriam Webster’s website yet, you might be surprised. It’s for more than just looking up words!

You can see trending words that are being looked up, as well as the Word of the Day (as I write this, it’s “hebetude;” if you want to know what that means, I encourage you to look it up 😉 ). You can watch videos about different word-related topics. These are short, interesting little snippets of knowledge about English as a language, as well as grammar and correct word usage. Again, as I write this, the video for today is Words of the Year: 1066, which I also encourage you to watch!

Not only does MW offer lots of knowledge and word education, but there are word games available, such as the Time Traveler Quiz: Which Came First? and Typeshift, a mashup of anagrams and word searches. These and other games can help you burn a couple minutes of your day when you need a break and have the added benefit of making you smarter 🙂

As a writer, all of these tools can be beneficial to me. It’s not just about looking things up!

Where to get it: You can go to their website, or go to your mobile store and download the Android app or the iPhone app!

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Keep writing!

 

 

 

Unless attributed otherwise, all images are CC0 licensed.

My Top 5 Most Useful Books About Fiction Writing

Craft of Writing, Writing

Let’s face it, writing a good story is hard. It’s entirely different from telling your best friend the story about what happened Friday night. Face to face stories are easier, because you have tone of voice and inflections, as well as body language, to help convey your meaning. With a novel or short story, you only have the words.

I am an addict. I admit it. I have more books on the craft of writing than my local library does, I’d bet. I use these books for my writing, of course, but also for when I’m editing or teaching other writers. I learn a lot from reading the stories of authors, but there’s also a place for an educational slant — for having an explanation of why something works.

To that end, I’m listing my Top 5 craft of fiction writing books. These books sit on the shelf right beside my desk. They’re always right there.

Now, these are the top 5, but they’re not in any specific order. You can’t really say that a book about creating character is better (or worse) than a book about writing a synopsis. They’re about different things. So while this is a Top 5 post, it’s not a ranked top 5.

Also, a while back, I wrote a post about my two favorite books on revision. Since I’ve already mentioned those, I’m not going to include them here.

And with all that said, here we go!

Writing the Breakout Novel

by Donald Maass

I got this book relatively early on in my fiction writing journey and it really opened my eyes to the idea that a book can be planned. Not in an outlining sort of way (which it can, of course, and which I was highly resistant to doing at the time), but in a larger-scale sort of way. From a 30,000 foot view, so to speak.

The purpose of the book is to write a novel that pushes past the mid-list and becomes a breakout seller. Think Harry Potter, The Martian, 50 Shades of Grey. A book that captures the minds of millions of people, rather than thousands or hundreds.

Donald Maass, who is a very successful agent who owns his own agency, identifies the things that he observes as pillars of a breakout novel. With section headings like Premise, Stakes, Time and Place, Characters, etc, this is a high-level view of story creation that every author can benefit from.

Beginnings, Middles & Ends

by Nancy Kress

What author hasn’t struggling with slogging through the middle of their novel? We’ve lost the bright, shiny feeling of the beginning and we’re not yet at the exciting, climactic end. There’s a reason many novels are abandoned in the middle. Fiction writing isn’t always easy.

Nancy Kress addresses all these things — the bright, shiny, the exciting, climactic, and the slogging — in her book. She gives authors tools on how to stay on track in their fiction writing, especially in the middle, which is arguably the longest part of a novel.

Each chapter ends with exercises designed to give writers practice in implementing the author’s suggestions. Some of the exercises involve reading and identifying things she’s discussed (such as reader expectations after the beginning), some involve writing, both new and assessment of current writing.

If you have trouble finishing your stories, you might find this book especially helpful.

Writing the Fiction Synopsis: A step by step approach

by Pam McCutcheon

If you’ve ever struggled with creating a synopsis, this book will be your savior! There are actually very few books on writing a good synopsis (compared to other writing topics). Mostly, writers are just expected to figure it out, maybe from talking to other writers, maybe by osmosis. In recent years, there have been a few more books (but only a few), yet this one, written almost twenty years ago and for most of that time the only book on synopsis writing, is still the gold standard.

McCutcheon takes you through the steps of writing a synopsis using three relatively well-known movies as her test subjects. She provides a number of worksheets to help you along, but that are also useful in the writing process, as well. She focuses not just on what should be in the synopsis, but also on tone and voice, as well.

This book also has exercises at the end of each chapter, but the result, if you do them all, is that you’ll have a synopsis by the time you’ve finished the book.

Characters & Viewpoint

by Orson Scott Card

This is probably one of my most recommended books. A lot of newer writers don’t understand the difference between omniscient point of view and 3rd person limited point of view, and so I often see a lot of what is called head-hopping: jumping from different points of view within the same scene, paragraph, or even sentence. This book explains those points of view very clearly, using a camera lens as illustration. I’ve seen more than one writer have an “Ah-ha!” moment after reading the section on viewpoint.


The guidance about character creation is also valuable, especially in conjunction with the character creation advice in the other books on this page. Card gives information about where characters come from and what makes for a good fictional characters. And then goes into more in-depth things, such as how the reader should feel about the character, what the stakes are for the character within the story, and transformations.

This is one of those books that I believe should be on every writer’s shelf!

Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

edited by Michael A. Arnzen & Heidi Ruby Miller

I’m a bit biased about this book, I admit, because I have an article in it called, “Demystifying What Editors Want.” However, even if I didn’t have work in it, I would still have this book by my desk.


It’s a collection of over eighty essays about everything about writing popular fiction, from craft topics to life balance topics to promoting and marketing. Contributors include authors from all over the genre spectrum, from smaller published authors to mid-list authors to heavy hitters like David Morrell (First Blood [Rambo] and others), Tom Monteleone (Borderland Books), Nancy Kress (her name should look familiar 😉 ), and Tess Gerritson (Harvest and others). I’ll sometimes pick it up and just choose an essay to read when I’ve got 5 minutes. There’s always something to learn.

I often joke that this is my MFA program in a $30 book (the Kindle version is only $10!). 🙂 This is a really comprehensive collection of experiences and advice from authors and editors working within the commercial fiction publishing industry.

Okay, so those are my Top 5 books for fiction writing. I’ve tried to choose books that run the gamut of information that authors need to know about, from character creation, to doing the writing, to stuff needed to get published.

What fiction writing books do you find indispensable? Drop a line down in the comments!

Keep writing!

Tool Time Tuesday: Writing Inspiration: Old Pics Archive

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ). Today’s a special Writing Inspiration version!

Today’s Tool: Old Pics Archive

Platform: browser

Cost: Free!

What it does: Old Pics Archive is a website with collections of historical photos divided by topic or subject matter. For instance, you can find a gallery of photos from Woodstock, the musical event, or famous people, such as Brigitte Bardot or Sofia Loren. There are photos from everyday life in Nazi Germany, behind the scenes photos from movies, and cool aerial photos of cities and people.

You can also find vintage art and vintage commercial art, as well as photos of life in cities, such as Moscow, London, Damascus, and NYC.

I’ll sometimes go to this site and look through the “life in…” photos and find interesting looking people. Sometimes I’ll think up a story about the people or the situation in the photo. Sometimes I’ll use photos of these people to help in my character creation process. There are all sorts of ways for a writer to get inspiration from this site!

Here’s a freebie: Can you imagine what amazing things might happen in this library?

The Klementinum Library, Prague ~~ Courtesy: Old Pics Archive

Where to get it: The Internet! Just head to their website!

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Unless attributed otherwise, all images are CC0 licensed.

No, Virginia, There’s No Such Thing as Writer’s Block

Craft of Writing, Writing

Ten years ago, I’d have fought you if you’d told me writer’s block didn’t exist. I would have told you that you were crazy, that of course it existed! Because I experienced it and how dare you tell me I’m a literary hypochondriac!

Now, I realize that people who told me that then — and lit fires of guilt in my heart — were right. Writer’s block doesn’t exist. Now, that isn’t to say that a writer won’t have trouble getting words on a page. Of course, some days are worse (sometimes a lot worse) than others. But there is no real block. There’s not some outside force that is taking away our ability to write. It’s not like there is poison on our keyboards that will kill us when we sit down to type.

I’ve found that “block” is generally one of two things: avoidance or apathy. They can show up together, but it’s usually at least one or the other.

Avoidance

I find that this usually happens when I feel pressured or when I feel guilty or sometimes when I’m afraid I’m going to write crap.

Often the pressure and the guilt are tied together and both relate to when I’ve slacked off or dropped the ball on my writing goals. I feel pressure, mostly internally, but sometimes a perceived external pressure too, because I’m “behind.” It’s like I feel that other people are judging me for being a writer who doesn’t write.

And then there’s the overcompensating for the guilt: I didn’t write yesterday, for whatever reason, and now I have to write twice as much today to get “caught up.”

And, of course, then I feel crappy, because obviously I’m failing as a writer, so guilt starts really eating at me.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I handle guilt and procrastination pressure in the most efficient way.

I stop doing everything.

Because I’ve found that helps with “feeling behind.” *nods* Really. It does. *cough*

As I’m sure you know, it doesn’t help at all. But that stopping is the writer’s block. It’s the avoidance of doing what I need to be doing because of emotions — guilt, fear, pressure.

Apathy

Apathy often goes hand-in-hand with avoidance, but rather than being about my emotions, this one is about the work itself.

Apathy happens when I have absolutely no interest in or excitement for what I’m writing. Have you had that happen? You just put off doing your writing because you’re just not that into it. “It’s not you,” I tell the story. “It’s me. I’m just not that into you.”

Apathy can also happen as a result of outside things. Perhaps you got a rejection letter, or someone close to you gave you bad criticism on something you wrote, an idea you had, or even just the thought that you could possibly be a writer (I hate it when writers have people like this in their families 🙁 ).

So it becomes infinitely easier to not write.

How to get out of the “writer’s block” rut

We all hate this answer, but the best way to get out of the rut is to write. Even if you just open a screen and start writing about how you don’t feel like writing or about how you feel you have writer’s block. The act of actually writing will get you going. Eventually, you’ll be able to shift to something you’re supposed to be working on. But even if you don’t shift today, getting into the habit of doing the writing is a good portion of the writer’s block battle in itself.

Here’s the other important bit here: When you’re writing, give yourself permission to suck.

Go into the writing with the idea that whatever comes out at the other end could very well be the most awful, horrendous, gross piece of writing to ever exist in the history of humanity.

And that that’s perfectly okay.

I find that once I’ve given myself permission not to write the Great American Novel in the first draft, my words come much more easily.

When you're #amwriting, give yourself permission to suck. #writetip #writerslife Click To Tweet

Strike apathy out by throwing a curve ball

Basically, be mean to your characters. Here are two questions that are great at getting you out of a boring story:

What is the worst thing that can happen to your character, from their perspective?

And I mean the worst, barring death (unless that’s a thing that characters can come back from in your story 🙂 ). Is it the death of their partner? Is it losing their job? Is it finding that the treasure at the end of their quest is really just a stone?

Whatever it is, from the character’s persepective, that is the worst thing that can happen, make it happen. Then see how exciting the story becomes!

What is something that your character would never do or want to do?

Perhaps betraying their best friend is something they’d never want to do. Maybe stealing or lying is outside their moral code. Maybe it’s something as simple as going on an adventure that’s completely outside of the character’s normal mindset.

Once you’ve got the thing they’d most likely never do, figure out a way to make them have to do it. Put them between a rock and a hard place such that they must choose to do that thing that is abhorrent to them. You’ll be amazed at how more interested in your story you’ll be (and, of course, you’re reader will be once it’s published!).

In the end, I’ve discovered that writer’s block is really the act of avoiding writing. Writing is simply putting words on paper (or a screen). And I don’t need a muse or brilliant words in order to do that. It’s okay if I write utter tripe. So instead of just staring at the screen or, worse, avoiding the screen altogether, I’ll put tripe on the screen.

Remember: You can fix anything you write. But you can’t fix a blank page.

Remember: You can fix anything you write. But you can't fix a blank page. #amwriting Click To Tweet

How do you handle the urge to avoid your screen? Any tips on battling that thing that people call “writer’s block”? Drop them in the comments below!

 

 

 

Unless attributed otherwise, all images are CC0 licensed.

Tool Time Tuesday: Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS)

Platform: browser (and paper!)

Cost: Online: $39/yr ; Book: $60-70

What it does: CMOS is the style bible for fiction (though it’s not all about fiction). Most publishing houses use CMOS rules as part of their house style.

As a writer, knowing the rules and guidelines of writing lets you write stronger prose. It also allows you to decide when it’s appropriate to break those rules and guidelines to their most effective use.

The online version is really simple to use too. It allows you to search within the entire CMOS for whatever it is you’re trying to find. It covers everything from basic grammar and punctuation to citing online sources. In it, you’ll learn that Dumpster should be capitalized, since it’s a trade name (like Kleenex), not a generic name. Didn’t know that, did ya? 😉

But if you’d rather have an in-your-hands version, they also put out a hardcover edition. The 17th edition of CMOS will be published on September 5, 2017, and can currently be pre-ordered either on the publisher’s site or Amazon (links below). If you’re not married to being completely current in your style, you can find the 16th edition for cheaper. The 17th ed comes in at a whopping 1184 pages, so make sure wherever you order it from, you’re getting free shipping!

The online version is currently the 16th and 15th editions (you can choose when you search), but I suspect they’ll update to 17th not long after the hard cover comes out.

Also, here’s something kinda cool. Interested in seeing what the very first edition of CMOS looked like? They’ve got a pdf available for you to check out!

Where to get it: Online Subscription or Paper – 17th edition (Amazon)

Do you use CMOS?

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

Keep writing!

 

 

 

All images courtesy of Chicago Manual of Style.

Tool Time Tuesday: CoSchedule

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: CoSchedule

Platform: web

Cost: variable; for most: $30/month (annual plan), $39/month (month-to-month)

What it does:

Allows you to send and/or schedule social media across multiple platforms easily and helps you with scheduling blog posts on WordPress.

That’s the short description of what it does. I’ve used other social media platforms like TweetDeck and HootSuite; and they’re great, but I like CoSchedule better. There’s no option for bulk upload, meaning that you can’t just dump all your social media posts into a spreadsheet and upload. But the inconvenience of that lack is inconsequential when put up against all the great features, many of which are not available in those other services.

Calendar view — this is one of my favorite aspects. I can see, at a glance, how many social media posts I have scheduled on any given day, what type they are (one-off posts, social media campaigns, pimping out my blog posts), and which platforms each are on. And if I need to change the date? Simple — drag and drop the scheduled post to a different day. That is so much easier than having to go in manually to each post I want to change and revise the date accordingly.

Social media campaigns — Got a new book coming out? You can create an entire campaign, scheduling social media posts exactly when you want them to go out based on your publication date (or any date you decide). And what’s more, even when what you’ve scheduled has run out, you can go back into that social media campaign and simply add more posts. Another fantastic thing about social media campaigns is that if you move the opening post, all the posts after will move relationally. So if you had set a later post to go up 5 days after the initial post and you move the initial post, the later post will still go up 5 days after, not on the original date it was set for. I can’t tell you how much time this has saved!

WordPress integration — When I create and schedule a blog post on my site, CoSchedule automatically picks it up on the next sync. Or I can schedule the post on CoSchedule directly. It will create the WP post and then give me a link to click to take me to WP to write the post. There’s also a WordPress plug-in that will let you create your social media for CoSchedule right in your Edit Post page of WordPress. Or you can come back to CoSchedule and do it there. However you decide to do your workflow, CoSchedule will handle it.

Analytics — The analytics for the basic plan aren’t particularly robust, unfortunately, but one thing that is very handy is that CoSchedule will show you which of your blog posts has gotten the most traffic and it makes an easy task of creating more social media posts for those blogs.

There are a lot of things I really love about CoSchedule that I haven’t mentioned, like the Headline Analyzer and all media kits and other educational materials. But I especially love the time it saves me. It’s absolutely worth the price.

Where to get it: Check it out at the Coschedule website!

Have you tried CoSchedule? What do you think?

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of CoSchedule.

Do You Only Make Your Target Word Count During NaNoWriMo?

Craft of Writing, Writing

Motivation and Procrastination

Some writers have the drive to write even when they’re not at the computer (or the notepad). For some, they’ll ignore most of the rest of their life in order to get their words done. I’m not really like that. When I’m not writing, I forget that I like to write. This is especially problematic for me when I’m in editorial mode for clients, because it’s more challenging to get back into creative mode, which causes me to forget for even longer that I like writing.

My Struggle with BICHOK

As an editor, I advise my writerly clients to get their Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. You’ve probably heard that or something similar, if you frequent any sort of writer groups, whether in real life or on Facebook or some other social platform.

As a writer, I struggle with this myself. For some reason, I put off writing, as if it’s a chore like doing the dishes (which I also put off! lol). It’s really not until I’m in my chair and actually in the midst of belting out words that I realize how much I missed it and wonder why I waited so long to get back into the chair. And you’d think that when I make this revelation that the next time I have a plan to sit down to write, I’ll remember it and be excited. But no, I still think it’s doing the dishes. *sigh*

My Most Productive Writing Time Period

I was lucky enough to be able to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree at Seton Hill University. During this program, students have a required page count that they are responsible to write each month. This number is decided on in conjunction with the student’s mentor for the semester, so it’s not arbitrary and the student has input in the decision. The common amount is 30 pages per month. There is also a critique group of, usually, two other students to whom a student sends these pages as well. So, at the least, you have three people every month who are waiting for your words.

As you might imagine, the years I was in that program were the most productive of my writing life.

If You’re Like Me…

…you do much better when you know someone is waiting for your work. I think this is a common issue for writers. It’s easy to push our writing off in favor of doing something with the kids, binge watching a few more episodes of Supernatural, reading the new Stephen King book, playing Halo, doing game night with friends, or even *gasp* doing the dishes. Sometimes it seems like we’ll do anything else aside from writing. Even when we know how much we like to do it.

But when there’s someone who’s looking over your shoulder, watching your progress…

Well, that changes everything.

A Tool to Help — AAMP

AAMP is the Author Accountability Mastermind Program. It’s designed to help you by giving you someone else to be accountable to. Essentially, you have your own personal cheerleading drill sergeant. 🙂

Why I created AAMP

At the beginning of the year, I joined the Single Malt Mastermind, which is helmed by Matthew Kimberley, who’s a fantastic sales and marketing instructor in the entrepreneurial space. While I was somewhat skeptical as to whether it would be useful for me, I was happily surprised. Having someone who watched what I was doing, even if he wasn’t directly involved at all, helped in making me much more productive. Knowing I had to write that email at the end of every week helped me keep my head in the game.

How does AAMP work?

AAMP is modeled on Matthew’s program, but structured a little differently and tailored for writers. There are two versions. A semi-automated version and a more personalized version. Whichever version you choose, you will receive an e-mail each Friday with writing tips, tricks, and/or advice. Then, depending on whether you’re a RockStar or a MegaStar, you’ll fill out a survey or reply to the e-mail directly.

RockStars will know that I’m reviewing the survey responses and I send out e-mails randomly to members for encouragement, help, or just to touch base. RockStars won’t get a personal response every week, but may get one any week.

Megastars have a slightly different path. They don’t fill out a survey. Instead, they reply directly to the e-mail and answer three questions. In the early part of the next week, I sent MegaStars — all MegaStars — a personal response.

Whichever version of AAMP you choose, I’m there, keeping tabs, checking in, and cheering you on!

When you can get access to AAMP

AAMP officially launches on August 1. That’s right. Just one week from tomorrow! There will be membership bonuses and a discount for everyone who signs up on Opening Day!

Want to make sure you’re in the loop?

Tool Time Tuesday: Mid-Year Review

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

We’re going to do things a little different this week. We’re going to have a recap of the TTTs we’ve had this year. So if you missed one, here they all are:

January

We only had one TTT post in January, because it was a new feature, so Scrivener has this section all to itself! Scrivener is — hands-down — the best writing environment for me, and a lot of other authors. If you’ve found it intimidating, don’t worry. You don’t have to learn everything about it. Learn what you need to do your work, and don’t worry about the rest.

Tool Time Tuesday: Scrivener

February

The spotlight for February was on two of my absolute favorite tools ever: The Writing and Revisions Tracker Spreadsheet by Jamie Raintree and Write or Die 2 by DrWicked. The spreadsheet, if you missed that TTT, lets you track both word count of your draft and/or number of pages revised, not just for one project, but eight! If you geek out on spreadsheets like I do, you don’t want to miss this one!

Write or Die 2 is a fabulous tool that will show you exactly how many words you can write in a given time frame. This can be really important for planning your writing time, particularly if that time is limited. Plus. you can proudly boast of how many words you can get down in an hour when you’re actually writing and not cruising around Facebook 😉

Tool Time Tuesday: The Writing and Revisions Tracker Spreadsheet

Tool Time Tuesday: Write or Die 2

March

March saw a couple organizational tools: OneTab and Aeon Timeline 2. OneTab is great for organizing and keeping tabs on websites you want to read or have handy. Instead of keeping dozens of tabs open in your browser (I’m not the only one who does that, right? … Right?), you can send them all to OneTab and still have access to them later.

Photo courtesy of OneTab

Aeon Timeline 2 is amazing for keeping track of your story’s timeline, scenes, your characters, and the relationships between your characters. You’ll find it really helpful especially if you’re very visually oriented.

Tool Time Tuesday: OneTab

Tool Time Tuesday: Aeon Timeline 2 

April

Duotrope had April all to itself, due to my travel schedule. Duotrope is a subscription site which houses a database of markets, particularly (but not exclusively) for short stories. You can get information on the submission call, deadlines, guidelines, and if enough people have entered their information, how long it generally takes to get a response, how acceptance-friendly they are (or how exclusive, depending on your viewpoint), as well a lot of other information.

Tool Time Tuesday: Duotrope

May

We had another single-TTT month in May. And it was Writing Inspiration Month here. I posted about Ancient Origins, a website that tends to fire my imagination, even if its headlines are a little click-baity. There are a lot of interesting bits about archaeology, history, sociology. And it can fire your imagination to ask, “What if…?”

Tool Time Tuesday: Ancient Origins

Did you utilize any of the TTT tools this year? Got any writing-related tools or websites that you just can’t do without? Drop a comment below and let me know!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jamie Raintree.

Tool Time Tuesday – Writing Inspiration Version: Ancient Origins

Tool Time Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, we talk about the different tools available for writers to make life easier (theoretically 😉 ).

Today’s Tool: Ancient Origins

Platform: browser

Cost: $0

What it does:

I love websites that kick start my creativity, that inspire my muse, and spawn ideas. Writing inspiration is a big thing for me!

I ran across this website because someone retweeted an interesting article. And then I got lost down the rabbit hole!

Now, I don’t take everything on this site as gospel. The titles are a bit click-baity and the writing is definitely sensationalist in nature. However, the stories are interesting. I use it as a jumping-off point. I find cool history to delve into, fascinating stories of people and events, fun posts about weird tools and implements.
This isn’t just for historical writing though. If you’re writing fantasy, you can definitely get ideas for how to create your governing system, or events that you can model for your own civilizations. There are some nice articles about unexplained phenomena — these can be the basis of horror stories, fantasies, or mysteries. You can take an old mystery and either modernize it or set a detective story in that era. You could even have that mystery come to haunt us in modern times.

You can definitely find some great writing inspiration here 🙂

Check out some sample headlines from Ancient Origins:

She Met the Devil, Escaped a Dragon, and Survived Several Attempts on Her Life: The Remarkable Story of St. Margaret of Antioch
Tibet’s Valley of the Kings: What Hidden Treasures Lie Within This Imperial Tibetan Graveyard?
The Ancient Kingdom of Colchis: A Legendary Land of Plenty, Conflict, and the Golden Fleece
The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

Can you find writing inspiration in those? I can see it without even having read the articles! (But I do want to read the articles 😉 )

Where to get it: Click the linky

Do you have a writing tool that you absolutely can’t live without? Drop a line to me down below and tell me about it!

 

Stay awesome!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Ancient Origins.